The architecture for mobile communities
Zinski, Matthew David
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There is a reciprocal relationship that exists between communications technology and the cultures that produce them. While culture creates technology to enable it to communicate better, technology in turn affects that culture above and beyond its initial intent. Architecture is an integral part of this relationship because it is the material manifestation of this exchange. It develops structural, programmatic, and formal languages around technological advances to house communication (telephone, railroad, airplane) and organize the culture (telecommunication, migration, multinationality) that emerges around it. Today's technological advances have allowed communications to become increasingly mobile. In turn, the culture utilizing these technologies is organizing itself in fluid ways. If technology has mobilized communication and culture, how can architecture respond accordingly? This thesis proposes the reinvigoration and reorganizing of existing but obsolete communications hubs to accommodate progressive technological impacts. The mobility of communications technology and culture do not necessarily require that architecture become mobile in unison. Instead architecture must formally and programmatically change to have the proper capacity for transient communities. This is increasingly important in sites of antiquated communications technology infrastructure since they have and still act as significant pieces of architecture in a city. If such sites are not able to provide for mobile cultures they will ultimately become obsolete, causing the downfall of architecture's role in creating communal centers. By rethinking obsolete communications hubs in light of new mobile technologies, architecture's programmatic and formal contribution to sustaining a productive relationship between communication and culture can thrive.