Playful Infrastructure

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“Keitai (“portable”), the shortened term for a cell phone, has come to mean much more than a portable communication terminal: the keitai has become an indispensable tool for constructing the infrastructure of everyday life. […] This spatial design competition seeks new proposals concerning the relationship between the urban environment and keitai in the near future.” From the competition brief.

This proposal studies the possibility of implementing a new private time by reorganizing the public environment through the use of a portable device called ZEP: an inflatable keitai holding a cell phone blocker, a fan, and an air heater. This balloon would jam cell phones eliminating their reception within different ranges. Its nature is neither public nor private: it can be enjoyed individually or shared with others by combining many ZEPs into any sort of construction. Through constant public negotiations, ZEPs define a formless, mobile, and playful infrastructure. Acting as a toy, its innocence defies technological, economical, and political urban notions allowing inhabitants to constantly redefine their own city’s image, its spatial limits and their own temporal paces.

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Project Data

Playful Infrastructure
Competition Proposal, Honorable Mention
September 2005

Design Team: Sergio Lopez-Pineiro
Submitted to: Keitai City 1st Docomo International Architectural Design Competition, organized by NTT DoCoMo and Shinkenchiku-sha, Tokyo, Japan

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