projects

The Netlab's current research projects are in two areas: urbanism and culture. In both cases, the Netlab undertakes forensic investigations that shed light on how telecommunications, digital technology, and changing social demographics are changing contemporary life in unprecedented ways. In addition, the Netlab collaborates with AUDC on projects complimentary to the mission of both institutions. Throughout, the Netlab uses the tools of the architect (the drawing and the model) together with photography, historical, and theoretical analysis to produce research at unique contact points.  

Urbanism

The Netlab is committed to understanding changing urban conditions. 

The Infrastructural City investigates how networked, codependent systems shape the urban realm. A major milestone was reached in this project with the publication of The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles in December 2008. Since then, the Netlab has continued investigating changing conditions of infrastructure, focussing on the prospects for a WPA 2.0 and the political and economic challenges that such an initiative would face. The Netlab has also explored the threat of underfunding infrastructure and how it might contribute to societal collapse.

Network City is a major new project for the Netlab, exploring the impact of new technologies on everyday life in major metropolitan areas. New Typologies looks at how prosaic building practices are being transformed by these technologies and by changing social demographics. Simultaneous Environments uses photography to explore how individual and group behavior in space is being reshaped by new technologies. 

Culture

The Network Culture project sets out to understand the contemporary era as a distinct period shaped by both new technologies and changing sociocultural forces. Published by MIT Press in September, 2008, Networked Publics explored the new relationships between producers and consumers made possibly by maturing new media ecologies. The Netlab continues the research in Networked Publics in a series of discussions at Columbia University's Studio-X bringing together scholars and practitioners in diverse fields to examine the impact of the changing nature of the public on architecture, the city, and the media. 

AUDC

The Netlab also works with AUDC, a transdisciplinary practice that takes as its inspiration the radical architecture groups of the late 1960s. AUDC explores changing roles of subjectivity through a series of investigations into specific historical conditions. Published in January, 2007, Blue Monday: Stories of Absurd Realities and Natural Histories, investigates our relentless drive to submit to power. Questioning the boundaries of architecture, art, history, and theory, works done by AUDC in collaboration with the Netlab question accepted assumptions and conventions.The Netlab continues to collaborate with AUDC in the Hawthorne Effect, a book-length project on social psychology and its role in society. Excerpts from the Hawthorne Effect have been published in New Geographies, Perspecta, and Design Ecologies