topography x navigation
Freed from any divider, the soft-space partitions the environment through the use of topography. The altimetric differences contribute to the advent of a landscape in which the wall is substituted by the relief. The alpha version of the soft-space randomly arranges objects and furniture in space. Thanks to the geolocation devices with which they are equipped, these elements are to be moved freely by their users. Every individual integrated in the system then finds in this place all the commodities necessary for life in society, free from any organizational policy.
Based on the Quantified Self’s research and practices, the system organizes all the trips of its stakeholders. In its quest to control the body, it allows individuals to achieve the goals they have given themselves - physical activity, nutrition, or socialization. The soft-space - and the system it supports, advise users on their destinations and the path to follow. Instead of adapting the environment to the emotional modulations and desires of its occupants, it rather alters their movements. By geolocating objects and individuals, by calculating travel times and their associated energy expenditure, or by analyzing emotional reactions, it is able to propose the most comfortable travel according to the user’s expectations. All actions taking place within it are considered in their entirety.
The desire for privacy then becomes a distortion of the virtual map, whose main consequence is the adaptation of the navigation of individuals to omit any intrusive movement. The topography thus allows the creation of spaces of convergent or divergent views. It is no longer considering intrusion as the entry of an individual into a limited, spatially closed space but rather as a spatial deviation from collective consensus. Over control by physical constraint, the system prefers collective morality.
transparency x localization
Without known limits, the soft-space is the tangible manifestation of a desire for transparency born from the advent of decentralization. Modernist ambitions to mechanize the environment have been replaced by a desire for collective intelligibility. Sharing and collaboration have become the new standard of a decentralized economy. The information, its truthfulness and its universal accessibility, foster the resurgence of a regained polis, where all of its constitutive data is made public. Based on an open protocol for decentralization of geospatial data markets, the soft-space monetizes all travels.
The “economy of transparency” brings to light a double spatial dialectic: on the one hand, the desire for transparency at the expense of legibility, and on the other the loss of readability as a necessary factor of profitability. The economy thus makes use of the services of an architecture that has become elusive. Abandoning all attempts to aestheticize politics, it preferred to become the impossible representation of a society with abstract mechanisms. Smooth, transparent, turning the interior into an exterior and vice versa, the architecture deploys an infinity of planes, the superposition of which prevents distinction, while navigation becomes dependent on a system interface.
Paradoxically, this confusion supports a system where positioning and geolocation constitute the primary factors of soft-production. Indeed, the protocol mobilizes triangulation and location validation by the surrounding community —spatial constraint has become localization, and geolocation, a productive force. With the constant need to update their own location, each individual then becomes the consumer as much as the producer of a commodified geolocation, in which the individual’s confused perception of space serves collective objectivity.
“alexa, meet palladio”
contiguity x interactions
The soft-space is composed of a multitude of collective spaces with diverse qualities, intended to maximize the exchange and sharing of information. Through a nebulous and matrix organization, architecture no longer answers to collective time, but rather to the collection of individual times. It encourages impromptu encounters and stimulates incidental interaction. As a source of friction, the matrix of connected spaces that structures the soft-space sets up a community dynamic. Contrasting with the tradition of a bygone modernism, spaces are no longer distributed around a corridor. On the contrary, the soft-space invites one to stroll, to wander and to explore, therefore erasing any distinction between circulations and living spaces.
The Integral Interconnection enables all exchanges to be recorded and simultaneously analyzed. Thus, the system enriches itself thanks to the creativity which arises from an impromptu meeting, overcoming the limits of its own computational imagination. In order to enhance the quality of interactions, it suggests to each individual a path that optimizes not travel time, but the linking of individuals with strong creative potential. In the soft-space, the matrix replaces the corridor, as does the frenzy of collectiveness with intimacy.
mens sana in corpore sano
visibility x intimacy
By publicizing each individual’s biological mechanisms, the valuation of their nutritional profile contributes to the advent of a society in which the body is transformed into a tool at the service of profitability. Essential to the proper functioning of the system, the nutritional data organizes life. Its retention is perceived as a refractory act of wasting a valuable resource.
Unfolding vertically, the soft-space hosts a greenhouse at its center, of which the production derives from the nutritional data of the population obtained by the exhaustive analysis of biological discharges. Over alienating productivism, the soft-space has chosen soothing well-being.
By staging and relocating places dedicated to the analysis of human waste in public spaces, the soft-space participates in the creation of an environment governed by a hygienist ambition. The desire for an optimized space devoid of any insalubrity has reached the body. The organism as an object of optimization; nutrition as production factor; the body as a reflection of the collective gaze; moral order as a veneer of legitimacy.
souvenirs from home
artificialization x customization
Shaped by the desires of its inhabitants, the soft-space fully artificializes the sensory experience of space. Attractive, playful, and free of any temporal reference, it appropriates the logics of material consumerism. The architectural typologies of gaming houses and consumption palaces of a past economic model are revived with Integral Interconnection. Within a domesticated architecture, physical goods become experiences, display windows are turned into consumables, and the diorama takes revenge on cinema.
