Research


For those of you who are interested, are following the progress, or are planning to visit the symposium that will take place within TAB 2015 (Tallinn Architecture Biennale) this September – below is a little update on our status. Just as a teaser: we are expecting Carlo Ratti, Lev Manovich, Steve Diskin and Salome Galjaard, among others. Click on the image to be redirected to the TAB’s web-site and read more.

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An absolutely awesome talk about algorithms and how they shape our world by Kevin Slavin on TED.

Especially fascinating to me is how Kevin goes over exactly the things I was discussing in my thesis starting at 8:45 into the talk – the influence of computing on culture, the relation of our modern culture and algorithms, and finally – the trend to put data centers into cities because, financially, it makes so much sense!

Check out Kevin’s talk on TED by clicking on the image below.

Click on the image to watch the talk on TED

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NEWS: my academic work of the last two years has finally come to its end, concluding in a Master’s Thesis book called “Exposing the Data Center”. Done and done!

Abstract of the thesis is as follows:

“Given the rapid growth in the importance of the Internet, data centers – the buildings that store information on the web – are quickly becoming the most critical infrastructural objects in the world. However, so far they have received very little, if any, architectural attention. This thesis proclaims data centers to be the “churches” of the digital society and proposes a new type of a publicly accessible data center.

The thesis starts with a brief overview of the history of data centers and the Internet in general, leading to a manifesto for making data centers into public facilities with an architecture of their own. After, the paper proposes a roadmap for the possible future development of the building type with suggestions for placing future data centers in urban environments, incorporating public programs as a part of the building program, and optimizing the inside workings of a typical data center. The final part of the work, concentrates on a design for an exemplary new data center, buildable with currently available technologies.

This thesis aims to:
1) change the public perception of the internet as a non-physical thing, and data centers as purely functional infrastructural objects without any deeper cultural significance and
2) propose a new architectural language for the type.”

If this sounds interesting, make sure to get in touch and request a copy of the publication. I believe you can also find it in the Virginia Tech library. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail if you want to help me take this work further in the form of lectures, talks, advance research or actual construction.

Cheers,

Ivan

 

P.S. A few snippets from the final “book”:

 

What is the "cloud"?

What is the “cloud”?

 

What we thought was ephemeral, is actually very physical: the rise of silicon materiality

The cloud – that we thought was ephemeral – is actually very physical. It signifies the rise of a “silicon materiality”.

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Data centers, spread out across the city, form a rhizome. They contribute to their surroundings via their unique spatial features, and become public spaces.

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They could be anything.

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A case study of a new-age super-dense data center on Broadway.

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As seen from Lafayette St…

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…and from Broadway.

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In section.

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In plan.

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Exposing the structure within.

A good read for those interested in the relation of the Cloud and physical space, and what we have coming up (may-be).

Software Is Reorganizing the World
BY BALAJI SRINIVASAN

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/software-is-reorganizing-the-world-and-cloud-formations-could-lead-to-physical-nations/

I was recently invited to speak at a conference in Tartu University on the topic of “Bridging borders”. The title of my talk was “Building the buildings that fly”, as I believe that gravitation is one of the “holy grails” – or “ultimate borders” – of architecture. Ended up talking mostly about the work of other people who inspire me, but it was still a pleasure to participate and the feedback was very positive too. So, take a look if you’re interested.

Thanks to the University of Tartu and the American Embassy in Tallinn for inviting me to speak.

The videos of the talks by other speakers can be found here.

General info about the event can be found here.

Continuing on the topic of 3D printing and biomimetics…

Some info here.

How about doing some architectural modelling with live computers? Feels like open heart surgery..

 

For all of you computer engineers out there: Mwahahahaa!!

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