USC School of Architecture
critic: Doris SUNG.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Zack MATTHEWS: This undergraduate thesis focuses on the contemporary condition of “digital addiction” and how the broad embrace of digital space has come at the expense of culturally significant, physical social exchanges.
Virtual space has become so addictive because of its capacity to overstimulate user perceptions. One can play a favorite song on his or her phone while browsing the latest news on a computer, while playing an interactive game on a tablet.
Upon reentering physical space, banalities of reality are magnified and relapse back into the digital realm is thus increasingly inevitable.
How do we make the physical environment as potent as the space accessible through technological devices? Or, how can cultural addiction to personal technologies be delayed?
#HOUSEFORTHEDIGITALFIEND addresses this question by reexamining the wall as a performative surface that intensifies perceptual engagements—specifically sight, sound, and touch. These perceptions are of interest as they are among the few natively overstimulated through technology.
By amplifying a non-virtual experience through channeling and isolating sound, contorting and clarifying vision, and repelling then invoking occupation, the wall becomes an interactive element that makes physical space as enticing and as engaging as the digital realm. Once physical engagement rebuts the strength of digital engagement, the intent is that this will delay further cultural spiral toward digital addiction.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
ZM: Contemporary culture’s obsession with personal technology, as well as a growing inability to embrace personal interaction with one another.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
ZM: Reading Vittoria Di Palma, Blurs, Blots and Clouds: Architecture and the Dissolution of the Surface; Peter Eisenman, Blurred Zones; Marshall McLuhan; and Lebbeus Woods’s blog. Listening to Yelawolf, Logic, and Tame Impala.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
ZM: Oyler Wu Collaborative, UNStudio, Morphosis, and Preston Scott Cohen.