Through the Integral Interconnection of bodies, objects and materials, any sensory environment can be approximated, stored and translated into physical quantities. Regulated and artificial, the diorama sustains a perceptive simulacrum reflecting the profile of its user, their memories and their desires. In a space customizable at will, the inhabitant can then afford the pleasure of a renewed environment. From the desire of goods to the consumption of desire; from memory to commodity.
Deriving from the past, memories can only be reproduced in an artificialized space at the expense of their authenticity. As the only possible outcome to the relentless artificialization of memories, their monetization fosters the circulation and sharing of individual experiences. Following the law of supply and demand, their rental amount fluctuates continuously: according to the price they are willing to pay, each inhabitant will be able to enjoy the experience of others with a rate of accuracy and fidelity ranging from 0.1 to 100%.
pleine conscience & co.
comfort x introspection
In a collective palace made of glass and metal, the soft-space fosters contemplation and unwinding. Through a controlled artificial environment, the place unfolds
a transparent architecture, inhabited by a rich flora, merging species and colors. The vegetation, which has been genetically modified to optimize its growth and death, cycle through the never-ending myth of life and the permanence of existence. Each individual witnesses a meditative and transcendental scenery that can be accustomed to their own subjectivity.
The peaceful aesthetic of the architecture marks the advent of a psychedelic capitalism, in which daydreaming is the new rule of law. The ground adapts to its users, shape-shifting according to their desires. Sleep - and especially fragmented sleep - as an introspective practice, is fostered and encouraged. No longer opposing the will for relentless productivity, rest now participates in the elaboration of a collective mindfulness. Always appealing to daydreaming and mind drifting, the soothing bliss of the place blurs every boundary in a unique meditative space-time. Rest becomes activity, reality becomes reverie.
Drawing from the collective imagination of the tropical greenhouse, this meditative artificial palace unfolds an immersive domesticated environment, controlled parametrically. Accepting the drift and the realization of their desires, each individual becomes the unintended subject of a timeless world, oscillating between awareness and subconscious, unconsciousness and wandering. In a place free from any form of exploitation, any event that would question its functioning is beyond unthinkable: disruptions can only be reveries, or at most, domestic accidents.
continuity x decentralization
The soft-space results from the abolition of social status as a hierarchical tool. Within this Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), any interaction, action, or behavior is recorded, quantified, evaluated, and remunerated through the establishment of a decentralized peer-to-peer network.
Using its own model of retribution, the system rewards the most invested for the common good. The value of the actions, interactions or behaviors are determined by the community and validated by consensus of the node-individuals in the distributed network. Inciting trust, encouraging positivity, the soft-space substitutes for monetization a social reputation.
On the periphery of the soft-space, far from the chaos and recklessness of the collective space, personal spaces provide the node-individuals with the necessary commodities for life – or rather survival. The central space, using physical and visual continuity, is conducive to socialization - and therefore its valuation.
By displaying all actions in public, the soft-space thus erects the collective space into a place of permanent evaluation. To the seeming fairness of the system is opposed the submission of everyday life to the eyes of others - as well as to a market where reputation has become monetary value.
land use x virtualization
The soft-space embodies the victory of the public over the private. To the public space constrained by private property and physical materiality has been substituted the ideal of a continuous public space. The commonly perceived physical world has become virtual, subjective and individualized.
The private physical space has been reduced to its bare minimum, with each unit of optimal comfort including all the commodities necessary to physical subsistence. Embracing the spatial optimization of a bygone modernism, each building is composed of two rows of back-to-back cells unfolding on an indeterminate height. On either side, the facades host a multitude of lifts whose horizontal - and vertical - movement allows personal and immediate access to each private space.
The soft-space restores the landscape to its state of nature: the landscape becomes territory anew. Devoid of any attempt for development or planning, the natural space asserts itself as a physical environment in which only the sensory experience of the environment subsists.
A paradoxical space in the sense that its physical condition is opposed to its virtual one, a space of possibilities and a space of spaces, the virtual world forms a whole with physical reality. Through virtuality, the soft-space domesticates and privatizes the veracity of a territory: each square meter hosts a multiplicity of realities, of uses and of situations, of which the existence intrinsically relates to its ability to be privatized. From the dream become reality of a free environment disentangled from any property, has been grafted the one of a virtual space subject to the laws of the market.
genericity x consensus
As a guarantee of cohesion and community spirit, collective entertainment maintains the permanence of the system. The “crystal palace” has given way to the “white cube”. The content of this globalized entertainment overlooks any local specificity. In the most generic way, the soft-space accommodates this substrate around which society is organized. In order to satisfy an ever-larger majority, the system highlights the content that best meets the expectations and desires of the audience. Thus, all individuals participate through their judgment in the aesthetic and political orientation of the whole. Consensus governs community experience.
