2017 - At a Loss for Words

Project i6
Dozenten > PROF. LINN SONG

Sommersemester 2017

(A prototype library for the "fact-hungry")

The fringe of societies are often a (non-intended) driving force for change. While 30% of the population has an „ass-antler" today, at the turn of the last century Adolf Loos decried tattoos as criminal (and compared ornamentation in architecture to them). Today, on the streets of metropoli across the world one often finds the styles of tomorrow’s pret-a-portier and then H&M collection. Today’s „starving artists" and „indie/alternatives" in the most dilapidated parts of a city will be pushed out by tomorrow’s gentrification of the next hip city district. And in the USA, yesterday’s lying Republicans have helped produce today’s President Trump and the post-factual era where „felt truths" / emotions are more important than hard facts.
Coupled with the digital age, it has become ever more difficult to filter and sift through fake and real news and Google, Wikipedia & Co. have not only made us lazy, but have driven us to question the value of, and need for books, newspapers and experts. As with every major shift in the societal landscape, there are counter movements and „new fringes" and e.g., since the election of Donald Trump, the New York Times has reported a ten-fold increase in subscriptions and for the first time in four years 2016 saw the first increase in sales of printed books. In other words, with every new, far-reaching change there is always a „backlash" from those who want to hold on (nostalgically?) to tradition and the past. But is this time different? Has Postmodernism evolved in the neoliberal context and become fractured and completely unregulated by societal norms?
In anycase, as these most recent developments might indicate, the reputation of established publishing houses and the book as a physical object still appear to hold some weight within society. Thus, your goal will be to design an underground library prototype and develop a „curating concept" to house approx. 1500 of the most important non-fiction books and 10 daily/weekly newspapers that could be built in various locations and cultures across the world.
The underground situation will allow you to focus on the most important aspects of interior space: space itself, day- and artificial lighting, materials, color, furnishings, detailing, signage, and atmosphere.