Reading • Read chapter 8 in How Cities Work and figure out what the author says about the loss of community in the digital age: what has contributed to it. What is community as commodity in his mind and how do we combat it. • Also research articles about The Starbucks Effect and determine what effect if any has Starbucks had on the built environment.
The electronic revolution • The digital world has not only changed our sense of speed but it has also created in us a new understanding of spatial need. • Whereas before it may have been the library or the office or the department store that held our attention, today it is places like the home or the café or the airport that do so.
Old spatial reliance • Before the electronic revolution, bodily encounter with space was needed to accomplish daily requirements. • The built environment of streets, sidewalks, and buildings was critical in accomplishing those ends.
The impact of the electronic medium • With the electronic medium our reliance on space, urban or otherwise, has at least been contracted if not totally made obsolete. • Today we can buy a shoe, accomplish work-related tasks and date on the internet. • We may have to access space to have a haircut but we don’t have to do the same for many other tasks.
The rise of new typologies • As old typologies such as the office, the shop and the library subsided, or are on their way towards that end, new typologies emerged in their place • The airport as shopping center • The café as office • The office as storage center • Storage space as shopping center
The Airport • Even as the computer has allowed us to access the world through the tip of our fingers and thus not move, it has also given us incentive to travel • The Internet has come a long way since its development in 1995. In less than 15 years, the percentage of Americans who use online has increased from 14 percent to 79 percent and use of the Internet crosses all demographics
Airport as edge: Living on the edge • Much like the way doing work on the computer is like being on the edge between two places, so is the airport. • The physical reality of doing work on the screen has been places like airports, places that are transitional by nature.
Suspended between two worlds: The Terminal • The movie the terminal expresses this sense of suspension between two places. • It stems from the perception that we have come to live in transitional places. • The main character is a person from a country whose government has collapsed while enroot to the US. • He cannot proceed and so has to remain suspended in the airport.
The airport as shopping center • In the movie we see a commentary being made about how airports have become more than places to catch a flight, they have turned into shopping malls. • The idea here is that they have come to resemble our downtowns and our built environment in the heart of the city.
Airport as dating center • Rather than our old reliance on urban functions for finding a partner, today we access that need on the run, in transitional areas. • In this sense we have become the globalized hybrid species like no other melting pot has allowed: we meet in airports and not in neighborhoods.
Airports as places of employment • The surge in people moving about has found resulted in the need for new airports or additions to airports. This has been a boon to construction industry. • Rather than urban buildings alone, now airports offer access to creativity.
Airport as home • In the movie the airport becomes home to the main character. • This serves as a commentary as to the new industry of lodging that has opened up next to airports. • There is no reason to experience the city, all necessary functions of life can be had within the proximity of the hotel.
Airport as a center broadcasting national and cultural identity Doha airport, Qatar
A sign of cultural progress/openess Dubai airport, UAE Jedda airport, Saudi Arabia
The café • Of course cafes have always been popular social spaces, especially in Europe and the Middle East. • But in the age of electronics they have come to replace the office, the library, and even the school. • Here individuals can be found writing reports, doing research and talking to a professor-all through the internet.
Socializing work through The café’ • The recent surge in café design has not been in reply to a sudden increase in the desire for lattes, but to a response to the need to soften the burden of work required to get ahead in life. • Since it is not the latte that is of primary importance but the space of society, the interior of the café has to work hard in lending the person in it an amplification of that effect.
The Starbucks effect • What is important is that when you get to the café there needs to be a sense of the society involved even if there are no people around.
Starbucks thrives on difference • Even though the original Starbucks store evolved out of urban principles where sidewalk life is bustling with activity, today’s Starbucks is likely to be found in a mall and immediately next to a large parking lot.
Storage Space • Just as the internet has displaced the importance of the street and the office, so it has displaced the shop. • Of course cities continue to see proliferation of shops in malls and sometimes in the streets, but today the shop is largely there as a form of advertisement.
Shop-Warehouse relationship • High fashion stores like Prada have well understood the modern shopper and how he or she will ultimately shop online. • The real shop becomes an opportunity for putting the product on show, like a theatrical act.
Shop as the space for communal exchange etc. • In an outfit such as Pottery Barn, real space becomes an opportunity for connecting with the community and advancing, in this case, lessons in interior design.
Shopping in the storage warehouse • The marginalization of real spaces has led to a new kind of shopping; shopping in what traditionally had been considered warehouse storage space. • Stores such as Costco, home depot and of course Wal-Mart attest to that.
The Seattle Library as a kind of warehouse • In designing the Seattle library, Rem Koolhaas, the architect, did not generate his concepts from the function of the library but from the future event when the library as an institution of knowledge is made obsolete and we can access any text from the screen in front of us.
The Exterior Shell of the Library • Having reduced the library to a storage where the only important question is the shell, Koolhaas made this part of the building the primary source of design. • Everything about this component of the building is to the effect of innovation- the structural expression of the net (using the internet as a metaphor) the shape of the volumes, glass color.