In our informational age, statistics and data have been increasingly deployed as architectural strategies to legitimise design activities. The datascapes of MVRDV, for example, analyse the contemporary city in terms of pure information: “a city that knows no given topography, no prescribed ideology, no representation, no context. Only huge, pure data”. The MetaCity/DataTown project was positioned on the threshold between data visualisation and urban planning and attempted to provoke new architectural and urban thinking. The manipulation of data in a spatial manner with the accompanying all-persuasive power of numeracy means statistics has also be found to bolster weak arguments too. Mark Twain’s phrase “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” exposes the interpretative nature of statistics.
Today SurveyMonkey proclaims itself as the world’s most popular online survey tool yet in its name recognises that in the retrieval of data and information as a means of consultation validation there is an element of monkey business.
1. Roller Crowd
2. Television Crowd
3. Sporthole Atrium
Auditorias, whether theatrical, sporting or acoustic, are typically ‘black box spaces’ removed from the city due to the technical requirements of light and sound. There are however a few examples of the stadia / auditoria with an urban connection. In the football we have Giorgio Gregotti’s San Siro, home of AC and Inter Milan which offers third tier views of the Duomo. Furthermore, Estadio de Braga by Eduardo Souto de Moura… introduces both the city and landscape as part of the sports viewing spectacle. And of course there is OMA’s Casa De Musica which offers a view of Porto as a backdrop to events on the stage.