Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Just in terms of keeping everyone updated:

I have taken a few steps back over the last couple of days as I have been struggling to justify the need for a standalone data bank on the water without first addressing any other future RDM development. I also think it would be more interesting in terms of 'urban fabric' to investigate possibilities for RDM expansion into and around the existing warehouse buildings on the site. I don't think this has rendered the data bank obsolete, however I would like to integrate it into a more considered masterplan for the entire site. Elin and myself are beginning to share ideas on this.

I have been looking into the issues surrounding education under capitalism and also some theories on what universities might be like in the future particularly focusing on their hierarchy, function and educational culture in a post-capitalist society. I am interested in how the universities of today are governed from a hierarchal perspective compared to how they might be run in the future. This could influence the architecture, both literally and symbolically.

I am working on two graphical diagrams explaining existing and proposed governance and economic motivators within universities informed by the texts that I've attached to this post. The diagrams are drawn from the perspective of someone moving through the existing and proposed systems. The plan is to take that individual and use him/her within my building proposal. As I'm doing this I'm trying to work on a masterplan for the RDM site and think about spaces within a building proposal. I've been quite stuck with it all, but I'm hoping this will help me move forward.

Hopefully I'll post these diagrams tomorrow.

Links to texts below:


  1. Very interesting!

    The 'Trust University' proposal fits very well with the society we're envisioning, with multiple forms of property (state, co-operative, private, mutual etc) and poses a challenge to the 'neoliberal' university. On a cultural level, Paul Goodman's 1960s arguments on the 'community of scholars' as opposed to the university wedded to the military-industrial complex may be relevant here. (See, e.g., here, here, here and here (note also his connection with architecture and urbanism).

    I liked the idea of the data bank as a piece of 'post-human architecture' but its rational function would have to be thought through carefully -- as in, why on earth would you build your server farm on-site, over water, and over rising water at that? We can rationalise this with the need for micro- or nanosecond transmission, but this would have to be balanced against the obvious physical security problems. Also, even without imagining exotic future discoveries and technological breakthroughs in data storage, we shouldn't project our images of banks of whirring servers seven decades into the future.

    Are there other technological requirements that might force RDM into building such a massive structure? Or could it be something that is left over from an earlier phase of development when huge server farms were required, but is now obsolete?

    1. Thanks Ken - those links are really helpful!


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