FUTURE FIRM


Recently, we’ve been interested in the architectural implications of night: what occurs, flickers, transpires, is built or destroyed, in the hours of darkness? Who do you break the law with? What wakes at twilight? Can night be an allegory for entering into the subconscious and uncanny territories of the built environment and lived experience?

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According to Architects Newspaper's coverage of the project, the project was a "wry proposal to make Obama’s the first drone-driven library in presidential history. Though it presented the concept with a straight-faced optimism, [Martin] Klaschen said, the subject matter belies a critique of Obama’s legacy as the face of a growing surveillance apparatus and military-industrial complex."


2015
Chicago, IL
Proposed for: Chicago Architectural Club, Chicago Prize



The Drone Aviary is a building oriented to the sky instead of the street. It is also a library that, like an Amazon warehouse, collects and disburses artifacts rather than locking them away. The legacy of the Obama Presidency is the population and automation of the skies, transformed into a critical operation of his presidential library.
    The Obama Library drones collect data in an age when libraries no longer rely on books but rather the accumulation of digital information. Quadcopters scan midwestern agricultural production, monitor the climate, and even follow the former president for live updates. The drones also serve physically distribute information. Chicago’s teachers who want to share with their students the pen used by Barack Obama to sign the healthcare reform bill simply request that the library send it via drone to their classroom.
    The tower has few inhabitants. Drones move about making necessary repairs to one another and the building. Artifacts remain tucked into the Aviary wall until they are called upon for delivery, future iterations of existing library automation services in place at sites like the University of Chicago. Long dark banks of servers whirl away between drone stations. A lone repairman wanders the tower executing the few tasks the drones cannot.
    At street level a sculpted landscape serves as a neighborhood park. Visitors lie in the grass and watch the drones navigate and cruise in the tower above. Larger winged drones land gracefully on the river to be elevated up the towers central void. A few rooms for visitors lie tucked away beneath the landscape, but mostly they remain empty. The Drone Aviary is a library for logistics. To experience all the treasures left by the Obama Administration, put your feet up, fire up a laptop, and click Submit Request.

Chicago, IL

312-487-1459