This short film shows the product of an investigation into disruptive technologies with regards index & place. It shows how unsuspecting individuals interact with a time delayed projection of a live space. A time delay of 8 and 16 seconds is overlaped to represent the idea of digital shadows and the past. The individuals are invited to 'Take A Seat' and pause. The simple act of pausing allows individuals to reflect on their past before their past catches up with them. This idea of 'pausing' is vital in everyday life as people should reflect before making decisions on their future.
With education becoming more and more digitised and much more time spent using online resources for learning, education technologies, networks, and forms of connectivity are undeniably altering how the average school is designed. By investigating this, I hoped to get a better understanding of what really constitutes school and education for today’s youth.
As a title for my work I have coined the term ‘Emollient Architecture’.
Emollient: (Adj) - Having the quality of softening or soothing the skin. Attempting to avoid confrontation or anger; calming or pacifying: the president’s emollient approach to differences.
My project centered around the idea of how smartphone apps like Vine and Twitter, in conjunction with social media, can be used as an emollient, bridging the gap between the past, present and future of Portobello High School. I hoped that the old school, before its inevitable physical destruction, could be reflected, substituted or indeed become a digital index.
I believe the school building is here to stay and indeed the digital can only optimise its performance. However it is this interaction between reality and the digital, which is the most import framework for education to begin to tackle. Technology is also here to stay, so schools need to start adopting teaching methods that apply it in the best possible fashion. It is crucial we begin to understand that we have a new digitised eco-system where the human is at the centre. We must understand that it is this ‘network of things’, and how they all work together to create a responsive feedback loop between lead user, the digital and their reality. It is about our digital interfaces and connections being inextricably linked with human purpose, rather than your m-learning device being at the centre. The human will always be at the centre. The digital can only ever be a representation of reality, so without reality there can be no digital.
Post-digital is not anti-digital. It extends digital into the beyond. The web becomes not a destination in itself but a route map to somewhere real. In Marshall McLuhan's terminology, the digital is cold where real life is hot. This is why concerts did not die with the invention of records, but thrived on the difference. The screen relieves loneliness, as once did letters and phones, but it remains a window on the world, not a door. You cannot download the thunderous beat and sweaty presence of thousands at a concert, any more than you can make love on Facebook, much as some try. You have to go somewhere for it to happen.
The more the digital world improves in its best attempt to feel natural, I believe there will be a humanistic need to take more time out, to slow down and get back to what they believe is real. As this seamless link that designers are striving to create between both worlds becomes more ambivalent, I anticipate humans desire for physical connection will become stronger. This is the true reason for why I believe school buildings and physical space for learning is so important to the development of children and their potential for innovation in the future.
This animation/ video tries to represent the school building as a white canvas for these connections, memories, interactions and real life to exist upon. A metaphor for my belief of what really constitutes 'School'.