This was 10 years, 9 months, 27 days ago

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Debord: "The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images." And as such, here's a moving image that drives this spectacle, the movement of the iPad within society, its efficiency, its quality, its effect. What spectacular optimism! Life changes in accordance to technology. Here we are. Devices affect behavior, change movement, make things possible. The qualities the video implies: richness, directness, warmth, connectedness. And I buy this optimism, or at least I'm leaning into it, like the way you sit up and might pull your chair up a little bit closer when you hear an sharp argument that hits home.

Architecture enables shelter, enables light; artificial lighting comes and liberates the structure from a necessary porosity. windows are still desired, but not strictly necessary. Air conditioning and artificial climate regulation systems are invented and liberate the building, enable the construction of a free plan in which anything can happen. The isolating glazing unit, even more so, defers performance to the exterior edges of the building, clears out a central space. And maybe there's a little bit of time in which parametric/'calculus'-oriented geometric architecture steps in and attempts to reify change within architecture, a transposition of the plasticity of form found in physics, and mathematics, onto architecture.

And next? What's next? What do I do when architecture is slow, is heavy, resistant to change? Materials cost money, and the movement of material costs money. But material movement is now more explicitly generated by things that are immaterial, objects dictating our movement, like the reach of a memorized music score onto the musicians of an orchestra, or a dancer's body flexing in accordance to a choreographer's thesis. And more and more believing that the core driver of architectonic interaction -- that is, the human movement that is itself architectural within a structure -- can be generated via these mental images alone, the shaping of the overlays of logic upon which you navigate a city changes the city itself, etc. And these overlays of logic are generated via technology, explicitly computing technology, a radically personalized computer that you sleep next to, wake up to, take to the bathroom.

The next step, which is also the hardest one to express/describe/display, is to argue for an infrastructure that is the base system of an architectonic/circulatory/programmatic usage of a space that is expressed as a superstructure. The protruding buttons of a computer user interface that exist in opposition to the thin, flat, overlapping panes of windows are the molecular, atomic, even subatomic elements of interaction that eventually design GPS units intuitive enough to allow people to get 'lost' within a city. Vast enterprises of dynamics of interaction, such as Facebook, or email, or Google Chat, or Twitter, are at their core founded on the epsilons of movement, the finger twitch and subsequent mouse click that acts as the positive feedback to enable a continuation of activity. (For example, look at Zynga's Farmville. Farmville! For a bit, there was a point at which the number of people logged in and playing daily was more than the entire population of France!)

It seems obvious and even too simple, in retrospect, in 2011, after a decade of Google, half a decade of Gmail, and four years of the iphone. How would it be otherwise; how would these technologies not change the way you navigate a city, structure your journeys, formulate your life? And why wouldn't other infrastructural details shape an architecture? And this needs to be obvious -- that is, the success of this new architectural dynamic comes from a perception of these infrastructures as obvious, not exotic but internalized, part of the ground on which you walk. The Internet is 'nothing new'. Computers are fun, but 'nothing new'. Email is 'nothing new'. Soon, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, other tablets will disappear from the realm of the fun gadget -- The moment that your iPad is tossed on your touch or thrown into your bag to be used later is the moment that it enters into the realm of a valuable, rich, loamy, creative casual negligence. Out of this casual interface with technology comes an interaction that is alchemic, maybe because these operations are perceived not to come from 'technology' but from a process of living itself. Devices become transmutative, silver transforms into gold, usage morphs into structure, movement fills into a volume, habit solidifies into architecture, itself.

and so on and so forth and so on and so forth.

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Or:

In 2011, a car accident happens on a freeway. A child grows up, and at 18, he inherits one billion us dollars from his deceased parents. At 23, he decides to transform architecture.

He moves to LA to work in the film industry, and at 25, creates a typical television rom-com called "LA Girls". The sitcom is a moderate success, and is otherwise not noteworthy other than the odd fact that all of the characters supposedly live in houses designed by well-known architects. The buildings are not real, of course. After the two-year run of the sitcom, the now-producer stops working, and disappears from public sight. Online film/tv databases list the sitcom as his first and only production.

Three years later, people start to talk about a production company that will fund sitcoms, television shows, movies. Surprisingly, there is no catch, except for the fact that each funded episode has to feature a main character who lives in a work of 'Architecture'. Moreover, sensational shots of architecture are banned. The word spreads. A 2020 remake of 'Rebel Without a Cause' features a shot of a contemporary James-Dean-lookalike casually lounging in a modernist house. Cigarettes are stubbed out in a Zaha Hadid ashtray.

Or:

In 2011, a car accident happens on a freeway. A child grows up, and at 18, he inherits one billion us dollars from his deceased parents. At 23, he decides to transform architecture.

He moves to LA to work in the film industry, and at 25, creates a typical television rom-com called "LA Girls". The sitcom is a moderate success, and is otherwise not noteworthy other than the odd fact that all of the characters supposedly live in houses designed by well-known architects. The buildings are not real, of course. After the two-year run of the sitcom, the now-producer stops working, and disappears from public sight. Online film/tv databases list the sitcom as his first and only production.

Three years later, people start to talk about a production company that will fund sitcoms, television shows, movies. Surprisingly, there is no catch, except for the fact that each funded episode has to feature a main character who lives in a work of 'Architecture'. Moreover, sensational shots of architecture are banned. The word spreads. A 2020 remake of 'Rebel Without a Cause' features a shot of a contemporary James-Dean-lookalike casually lounging in a modernist house. Cigarettes are stubbed out in a Zaha Hadid ashtray.