What role can new media play in the way we design buildings and spaces? XML Architecture, Research and Urbanism, have researched these issues with Architecture students at Delft University of Technology for several months. Based on this research, the students’ brief was to design a house in Amsterdam, using the social media information e.g. tweets, about clients, to establish a program in line with the virtual client’s needs.
Twitter, Facebook, Hyves, Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn….more and more, we are organizing ourselves online, and we are sharing our lives with anyone who wants to follow us. What is the potential significance of parallel online and offline lives? How do online networks, which were quickly dubbed as “social media,” organize our offline social relations and vice versa? And how does this exchange affect the city’s collective space? Will it lead to the development of public and private space that has new form and meaning?
XML has researched these issues with Architecture students at Delft University of Technology for several months. Based on this research, the students’ brief was to design a house in Amsterdam. Since a design for an interesting house can only evolve in the dialogue with an interesting client, the students were linked to interesting “virtual clients.” Eleven Amsterdam residents who describe their daily lives through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were selected. These virtual clients were not aware that a house was being designed for them and the students relied entirely on information made available through their clients’ Twitter account. In the course of the ten-week studio, the students’ understanding of their client’s lifestyle became increasingly personalized. Tweets let you know where people go for coffee (and what kind of coffee they prefer), whether they like lounging at home or prefer to go clubbing, where their children go to school… in short, the virtual client’s lifestyle and personal preferences are all there. The students analysed social media information to establish a program in line with the virtual client’s needs. At the various locations, the program was translated into an architectural concept that reflected the virtual client’s lifestyle. The project highlights the central question whether private lives shared in public can lead to new urban typologies.
Check out the online publication by XML highlighting some of the tweets and the project.
Read some feedback from the public presentation over here.