Workshop, day 1: pre-tutorial post

If the protesters are really eager to “change the capitalist system”, as they have proclaimed, this would require direct interaction with the City of London Corporation. Most of the Corporation’s meetings are public, and take places in two types of spaces: the Great Hall of Guildhall, where general council meetings take place (magenta) and smaller spaces in the adjacent building, where committee meetings take place (yellow) as well sometimes the square (cyan). The protesters, however, have not at all been active to join the actual political process instead preferring a more public but less focused way of voicing their opinions – although they have always claimed they want to be “heard”. Thus it is clear that both sides are just playing their game to impress the public.

From here comes the concept of a “meeting space” (orange) between the two parties that would serve the sole purpose of staging these meetings: meetings for the sake of being seen at one, not genuine meetings to solve problems.

Thus the design of theproject has to be fake (like in the old section drawing), but believable (unlike in the old section drawing) – it has to look and act like an actual “democratic” office. To solve this as a design problem, I would ask myself: What would Norman Foster do? The project has to be a combination of corporate classics + “sustainability”: images below, row 1.

Obviously, it also has to be fake. Fake meetings are set up through TV screens, on which purely electronic clones of the Lord Mayor engage in discussions with the citizens. The speeches they give are completely automated, reacting instantly to trends in various social networks – creating a Lord Mayor that is completely controlled by the protesters, even though they do not know it: below, row 2.

This raises a question: why a building at all if the meetings and all interaction can be copletely automated and electronic? Because 1: For symbolism; 2: as a sign of a “real democratic change” – because, even though the protesters are all electronic and i-Phoned up, they still feel the urge to have something real and personal that they can touch: row 3. (this last bit is obviously a stretch, but it could work)


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