Why do we have such a dissonant and apathetic global community? The human web clings together on our conquered sphere, separated from the void of space only by a thin atmosphere. As we grow stronger and our world grows more connected, each action resonates farther around the globe. We have built a global civilization, and our fates are tied together. Yet we remain divided. We have trouble extending our understanding outside of our immediate surroundings. We only experience each other through the disembodied spectacle and biased filter of media. We have a global civilization, but we do not yet have a truly global community.
Our reactive structure seeks to provide direct connection and entanglement between non-adjacent localities through the use of digitally enabled phenomenological experiences. It will create a permanent feed-back loop between spaces where spontaneous interactions and real connections are possible. Our structure will channel human empathy, across continents, between cultures, underneath biases, to connect an unconnected world and fight apathy.
When our mind first confronts the problem of global apathy, it immediately grasps for a purely digital solution. Let us make a website, or an app, our intuition tells us. Why must this be an architectural solution, we ask? Humans gather together in places, we commune in the spatial world, the supreme dramas of our lives take place on physical stages. No website can ever simulate a church, no chatroom a dinner table. Furthermore, the disembodied online world has proved to be just as divisive as connective, with anonymous and impersonal mind-states filtering into digital echo-chambers of bias. On the other hand, the spatial art of architecture has largely ignored the extraordinary reactive ability of modern telecommunications to dissolve boundaries and connect localities. The most powerful space would use both methods, would enable human communion through a powerful physical environment, intertwined with immersive digital techniques. Such a space would exist together in two or more locations, securely rooted in the ground yet spanning the earth. Such as space is what we have strived to design.
If our aim is to enable direct and genuine connection, the moments that users experience must be novel, spontaneous, and self-driven. Therefore the space must be largely programmable, especially if it is to serve different cultures around the world. The space must be able to awe without distracting, must be able to channel mutual experience without narrating. It would be usable by all ages. Our space includes places where one might play, might dance, might rest. The users would experience each other experiencing the interesting space around them. The roof structure dances with light and wind and adapts to any environment. The stage structure provides a space for whimsical or intellectual collaboration. The quiet chambers provide intimacy. All around are echoes of connection, suggesting the presence of other playful minds.
This structure will be an important step toward building a global community. History has divided us, but a fusion of reactive architecture and technology can bring us together.