Cells, Modules, Series the rationale of space processing in the age of containers
presentation given at North Western University, German Dept.
Feb., 13th 2006
When technology reaches its ultimate perfection it turns into architecture (Mies van der Rohe). Seen from this point of view, it is more than a metaphor when the spatial designs of computer hardware and software and that of the virtual realities in communication and information platforms are called „architecture“: information architecture, data architecture, computer architecture. The worlds of information and architecture seem to be intertwined in many ways, on their material levels as well as on their conceptual and imaginary levels. Certain elements and/or core ideas operate as constitutive factors in all of them, thus connecting the different spheres from within. The container is one of these elements.
Having emerged parallel in architecture and in logistics/transportation industry as a „digital“ object, the container combines the ideas of computing time and space: workflows and storage capacities. As an outcome of the development of rational space division namely: the grid and the implementation of zero as center of a system of digits which allows to calculate the virtual the basis of bookkeeping and data processing , today’s standardized shipping container and its kinship formats function as „universal packing machines“: processable space modules, or threedimensional wildcard characters, the generic repository, absolutely indifferent towards its contents. Space processing as equivalent to data processing.