Friday, March 2, 2012

Project Statement

Starkville Mediatheque

The premise of this project is the creation of digital place. Place, unlike space is defined by perception, to be more specific the perception of one, the occupant of that place. While this can be simply understood when the place is something basic, say my place at this desk, it becomes more complicated when attempting to understand its implications within public space. As the space is used by an increasing number of occupants the individual perceptions of place also increase, thus creating a multiplicity of perception within a single space. To take this one step further consider the pluralistic nature of reality in this current point in time. The advent of social media and thus the near requirement for the development of an online presence for individuals and companies allows one to simultaneously inhabit a multitude of places.

How can architecture respond to this change in the definition of place? The design of a mediatheque seems the perfect catalyst for such an exploration. Libraries hold knowledge and are access points for individuals to absorb that knowledge. In the past these databases were confined to paper, with audio and video recordings coming about in recent history. Now, however, the bulk of this knowledge can be created, stored and accessed by a single screen connected to a database and operated through a series of simple user interfaces. The standard architectural design for such a use seems to be limited to spaces devoted to the housing and use of these devices. While this seems to work there is a schism within the program of that space which lies in the varying perceptions of it by its users. There is no difference between the environment of a student conducting online research and one inhabiting virtual social spaces.

This project attempts to look at space according to a multiplicity of planes (which according to esoteric cosmology is conceived as a subtle state of consciousness that transcends the known physical universe, with the exception of the physical plane) based on these varying types of perception and the needs they imbue. The Physical Plane, or the physical reality, that which we inhabit with our terrestrial bodies and the place where we engage in tangible interactions with the space and its occupants, both beings and objects. The Mental Plane, or the reality of the subconscious, the realm where thought (often subconscious) defines our actions based on a series of needs and wants in order for our physical bodies to survive and prosper. And the Digital Plane, a reality parallel to both of these that allows for hyper-connectivity, freedom, and mental acceleration through a relationship with the Digital Otherness (see The intricacy of the Otherness by Kostas Terzidis). In summation, how can the hybridization of these separate realities allow for the physical manifestation of the digital in a way which revolutionizes space so that one's perception of these varying realities become one, culminating in a physical manifestation of digital form, a Landscape of Interactivity?

The first problem with this statement lies in the fact that that which belongs to the Digital Plane (DP) has no tangible (haptic) quality within the Physical Plane (PP) or visa versa (although it cannot be declared as certain what exactly the physical quality within the DP actually is). However, according to ontological thought  the status of the term space ( a noun) proves the existence of space. Therefore, if something exists within one plane as a tangible object, such as space, should it not also be tangible within another? Parmenidian Monism would argue that something that exists must exist within all subsets of reality because it is derived from an original. This original, according to Platonic Form Theory is referred to as a Form and thereby posses the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. The question then is what is that reality?

This first problem continues to be addressed, "Digital objects are not tangible so therefore how can they be manifested in physical form?", by using a device created by the Situationist International, that of the Constructed Situation (in this case fictional). Here a dialectic conversation takes place between two parties on the physical nature of digital objects. This conversation results in a rationalization of the tangibility of digital objects within physical reality. This rationalization is then used as the motif for the design of physical, digital place (Augmented Reality).

incomplete, to be continued...

Points to Develop
1.       The role of digital projection in architecture
3.       The role of recreation within a Landscape of Interactivity
4.       The role of analog sources within a digital environment
5.       The model of existing reality
6.       The model of proposed reality
7.       Representation of intangible elements within physical form
8.       A physical representation of cyberspace
9.       The overlap of the urban fabric and the digital fabric focusing on points of transcendence