The Invisible Museum

Istanbul, Turkey

Location: Yenikapi, Istanbul, Turkey
Status: Concept
Awards: Rethinking the Future Awards 2014 - 1st award; The City Academy Awards 2015-1st award (buildings)
        

What is the role of the museum of tomorrow? How does it answer to the rapidly changing conditions of the digital age? In a world of mass connectivity and extreme growth we witness an online revolution which redefines our perception of reality. A period of globalization in which cultural institutions tend to lose their position within our present and not to mention our future society. The museum is a central figure within the urban hierarchy and it manages to preserve and maintain the cultural tangible and intangible heritage of the world. Unfortunately it often fails to answer to the high level of digitalization of our society. In its own idea it is so deeply rooted in its classical expression that it does not manage to transform itself to a place which can truly answer to the demands of our time. Today's museums are, as such, obsolete. New dynamics, the exposure by the web of all new works of arts  in an almost real time, the consumption of such works through the digital media, everything is challenging the notion of museum as a stationary box where artistic productions are displayed.

 

As Walter Benjamin predicted, the digital (mechanical in his age) reproduction of an artwork leads to the loss of its aura, but at the same time makes it available to the masses.

 

The project should address both the museum as a physical entity (or not) and the relationship of the museum as a public space with the urban context of the city, in this case Istanbul-one of the strongest examples of the evolution of contemporary global cities. As a place of high concentration of people from different nationalities, high density, it gives a good opportunity to face a possible concept for the museum of the future. Yenikapi is one of the most historically significant areas of the city. As a future infrastructural center it holds the urban potential for the development of a project of such typology.

The foundation of the concept of an invisible museum is based on computer and digital design. It takes into account main principles from the digital age, and translates them in potential architectural values:

01. Peer-to-peer connectivity is a key factor in the formation of a network. Through networking data can easily and rapidly be transfered giving the posibility to enhance and readapt to the changing conditions of the environment.

02. The importane of the relations between hardware and software. A division between fixed object with constant features, acting as a platform for various operations and functions given by different software systems.

03. The grid-based web design approach as a founding structure. Grid based design allows for the possibility to adapt the basic page to different devices and conditions. It is a foundational framework on top of which design can change, transform , evolve.

The "Invisible Museum" is located in Yenikapi , a historically significant site of Istanbul. As a place of high concentration of people from different nationalities and very high density it  gives a good opportunity to face a possible concept for new museological typology. As a future infrastructural center , Yenikapi  holds the urban potential for the development of a project of such typology.

 

The idea of the "Invisible Museum" evolves from one of the most fundamental principles of the digital age - the growing value of immateriality . As such it aims at creating an immaterial habitable space- an "Immaterial Building". A temporary habitable space which appears and is active only during the period in which it is used by its visitors. In order to achieve this  the project considers what are the main features of a normal building :

 

1. Comfort - inside the building you feel thermal comfort
 

2. Privacy - the walls of a building decrease the excessive noise from the  outside environment
 

3. Shelter - the roof of a building protects you from the weather conditions
 

4. Function- a building should provide functional conditions depending on its typology.

In order to provide all those features, instead of using solid materials, the project proposes the usage of cutting-edge technological devices which are installed underneath the park and can produce four immaterial layers.

All the devices are "masked as infrastructural elements such as lamps, benches or trash bins.

_comfort

_comfort


The temperature within a building varies between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. This temperature range guarantees thermal comfort for the users. In order to achieve such comfort the “Invisible Museum” has a convective micro-climatic system which generates thermal comfort. In order to create comfortable conditions for the usage of the digital spaces of the visual layer a microclimate must be established on the site. The layer is formed from a system of smart pillars which resemble street lamps. They are all organised in a grid system based digital grid of the augmented reality. In this way the two systems can be easily adjusted and the climate current which is blown from the pillars can be oriented according to the occupied spaces. 

_privacy


The Museum is a public building. As such privacy can mostly be achieved by finding a zone with decreased noise  from the surrounding. Based on this privacy in the "Invisible Museum" is achieved by creating sound spaces which follow the zones where the Virtual Galleries are active. The sound spaces are based on the principle of active noise control in which sound from the outside is taken via microphone and repelled via counter waves produced from a speaker. This does not lead to absolute silence but results in change of the state of sound. We can decrease the constant noises surrounding the site by providing microphones in the periphery and speakers under the urban furniture. In our scenario the benches are considered as sources of "anti sound" forming changing with the augmented layer. 

_shelter

Every building is above all a shelter from the influence of the outside environment. Inspired from experimental devices in contemporary product design the "Invisible Museum" has a system of pillars which can generate surface of air which repels the falling rain and acts as a temporary roof system. The air pressure layer allows to block the rain, in case of such, through suction in the tubes of the lights. Air is taken from the foundation of the lamp and turbulated through the top resulting in an invisible layer of air pushing away the rain. The system responds the change of the augmented layer.
 

_function


The original and foremost function of a museum is to preserve the tangible and non tangible heritage of the world. However , the contact between people and artefacts remains on visual level. Based on this "The Invisible Museum" is a virtual building with digital copies or originals displayed with Augmented Reality. The augmented spaces are observed through glasses or devices which allow for the possibility to observe virtual images of this character. As the "building" is constantly connected to the internet all information about digital representation of artworks can be accessed and represented. Spaces can be customized and transformed according to the necessity of the exhibition, whether personal or public. The augmented spaces are adjusted according to the floor system of the park, in which every hole is actually a pixel in an overall image.

Together all of the layers male a building which is just as responsive as a desktop program or telephone application.The invisible museum is an interactive digital/physical spaces which is constantly in process according to the urban conditions. It is a global building in which all online information can be represented and accessed. It allows people to learn from works of art in a different way. It is a possible way to consider how to maintain the interest in the field of history and art.

Each of the points represents a particular device from each of the following layers

The software of the "Invisible Museum" uses sensory system which feeds data related to the number of visitors and the spaces they occupy. The galleries adapt and transform according to the number of visitors and the preset of the exhibition. In this way the building exists only when it is activated and its size and resource usage corresponds to the level of its usage.

The software of the "Invisible Museum" uses sensory system which feeds data related to the number of visitors and the spaces they occupy. The galleries adapt and transform according to the number of visitors and the preset of the exhibition. In this way the building exists only when it is activated and its size and resource usage corresponds to the level of its usage.

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