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Silk Street + The Difference Engine

Part 2 Project 2003
Suzi Winstanley
John-Mark Vinten
Royal College of Art London UK
New generation software programmers tap to a similar tun as their skilled silk weaving predecessors. As Asian Tigers compete for a slice of the technology pie, Chennai morphs into a heady metropolis dangling the Difference Engine into its original inspirational soup.

A digital prosthesis for the jaquard loom gives remote handloom weavers time, identity and independance. At city centre Godown Street planners shift textile wholesalers to a purpose built market, leaving space for urban artisans and a digital connecting gallery.

Meanwhile, a derelict walled oasis, once occupied by a voracious cotton mill, becomes the site for an iconic, excessive textile fantasy. The centralised research, educational and productive programme of the Weavers Super Service Centre frames a network that may eventually function without it. Its initial physical test challenges 3-Dimensional woven bits to wriggle up the skyline, criss-crossed by a new residential quarter, stirring an international ruffle in textile-land.

Suzi Winstanley
John-Mark Vinten


Suzi'z ambitious project proposes an emblematic architecture, which cherishes a technological future growing within a traditional ritual continuum. the proposal is neither nostalgic nor alien. It celebrates the potential complexity, invention adn enterprise of the city of Chennai itself.

Tutor(s)
Penny Lewis
2003
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