Datatecture: Creating a real home for a virtual identity
It is increasingly common to live in continual flux between reality and virtuality – for architecture this means a dwindling focus on the built environment. For the architectural discipline to respond to these rapidly changing user-demands, a proactive relationship with our digital environment is required. It is proposed that a key occupation of the architectural discipline in the near future will be designing architecture that caters to our ‘real-world’ selves but takes advantage of the broad range of data available to us from the digital realm. This thesis proposes that within the big data stored about all those who engage with the digital environment, lies data that can influence and benefit the architectural discipline and allow us to respond convincingly to the increasing focus on digital and virtual engagement. As people increasingly ‘live online’ architects can now derive information about clients not only from meeting them in person but also by scraping data on their digital lives and constructing what is referred to in this thesis as a digital identity. The digital identity can include data about a myriad of architectural influences such as taste, activity and lifestyle. This thesis considers which data may become available over the next decade, how architectural designers can embrace it without specialist data-centric skill-sets and how it may help personalise architecture. A large amount of data is collected on the author from both ‘real-world’ scenarios and ‘virtual’ inhabitation of digital space. This data, along with other public sources of data are explored in terms of architectural potential, culminating in a vision for a new data-based and ultimately more efficient method for personalising and inhabiting architecture.