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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

Mr Gerard Bareham
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