TEAM: Sierra Jensen – University of Tennessee

the content crisis + the viewing machine

Mediated Elsewheres began as an investigation on man’s immersion with arti cial creations of space and time–the image— more so than what is directly lived. From painting to photograph to lm and now to the contemporary iPhone screen—we have been consumed with the still image to the moving image and now to the haptic rapidity of many overlapping moving images. The image has acted as a membrane between this and that, here and there, you and I, but now more contemporarily between our phys- ical body and our virtual body. How will architecture begin to mediate and house both the physical and virtual self?

Times Square is chosen as a site for an overall theme of hypothetical parasitic hotel structures, where these hotels would ex- ist within the stratum of billboard—personifying the image within the interstitial zone between advertisement and host building. This proposal will feature one example of this proposed idea of a parasitic masterplan, that being on the W Building on the corner or 46th Street and Broadway, directly overlooking Duffy Square.

The hotel functionally will be controlled by an app, where the hotel user will begin the check-in process by logging in to one of their virtual identities—that being either their Facebook self, Instagram self or Twitter self. The hotel room will then be a re ec- tion of that virtual identity (see technical). Looking at the modern day traveler, the need for a hotel to be localized in the sense
of amenities will begin to fade. Rather than having the hotel as a closed system, the app will outsource amenities from the greater Times Square area. As the hotel typology will become more outsourced, I see the way in which we house data will become more localized. With such a hotel, the data collected through the app will be archived in a micro data storage. This becomes to create a dialogue for the hotel as the temporary home for the physical self, where the micro data center is the permanent home for the virtu- al self. The façade of the building will act as a modern day Claude Glass, as accumulated data–from both the hotel user and the public user of the app–will be re ected on the building’s façade—creating a physical manifestation of what is virtual.

How will architecture begin to grapple with the invisible? Overall, I see the hotel to become more of a vessel for the digital age, as well as a vessel to engage the modern traveler into a more directly lived experience, rather than within a closed environment.

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