Feedback Loop

Library for the Information Age

5th Year Thesis: Brendan Miller

Advisor: Jane Clark

This library of the future and its supporting architectural language were developed through analysis and response to the behavior of the user group. Through an ongoing survey, it was determined that 50% of users go to the library for social interaction while only 50% go to use the print collection. Because of this, social interaction was used as a point of departure from which to formulate and define spatial characteristics into an architectural language. Both virtual data (from online catalog searches) and physical data (from user movement and spatial occupation) were used as input to determine the initial forms of the language. Evolution of this idea translated into a fully responsive building reacting to the users’ specific inputs on three levels: the mobile print collection, social spaces and operable facade panels. A static base structure houses movable ‘shells’ of books that can be rearranged or eliminated in response to user popularity. This enables library browsing to be more efficient because it makes the popular books more prominent. Shells are moved with a robotic mechanism and books can be inserted within the base structural system so that topics can grow and shrink as the user’s interest changes. The social spaces are monitored for use and help to determine where the most popular books should be located. The facade panels are mechanically controlled and will open and close in response to environmental qualities and user location.