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Information Exchange [Kleinhüningen, Basel, Switzerland]

Part 2 Project 2011
Will Howard
University of Huddersfield, UK
The world approaches crisis. Our lives revolve around information; stories, memories, accounts, facts and figures, which enable our society to function. Information facilitates any form of communication; it is the manifestation of the way in which people, as evolved and sentient beings, interact with one another. Human communication is in effect an entirely unnatural process - we all demonstrate an understanding of a number of interactive “codes”, (i.e. language, maths etc), with which we can interchange ideas with other people. These codes are unnatural because they are learned, a development of the human condition. Architectural design is a form of communication because it suggests and embodies sensual and spatial ideas. These ideas define and give meaning to our environment. As a result, this information is our environment - a collective manifestation of information within an endless number of mediums. For a number of years, prior to the information revolution, this information was purely stored in a physical sense; it was embodied in tangible things. As technological advancement has progressed however, it has fuelled our desire to transcend the limitations of tangibility and occupy a digital realm (social networking, video games, virtual reality); whilst concurrently, these physical and natural resources are consumed and discarded. As a result, dereliction is abundant and fuels are increasingly depleted - as a product of our throw-away culture. Society is attempting to retreat from the experience of the physical, (photographs, paper, and haptics) instead choosing to embody an existential plane; somewhere between ‘the place’, and ‘the cloud’, and in doing so it approaches an undeniable crux. The architectural scenario suggests a place which unifies these two realms, through the process of creating a new architectural monument which expresses both and forms a connection. The monument acts as a totem of physicality and manifests through the medium of a radical architectural intervention - which applies meaning to a derelict mass. The original chaste functionality of the existing Swiss grain silo is disregarded, as the building’s essence transcends fundamental utility into semantic monumentality.
Will Howard

Tutor(s)
Mr Gerard Bareham
2011
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