Anti-Aswang Architecture

Parallel Earth: 001898
Designation: Permanent Collection
Parallel Historian: Ben Tumbling.


Residential Entryway with Anti-Aswang Architecture
Carter Family (est. 1960, Brooklyn, New York, USA), 2016
Cement, steel, lead, acrylic paint.

Brooklyn adjusted quickly to aswangs, which can be noted in the anti-aswang features around this modern day murder door. The invasive species was unwittingly introduced to the New York City borough by a real estate developer who had illegally imported a breeding pair in 2015. They were caged in the atrium of a new condominium in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg to entice wealthy Filipino buyers.

The pair, of course, could not be contained. Today, an estimated 8,000 call Brooklyn home, making hostile architecture like this more common. Ironically, older buildings in less gentrified neighborhoods still had the bars, spikes, and multiple locks that protected them in the city’s more violent past. So making them aswang-proof was easy. But the new luxury developments, with open floor plans and massive unobstructed windows, are prime targets for roosting by aswangs. The recent drop in leasing numbers in the once gentrifying area is a sobering warning about the consequences of flouting community concerns and environmental laws.


Note the amount of space available for outdoor gatherings, such as barbecues, during daylight hours.

The Carter family home on Lorimer Street, reconstructed in the museum’s East Wing, is an excellent example of this architectural phenomenon. Most of the features, like the cement barrier and the spiked lead pipe railing, are originally from the 1960’s. The rest were added after the aswangs moved into the neighborhood. The entryway was painted red, not just a warning color to aswangs, it also hides blood stains. The window bars on the first floor are painted white, which makes it easier to notice damage or tampering. There’s also a particularly narrow grate covering the vent on the floor and a security camera on the awning pointed towards the sky.

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