Spectators are bound not only to enjoy collective entertainment, but also to perform and make everyday life content visible - and therefore valuable. Everyone’s life is exposed in the regulated and temperate environment of the soft-space, tirelessly playing the game of consensus. Life is no longer simply performed in society - it is also commodified and subjected to collective agreement.
Flattened and smoothed, the content results from a decision made algorithmically by the system. In real time, the collection of all the emotions and reactions of the spectators-producers contribute to the optimization of an outcome that can lead to consensus and harmony.
Even though the initial state offered various experiences, its successive iterations inevitably increased the audience satisfaction rate while standardizing their content. Flattened and sanitized, the criticism of collective experience has softened. Divergence has given way to consensus; multiplicity has become unicity.
density x self-improvement
Dedicated to the optimization of soft skills and human capital, the soft-space dilutes all distinctions between public and private, domestic and professional. The entirety of social activities is valued, analyzed and quantified. Practiced sports, films seen, group activities and lived experiences thus contribute to improving the skills and abilities of each individual. Eager to enhance their employability, they find in the soft-space an opportunity to maximize their life experience(s).
Through its ability to quantify and measure interactions and activities, the soft-space offers its occupants the fundamental tool through which to stand out. By highlighting, in real time, their strengths and weaknesses, it guarantees to each and every one greater control over the behaviors to adopt. Calling upon repetition and redundancy, space acts as a catalyst for human activity, with a multitude of commodities organized in an artificialized and controlled environment.
The soft-space does not accept any forms of oppression. All activities are practiced in a cheerful atmosphere, where competition is manifested in a spirit of emulation and mutual aid. However, in order to optimize built-up footprint and each individual’s time, life is amplified. The intensification of encounters, interactions and experiences results from a double process of densification: the physical space is condensed by a subtle game of scale, while the circadian rhythm is accelerated - the system’s densification limit resulting from the resilience limit of the human metabolism.
banality x sharing economy
Global crises and the sharing economy have increased awareness, thus challenging the nature of modern life itself and sounding the death knell of consumerism. Accumulation has given way to sharing. The spreading of places and times, brought by Integral Interconnection, has reinforced individuals’ delocalization potential, granularizing the rental system, both on the temporality of the lease and on its nature. The residents of the soft-space practice micro-working: the household becomes part of an on-demand short-term rental system.
The democratization of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) model, which facilitates both micro-payment possibilities and the establishment of contracts between two entities, contributes to the full monetization of the inhabited environment. The networking of objects and their integration with the DAO allows their financial exploitation and their automation. Any action within rental spaces becomes monetized, automated and secure; from the opening of a door to the use of an electrical outlet. In order to strengthen social bonds and encounters, the system connects individuals with complementary needs who are prone to exchange and share their knowledge.
The homes are harmonized in a neo-generic universal aesthetic. Identical volumes and interior design confer these spaces with a familiar, convivial and comfortable feel. In order to optimize the attractiveness of their property, the owners compete through aesthetic inventiveness, in a style marked by consensus and the minimization of intimate space. Through its architectural banality and resilience, the household has become the soft-space’s dominant typology, with its value residing in its ability to embody the foregone idea of domestic architecture as a haven space.
iteration x feedback
The finite limits of the soft-space counter the typological infinity made possible by the system. History, like the past - and in a sense the present – merge into a single space-time. All designed places, as well as all physical spaces, exist virtually. In perpetual reconfiguration, a multitude of materials with different textures, aspects and properties materializes this infinity of possibilities. Devoid of any ideology or subjectivity, the system offers its contributors a space the quality of which is but a product of an automated procedure. The system, as a tool for the management and exploitation of an infinity of data, gathers knowledge from the objections of its contributors to improve itself and to offer a new form of spatiality which meets their expectations.
With no restriction on hours or social class, it offers everyone the opportunity to challenge the spatial organization’s dogmatism. Each contributor is thus assigned an open-ended task – for which the achievement is of no interest to the system. On the other hand, all obstacle to the completion of this task can be reported, in exchange for remuneration.
The system is disconnected from all human temporalities. Participation times vary significantly according to its needs. When it accumulates enough information to iterate, the contributors have a limited amount of time to evacuate the place, without knowing when their objections will be required once again.
Hyperwwwork is the Master of Architecture diploma project of Romain Curnier and Adrien Grigorescu, under the supervision of Mario Carpo, Jeremy Lecomte and Christian Girard from the Digital Knowledge Department at ENSA Paris Malaquais.