- Sotiriou, I., 2021. The Making of Informated Space, Remote Practices: Architecture at a Distance, Edited by Matthew Mindrup and Lilian Chee, ISBN: 9781848225312, Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd, May 31 2021.22
- Remote Practices Conference, organized by the National University of Singapore, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment and The University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Online, October 8-9, 2020.20
In July 2020, Twitter officially replaced the word “Workplace” with “Remote Experience” in Tracy Hawkins’ title, now the Vice President of Real Estate & Remote Experience of the company. This seemingly insignificant change of words is part of a broader argument, one that openly challenges the idea that a spatial event is irretrievably anchored to a particular location.
The possibility of such a disassociation alludes to a radical shift within the architectural practice: from designing space as a destination, to instead curating the experience of it in an abstract territory of “remote everywhere-ness”. Designing sets of abstractions has always been at the core of the architectural practice (Burke, 2007). Yet today, propelled by the current global pandemic, the rapid normalization of the “spatially indeterminate” experience is calling for the urgent re-thinking of the architectural object, its purpose, function and the systems of meaning that sustain it.
More specifically, this paper wishes to examine the future of the architectural experience in the age of the Informated Space. The latter is introduced in this paper as the de facto topos of continuous information flux, conditioned through its capacity to metabolize digitized subjectivities while extracting “behavioral surplus” from the physical domain (Zuboff, 2018). Under its dogma, space is reduced to a total of mathematized and reproducible experiences which are then distributed throughout its network of automated protocols, resulting in ad hoc spatial expressions of domesticity, labor, leisure etc. Still, dreams of an architectural “everything-ness” and the elimination of closure in its definition have been fueling the architectural discourse since the 60s.
This paper wishes to re-contextualize them by bridging two notable projects of that era with contemporary writings on information structures and architecture. To do so, it reads the “Alles ist Architektur” manifesto (1968) and the “Proposal for an Extension of the University of Vienna” (1966) by Hans Hollein, through the works of Manuel Castells, Anthony Burke, Shoshana Zuboff and Molly Wright Steenson, in hopes of initiating a larger discussion on issues of architectural agency and production in the age of the Informated Space.