cross-cultural exchange, digital technology, social interaction, delivery of information, infrastructure
The means and modes through which people and places have connected has drastically altered within the recent past. At the global scale, as recent as the mid 1800’s, the cross-cultural exchange of information was rare and occurred only through person-to-person connections. Expositions such as the Great Exhibition hosted in London at the Crystal Palace in 1851 is a clear example of how cultures communicated in our recent past. Information, machines, animals, plants, all the above, was removed from its natural habitat and placed on display in front of an audience; a one-point perspective through which one culture would understand another.
Locations of dense humanity were nodes on the globe that rarely overlapped. In today’s world, however, these nodes are far from separate. With the invention of modern transportation and digital technology, people and cultures on opposite ends of the globe have never been closer. So close in fact that conditions of high cultural overlap have caused spaces of connection to become spaces of non-identity. Locations such as airports and train stations, transportation hubs, are spaces where the layering of diverse elements and people is high, but the understanding of individual cultures and places is low.
Our thesis proposes that the non-places of transportation hubs can be altered to become these ‘thickened surfaces’ containing moments of high intensity where the digital is utilized to more accurately connect and spread healthy intercultural relationships. Furthermore, these beacons for human activity will be places that appeal to the various senses of the commuter, immersing them in a unique environment. These environments will attempt to blend the natural with the unnatural and will work to foster new activity rather than serve as an in-between zone. Our thesis aims to conceptualize spaces, previously deemed non-places, that mediate between the activity of its immediate surroundings and the activity occurring within these points of access.
The commuter transitions through these spaces aided by digital technology and will begin to experience an artificial environment which will enhance the perception and overall experience of the space. Through these interactions, occupants will be better informed of the area or region they are entering and will be guided by these surfaces of exchange.
Calhoun, Brooke and Hanson, Ross, "Surfaces of Exchange: Formulating connections and experiences in the physical and digital landscape" (2018). Architecture Thesis Prep. 411.
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