Academic: Harvard Graduate School of Design
Throughout history, technology and sharing information have shaped how we perceive and occupy space. From cave paintings to the internet, technology has been implemented as an alternative space, both akin to and apart from the physical world. Cave painting was the fi rst expressive “mind wandering tool,” allowing multiple people to imagine and share the same vision. The internet is a far more complex and sophisticated technology, but meets many of the same needs. It is social by nature; it is a collaborative effort that seeks to connect its users through a virtual world, if not through a physical one. These adaptations of technology have significant cultural impacts, all of which shape how we inhabit and expect to use architecture.
In the digital age, many significant cultural changes have taken place. Due to our now-constant interaction with technology, society is much more collaborative, communicative, and prone to multi-tasking than ever before. And yet, these changes are not reflected in how architects design buildings. The technology that defines its era leads to upheavals in how architecture is produced and used. Levitt Town exemplifies this through the lens of a post-war America: it was designed to implement construction technologies that were made possible through recent technological advances. The houses themselves were designed to accommodate a modern lifestyle: efficient space planning, nuclear families, and an eye towards convenience that suited the contemporary home-maker.
Similarly, many of today's newest technologies shape how architecture is designed and constructed: software changes allow new forms to be expressed in buildings for the first time. CNC building technologies give a physical possibility to new complexities. Where we have been lacking, however, is in the adaptation to the new cultural phenomenon. We are still designing our buildings for the 1950's post-war era and, at best, applying modern technologies only at the most superficial levels. This project aims to focus on space planning through the lens of digital culture, thus accommodating a society that iis social, collaborative, creative, and mobile.