1 November 2012 – Landing in New York one day after Hurricane Sandy, we witness a week of total informational blackout. The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, has come to a standstill below 32nd Street. We are listening to the silence of the closed electronic trading floors of Wall Street and observe herds of informational nomads, armed with their power-hungry laptops, searching for any electrical output. We are lost without mobile signals, emails or texts and cut off from global positioning systems; unable to manoeuvre without cybernetic feedback; out of our comfort zones by being disconnected from a system that typically caters to our needs. All activity has been suspended. This is the city’s confession to its subservient architectural relation to our electronic informational infrastructure. Meanwhile Barrack Obama is re-elected and we are stranded at the airport waiting for another storm to pass.
Deeply rooted in the belief that the archi-tecture of today must face the challenges of a digitised and virtually immersed environment, Diploma 1 set out to design catalyst spaces and conditions that enhance and articulate digital space within -the urban frameworks between London and New York.
Investigating communication and system design, Gloria speculates on the absurdity of human dialogue in a technologically converted distant-communication network, while Kjetil proposes to use sensing devices to suggest that Heathrow’s Terminal 6 is a physical extension of the electronic cloud. Brian looks at how the transformation towards online courses and degrees may evolve into a new educational landscape typology situated in Mayor Bloomberg’s new zoning proposal. In project articulating architecture as constructs of desire and self-consciousness of a glutinous Schlaraffenland, Liza presents a digital vista of milk and honey while Goldshid explores the vanity of a self-obsessed global art market – the 24/7 televised post-industrial Warhol factory.
Through these projects we speculate upon prototypes for an architectural resolution and augment-ation of the networked electronic dream, questioning the infrastructural epitome of our time by defining architectural strategies for an informational behemoth inseparably amalgamated into every aspect of our life.
Lap Heng Fung
Kin Pong Ho
Gloria Pou Wai Lei
Golshid Varasteh Kia
Luke Shixin Tan
Special thanks to
Sam Joyce (Technical Studies consultant)
Denis Vlieghe (Workshop Term 01/Interactive programming consultant)
Dietmar Koering (Term 2 Workshop)
Random International: Florian Ortkrass and Hannes Koch
Kenny Kinugasa Tsui
Carlos Villanueva Brandt
Scanlab Projects: William Trossell and Matthew Shaw
Serafino Di Rosario
Ricardo de Ostos
Jeroen van Ameijde
Temple Zero is a monument to 9/11 and an urban-scale wind instrument.
Temple Zero responds to the severing attributes of technology by leveraging the unifying quality of sound in an attempt to reconcile the body with the memory of 9/11.
1. 9/11 is a prototype of the Informational Revolution.
2. Technology divorces the body from context resulting in inauthenticity.
3. Sound engages the body viscerally and can translate the abstract into emotion.
9/11 was the first event of its kind in that it was experienced worldwide, in real time.
This was made possible by television. Media has the potential to expand empathy by facilitating participation in the suffering of others.
Once the towers collapsed, images of terrified people imposed themselves on viewers. Their suffering became our pain.
This experience of the event however, is through an impermeable screen, filtering the death and suffering that is seen on screen. Other senses were cut off, especially smell and touch.
What remained was merely an objectified image that could never become real.
Dislocated from the event, the viewers are left with an inauthentic experience that is divorced from context.
In a world where we constantly consume content over screens, the divorcement of the body from context is further exacerbated.