Monday, August 17, 2009

From the Iconic Object to the De-Institutionalized Library

Archigram, the 1960 Architectural and Urban Think-tank, conceptualised the travelling city, "A circus of Ideas" that like an air balloon would travel from one city to the next parading a specific theatre of urban cultures, cafes, museums and information from one urban experience (say.. New york City) to another city context (say London, or India) therefor re-creating that information intensive city enviroment momentarily in another city.

The concept expresses a foresight into today networked society where our world in networked and cultures and people share their experiences over the world-wide-web. Information travels, it is fluid, and experience motivated. Like the "Circus of Ideas" the new knowledge incubator (library) could be an urban experience, like a campus, where u drop-in for an immersive information extravaganza or retreat, and then leave again.

Thus it is worth conceptually breaking down the tradition instutional library archetype, briefly described below.
The institutional Iconic Object (university library / or private library) contained behind the block, and within walls of security.

The modern public library - opaque, revealing the activity, showcases knowledge, and linked to a public space.

Utopian Concept 1: The de-institutionalized object OPTION 1, exposed, no walls, direct extension to public space, free platform of knowledge, yet contained under roof as a symbol (primal shelter)
Utopian Concept 2: The de-institutionalized object OPTION 2, The broken-down Icon, scattered buildings, smaller, less intimidating, experience like a city, direct reltionship to threshold and public space is made more intimate and accidental. Similar to a campus, small dedicated buildings of information.

First Building Concpet : an amalgamation of the two de-institutionalized library concepts. Ramped public space, mini campus, direct feed to public platform, open yet secured, city like experience, intimate, both flexible and semi-rigid spaces.

Program Development : Spatial connectivity and Flow

The Program and Areas were furthur divided and placed in order as per the relationship study (previous post). The program was divided as follows, Knowledge Incubator (library anchor), Information Creche (kids) Business Ramp, Study Ramp, Leisure Ramp, Sharing-Info Ramp, Accidental Ramp (public space), and Ammenities.
After ordering, the program is ramped, with a hierarchical flow from flexible to semi-rigid spaces.

Areas massing/proportions diagram
Stacked program massing

Building Program Development - An Open Information Campus (and Public Library)

This Diagram describes the position of the building. Its need adresses public knowledge gain, and the aspects that affect the current knowledge access presented by the traditional library.

Mapping Study: of uses of internet cafe in informal unemployed settlements (in South Africa Kliptown Township (Soweto) and Yeoville Suburb)

Program Development from uses study of Internet Cafe

Program spatial association - what works with what? Conclusion: Business program (pink) buffered by study spaces (black line), and the study spaces linked to a Leisure zone (beige). The leisure is buffered by a social spaces that spill out to "accidental" or public spaces (grey)

A pogram hybrid: Library spaces, Internet Cafe needs, and public space qualities. All tied to an Information anchor (library)

First Thoughts - Designing a New Knowledge Platform

This is the early (not edited) table of contents of my dissertation paper. It describes the full circle thinking of how I began my thinking and how I hope to end it with the design of a building that facilitates the idea of a theatre of knowledge or rather an OPEN INFORMATION CAMPUS, that is semi-contained within the confines of a building/architecture.

above are some of the first diagrams drawn up in discussions with librarians and practising architects about the concept of an "open source" building that speaks of a new open source information landscape that we have entered into in the last 100 years... these initial thinkings as described in the previous post (video) are represented in diagrams that describe plan, form, and flow.

The Thinker - Historically we contemplated in retreat, silence, solitude, and within our own mind. We solved problems in isolation, deep thought, and through introverted reflection.
In an age of twittering, blogging, social networking, and sophisticated work-place networks, global science networks, and mass-participation and collaboration, (and TED talks ) information is exchanged via a networked world. Thinkers, and problem solvers are inter-connected and the exchange of information is fluid and globally systematic. We solve and question our world today together as a global info-community. Bringing problems closer to solutions through mass collaboration.

This image is a word- graphic map of my thinking from Information, to structure.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Searching for to a New Knowledge Platform?

This small clip is a discussion and crit I had with two practicing architects, Dirk Bahmann and Sarah Calburn from Sarah Calburn Architects.


Moving quickly into the design phase of a building that promotes the awareness and participation with new information technologies, knowledge gain, and innovation, in a developing context.

I have began to discuss the notion of what space or platform is appropriate for the design of an information and knowledge building. An architectural exploration that began by learning from the archetype of the tradition library, yet it begins to push and pull the concepts of space-making, public space,and recreational space, into a de-institutionalized model that recognized the flexibility, social interaction and comfort that the informal market place can achieve (much like the nature of digital information today re- ETHER).

This early discussion focuses on breaking down the icon of a typical building block, and explores the organic diagram of how spaces and programming can be connected while still being jelly-like and flexible, such that the building becomes more like a village, or open campus that highlights new technologies, and remains still focused on referencing the nostalgic experiences of a library space or book store. Still big gestures for know, but this will be narrowed down into a building soon. Will keep you up to date, with context in the next post.