Towards Digital Place(s): cultivating a language of digital design in architecture
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 12:53 authored by Michael Owens
The term “place” has been used to identify meaningful locations or buildings in reference to limitless connections, be they sensorial or emotional that develop an embodied memory of space as experienced by the senses. In the contemporary age of digital society the level of technological depth that an individual may be submerged throughout their daily activities has created a barrier between space and its occupant that must be bridged before a sense of place can be established. The following thesis will explore the social impacts of technological advancements in contemporary society which has created a populace of high-tech nomads and the implications of those advancements for physical environment and architecture. Finding ways of bridging that intangible barrier or a gap through architecture will drive space and its formal expression to new levels of interactivity and connectivity that are capable of resurfacing the digitally submerged, strengthening the existing and forging new relationships between people and places. This thesis will explore the bridging of the gap between digital technology and physical space through the advancement of interactive, adaptive spaces, materials, and forms that combine and embody a language and experience of digital design. Each section of the document works towards the establishment of the idea that it is firstly, possible to bridge that gap and to create harmony between the digital and the physical, and secondly to show that this harmony can be meaningful, impactful, and complimentary to the present richness that is the urban fabric. This thesis will investigate the impact and implications of presence of digital technologies on the forms of societal and spatial interaction. As one’s daily life starts to operate within a digital platform independently of the realm of physical space, architecture can become reoriented to establish its new parameters. An attempt to formulate a new language of digital design will allow the development of a new form of architecture, capable of engaging contemporary high-tech society in a new place making. As one begins to communicate and engage with his surroundings via his personal devices and vice versa a new system of interaction between occupants and occupied will emerge, as will new relationship between people and spaces.