“The Headington Shark (proper name Untitled 1986) is a rooftop sculpture located at 2 New High Street, Headington, Oxford, England, depicting a large shark embedded head-first in the roof of a house. The shark first appeared on 9 August 1986. Bill Heine, a local radio presenter who owned the house until 2016, has said "The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation... It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki". The sculpture, which is reported to weigh 200 kg and is 7.6 m long and is made of painted fibreglass, is named Untitled 1986 (written on the gate of the house). The sculpture was erected on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. It was designed by sculptor John Buckley and constructed by Anton Castiau, a local carpenter and friend of John Buckley ”.
The Shark House dilemma is conceived as an exercise of negotiation over a set of societal questions that are relevant for planning and for planners:
1. What are the rights of individuals in face of the rights of the community?
2. Is public art a public good?
3. Who decides what is public art and what is beautiful or not in the public domain?
4. Who has access to urban art?
5. Who are the actors involved in planning decisions?
6. How fair are decision making processes in planning? (procedural justice) Where is POWER located in planning processes?