Silent Garden

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Today, communication systems such as the Internet, email, and mobile phones, regulate our accessibility to information networks. However, these technologies also allow others to access us, to the extent that we ourselves become indistinguishable from other forms of information. Treated as a new type of commodity, similar to information, we can always be accessed regardless of our location. The need for private time—a time only for ourselves when we are not a commodity accessible to others—urges us to turn off these communication devices, leaving us nevertheless burdened with a sense of guilt. There is societal pressure to stay connected, constantly eliminating any possibility of hiding.

I believe that it is only through the spatial reorganization of the public environment that this private time could successfully be implemented. Silent Garden proposes a public space defined through the creation of a signal ‘dead’ spot where wireless reception is blocked out. The aluminum structure reflects radio waves at the same time that it channels rain water into the ground defining ‘living’ spots where vegetation will grow. The enjoyment of our private time is made possible through the manipulation of our current public ecosystem. Silent Garden alters our current urban notions allowing citizens to constantly redefine their own temporal paces.

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Project Data

Silent Garden
Design Speculation
October 2004

Design Team: Sergio Lopez-Pineiro

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