Note: an interesting project /book by Space Caviar about the “house” under the pressure of “multiple of forces - financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical -”, to read in the frame of I&IC. Through its title, the book obviously address the question of domesticity immersed into technologies and the monitoring of its data.
While our project is gravitating around “networked objects/spaces”, the question of their monitoring, so as the production or use of data (“pushed” into to the cloud?) immediately comes into question, of course.
Via Space Caviar
Note: I had the opportunity to lead a workshop last year for fabric | ch at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, for the student of the Tsinghua Art & Sciences Media Laboratory. The workshop took place during a residency at the university and we developed the idea of revisiting the computer cabinet, possibly inhabiting it and developing a symbiotic environment between human and computers. The workshop was short and ideas didn’t have the occasion to unfold very far unfortunately. It even became later an open call during the last Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Yet this workshop undoubtedly constituted the preliminary work before the redaction of this research project and it could continue to be a line of thinking during this project.
Below are the storyboard little sketches I made at that time to introduce this workshop.
Via fabric | rblg
I came back from Beijing more than a month ago now and before Christian Babski will return next week to China for fabric | ch during another month to finish our residency at the Tsinghua University (until mid July), I’m taking a bit of time to write a follow-up about the short workshop/sketch session I headed there with the students of Prof. Zhang Ga, at the Tsinghua Art & Sciences Media Laboratory.
Interestingly, when it comes to experimentation with hardware and The Cloud (or more generally with servers), the most interesting and almost crazy examples are made by the hobbyists and makers who are building and customizing their own data (Bitcoin) mining farms.
It happens in their houses, caves, bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, etc., it seems their are no limits to experimentation. A “house miner” even hacked his own swimming pool to cool down his servers (Portrait of a Bitcoin Miner, link below).
It is almost a subculture of home-brewed personal data-centers, built at home (or at the small office).
A few notable examples in pictures above (where we can verify that the questions of cooling and cables organization are for real…)
More insane rigs:
A portrait of “Eric”, a Bitcoin miner:
“Eric built a custom cooling system using water from his swimming pool.”
And more “mining rigs” of all sorts on Google Image…
The following text was written as a description of our goals later in 2013, prior to the start of the project. The structure of the text follows the given guidelines. So to say, to get financing.
It is nonetheless a blueprint of what we intend to do and is published on the I&IC blog as a matter of documentation.
Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s)
An intredisciplinary design research project under the co-direction of Prof. Patrick Keller (ECAL) and Nicolas Nova (HEAD). With the support of HES-SO and the collaboration of ECAL, HEAD, EPFL (Prof. Dieter Dietz) and EPFL+ECAL Lab (Dir. Nicolas Henchoz).
This design research project explores the creation of counter-proposals to the current expression of “Cloud Computing”, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (“Personal Cloud”). It is to offer a critical appraisal of this “iconic” infrastructure of our modernity and its user interfaces, because to date their implementation has followed a logic chiefly of technical development, governed by the commercial interests of large corporations, and continues to be seen partly as a purely functional, centralized setup. However, the Personal Cloud holds a potential that is largely untapped in terms of design, novel uses and territorial strategies. Through its cross-disciplinary approach, our project aims at producing alternative models resulting from a more contemporary approach, notably factoring in the idea of creolization (Glissant, 1990). From a practical standpoint, the project is intended to produce speculative versions of the “Personal Cloud” in the form of prototypes (whether functional or otherwise) of new interfaces, data processing, reactive environments and communicating objects. To do this, the project will be built around three dimensions forming the relevant pillars of a cross-disciplinary approach: interaction design, the architectural and territorial dimension, and the ethnographic dimension.
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