Trust in the Blockchain Society

The ultimate merging of architecture and technology might be already 60 years old, when Le Corbusier, Edgar Varèse and Iannis Xenakis created the Philips pavilion for the World Expo 1958 housing a multimedia spectacle demonstrating the latest technology at the time.

This optimistic, interactive relation seems lost, lately. Both architecture and technology developed on their own, not too much aware of each other’s existence. One could argue that with the advent of the ‘smart city’ this relation was restored and renewed, but that’s true only on a superficial level.

The ‘smart city’ as it used to be understood tended to look for short term fragmented and tech driven solutions that were merely additions to the physical environment. We need a far more integrated, multidisciplinary approach for the large societal, environmental and economic developments that are underway. An approach which will not look at the phenomena, but rather at the causes. We are in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution which entails a transformation from “automated” to “autonomous”. which has far reaching consequences for the position of the individual; how information is used; how decisions are made; how mobility and education are organized, how the future of property is or the transformation of the job market.

The algorithm is the new alphabet, along which our societal and economical history is about to be written.

Architectural intelligence is needed to help rethink the way we like this new environment to look like. Archis/Volume will be working with a large group of international partners with the aim to bridge the design and tech communities both on the level of practice and theoretical discourse. As a working tool we are looking at the core characteristics of Blockchain (being public, encrypted, synchronised and distributed) to see if we can bring back trust in our societies. Volume 51 Augmented Technology operates as a manifesto issue that sets the ground for further in-depth, specific research and represents the first outcome of this project.

Stay tuned and send us a note if you’re interested in joining in.