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Institute for the Long View

Part 2 Project 2013
David Pangbourne
University of Brighton, UK
“Contamination has infact spread further than the elements, natural substances, air, water, fauna and flora it attacks – as far as the space time of our planet.” – Paul Virilio

Through the advancement of technology, the speed of life is increasing. Our ability to measure and control time has led us to the point where we live our lives in the digital world, to the second and the millisecond, at the scale of the microprocessor. Relative to human beings, time is becoming instantaneous and artificial - experience of the journey is being lost amongst an insatiable desire for progress. As Douglas Rushkoff puts it, we have now entered a period of 'Digital Renaissance'. Like paradigm shifts of the past we are seeing a change in the way we inhabit and view the world as a result of particular advancements in understanding and technology – in this case the computer. The Digital Renaissance however differs from those transitions that have occurred previously on a fundamental level. Our perception and subsequent cognition of the physical world is becoming artificial; we are interacting with information in a completely new way at unprecedented speeds.

All the while the natural timescales, the rhythms of the land, sea and sky continue, as consistent as they were hundreds or thousands of years ago. Once we structured our lives around our environment, waking at sunrise; now we have become disconnected, we sit at computers around the clock in artificially lit rooms. Our operating frequency is rising; the rate at which we conduct our lives is now disconnected from the low frequencies of our environment.

As a result of the accelerating rhythms of life, are we at risk of losing our primal and irreplaceable connection with space, the journey and a longer view of time? The Institute of the Long View is an experiment in viewing and designing an architectural object relative to a different timescale, one that operates at a frequency much closer to its surrounding natural environment. The institute challenges societies pace within the accelerating city.

David Pangbourne


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