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Europan 14: Productive Cities


City: Narvik
Title: It’s alive

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Digitalism introduced a profound transformation in economic production models at a global scale, freeing itself from the constraints of assembly lines, which encouraged systematic identical manufacture. Variable production methods are now efficient thanks to digital modeling and access to 3D printing. Learning methods have been diluted in space and time thanks to Video-tutorials, available to any user with a network connection. The Internet has ceased to be a tool to become a context itself. Our degree of social integration depends on our level of connection. The immediate physical environment does not limit us anymore. We have become Virtual Nomads.
Digital media is producing a dissociation between dwelling and working locations. We will achieve an unknown degree of freedom regarding where we want to physically settle, independently of our career.

The moment we disconnect from the virtual world, our physical context takes the lead. We are facing the evolution of Huizinga’s Homo Ludens. The Homo Ludens Ludens. This specie seeks a place that meets the appropriate conditions to facilitate the free creation of its own non-digital life, while allowing full connection to virtual network. A place to develop his productive abilities based on shared knowledge, while defending the ludic and social character of learning.

Empty factory buildings filled cities in the post-industrial era. Since the beginning of the digital revolution, a parallelism is happening with office and corporate buildings. They are not able to respond anymore to the present and variable needs the current labor market has. Their lack of adaptability makes them obsolete.

Instead of demolishing, reprogramming. All superfluous layers of the building are removed, reducing it to its fundamental elements, which differ for every building. Sometimes it’s the whole. Sometimes it is just the frame.
Reprogramming existing buildings already embedded in the common city imaginary reinforces collective identity, generating a much-needed sense of belonging.

It is our responsibility to create social activity condensers within our cities where Virtual Nomads can interact with their material context. We must create hyper-connected public space in order to generate gradual transitions between both realities.
Through the use of activating elements we seek a relational adaptable public space, where the architecture itself disappears to become a process.