Cusp: A Physical Space for Information, Learning and Sharing

December 7th, 2012  |  Published in Cusp, Ideas

[HUB] network

[HUB] netowork

I’ve been busy.

In addition to my day job, I started teaching a degree project studio at the Boston Architectural College in the Fall of 2011. I’ve currently got my second group of students working; navigating their way through the final design studio of their careers. It’s gratifying to watch them work through the project and a little disconcerting when I see a glimmer of myself (my quirks or good/bad habits) in each of them. I imagine this is true for all teachers: we see ourselves reflected by our students.

The studio is exploring a 21st-century library, set in the Innovation District of Boston’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Over the next few weeks, the students will be posting their thoughts and progress of their design. The intention is that these posts will form a digital archive in what could be considered the first global library; the Internet.

The following is the studio synopsis:

A cusp is a meeting point between things; an inflection, a transition, a connection, a bridge. The degree project studio is meant to be the culmination and convergence of your academic career at the BAC as you transition; full-time, to your professional career. You will be drawing on your entire experience throughout this studio as you take your project from an initial sketch; through analysis and development, to construction detail while maintaining a consistent conceptual connection throughout all facets of the project.

This studio will examine the effect of an increasingly virtual existence and consumption of information on the physical space and experience of a library.

Libraries have long served as a connection between people and knowledge as well as with each other. They are a communal (and usually free) source of knowledge enabling access to information and technology that may be prohibitively expensive to individually own or acquire. With the advent of the internet; the brick-and-mortar library has in some ways been made redundant and under-utilized.

Libraries are a physical (tangible) repository and connection to an intangible thing that can occupy an entire city block; whereas the internet is a predominately intangible thing serving virtually the same connection to an object that can fit in the palm of your hand.

What is the next evolution of the physical presence and function of a library? How can a physical thing justify its existence when a non-physical thing serves the same function?

Throughout this studio we will be exploring the expression and dichotomy of tangible and intangible connections.

The project has been broken up into two components: [NODE] and [HUB]. The [NODE] is an extension of the [HUB], distributed throughout the city but remaining connected to the [HUB] and other [NODE]s. The students began the semester by developing their [NODE]s, followed by the main project of the [HUB] which they will continue to develop until May of next year.

I’m looking forward to seeing where all the projects lead. All of the students have interesting ideas and notions of what a library should or could be…

Comments are closed.