The Architecture of Words and Images: Comunication in the Digital Era
“Come In”, from the design “La Casa – Cuerpo”. Author: Ángela Rodriguez. Illustrator and tattoo artist in Sherpahead.1
Back in the 1980s, when networks were associated with local circles, Isaac Asimov said in an interview that the time would come when great, interconnected digital libraries would make it possible for the majority to have “one on one (mentor-apprentice) relationships“.
Non-imposed self-learning would be not only for youth, and everyone would have the chance to continue their own calling and enjoy learning in their own direction.
When imagining that future, so normal for us today, we find ourselves with what is perhaps an unexpected surprise. Now, we are no longer only consumers, but also producers of opinion, information, and, above all, projects. We find that there isn’t any imposition either, nor is there any given direction or age to generate, develop and share experiences, experiments and knowledge.
The line now separating production from consumption of designs is as thin as the line separating good and evil. This constant vicious circle makes us all not only vicious ourselves but, much more importantly, independent.
Years ago, publishing (books, magazines, music, and everything that can be disseminated by “publication”) was guided exclusively be trend. Turning to architecture, the publication of designs was dominated by these magazines, which obviously followed an editorial line, as by architecture critiques. And thought appeared in the confines of books and an occasional column here and there. The problem was, what happened when only a few people could afford such an investment? What happens is that thought is guided and talent is limited.
The first example of the revolution is blogs. Blogs as totally customised designs, (initially) non-profit, or major websites with millions of visits, major sources of consulting designs, articles, news and everything related to current events in architecture. With blogs there is constant synergy, which when we were merely consumers was very hard to develop. With websites, there is symbiosis, where one party obtains a means to disseminate its work while the other gains fresh content for its communication. Supply burgeons and consumption is diversified.
Far from getting into a debate about all of the information circulating around, which is another debate in itself, I’m interested in focusing on another concept. Production today is totally indie, and choice totally free.
The music, cinema, videogame, graphic arts and, naturally, architecture markets are now dominated by small producers, those that were always non-indoctrinated, who had a simple, personal conception of things, an illusion, a hidden monster, lunacy that went against the tide of major trends, inappropriate for the masses, simply because the masses had an orchestra leader. It turns out that what is indie, made by a supposed minority, is now the vast majority.
All small projects can become great. Architecture built with words, expressed in images, doodles, or even in mere dreams. Welcome, little monsters.