serve city / bauhaus kolleg III / 3rd trimester
1st trimester 2nd trimester
Introduction page A | B 
The final trimester of the Bauhaus Kolleg III 2001/2002 Serve City focused on urban development strategies for a site in Sydney located at the interface between the Central Business District and residential communities. Special emphasis was given to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on present-day living and working conditions. After one decade of discussion on how the city will be transformed by these new technologies, the issue of how such changes will actually materialise remains open. Based on theoretical and empirical studies during the first trimester and the conceptual work of the second, the third trimester was tasked with developing a personal services zone for the city of Sydney. Designing this services zone aimed beyond mere accumulation and concentration of urban services. The goal was to develop urban typologies that not only include extremely individualised user needs and new services, but also support new forms of community. Starting point In the first trimester, our investigations into the lifestyles of highly-qualified knowledge workers resulted in three essential observations: 1. Development of routines or rituals in everyday life helps hold together increasingly fragmented activities and reduces the complexities of current lifestyles. 2. The practice of multitasking is aimed at optimising work efficiency. A new form of working is created: Daily routine ceases to be determined by a sequence and completion of individual actions but by their permanent simultaneity and ‘never ending’ nature. 3. Usage of services has shifted the focus of domestic chores. There is less home cooking, cleaning and washing. Instead, many people are increasingly busy with planning, organising, synchronising their households. Knowledge-based workers especially adopt their work-organisation practices in their private spheres. This transformation of organisation and activity patterns results from the use of new data-processing tools. PC_everyone a company. Currently a PC is the smallest functioning production unit. In many knowledge-based economic settings, its applications facilitate an independent processing of all production phases. TV_choice of reality. Television is still a central source of information. Increasingly, specialised programming offers individual choices and differentiated information territories are created. Web Cam_ever-present, ever-watching. The transmission monopoly of TV stations is disappearing. Individuals all over the world transmit their own realities. GPS_always knowing where we are. The current opportunity of personal positioning at any time facilitates a special type of self-control but also of third-party control. A digital reference is allocated to the physical environs by linking information to a physical place. Mobile Phones_connectivity everywhere, with everybody. These information and communication units are the smallest tools to use the global network. Laptop/Organizer_always working, organised, under control. This mobile working unit has all data, appointments and documents available. The opportunity to work continually has finally dissolved the separation of production and reproduction and exerts pressure to make efficient use of residual times (waiting, travelling times, etc.). Internet_everywhere at home. Theoretically, the same information can be found on the Internet from any place in the world. In the future, Internet providers, such as AOL, will make it possible to retrieve personal, private, and professional data irrespective of one’s physical location. The digital job environment becomes identical at each PC. The standard categories of ‘private’ and ‘home’ require redefinition. W-LAN_invisible territory. At a coverage area of some hundred meters and a high transfer speeds, wireless connections to a Local Area Network is a means of easy Internet access. Such W-LAN hubs create new territories and overlay physical space. The substantial effects of these technologies on urban society include: 1. A variety of opportunities for personal interaction. Technical facilities have created a diversity of communication channels that require different levels of personal interaction (telephone, fax, SMS, e-mail, ATM, digital ticketing/check in, GPS, etc.). Contrary to certain forecasts, we communicate more, not less. New communication networks make an impact on both social communities and urban conditions. Privileges of traditional space (exchange, interaction, communication) have been absorbed by communication networks and leave emptiness and simulation in the traditional urbane scene. 2. Extremely extended opportunities of choice. Selection and action opportunities have largely increased in the sphere of products, services, communication forms, and lifestyles. Resulting is a pressure for continual decision-making, but also a personal freedom to live by one’s individual preferences. This individualisation entails differentiated demands to urban space. Urban territories are selectively appropriated according to individual needs and desires. This suggests concepts of a differentiated personalisation of spaces and services. 3. Hybrid mobility/flexibility The new technical achievements enhance both movement through physical space (dynamic mobility) and movement through virtual space (static mobility). Exchange of information and communication with any place create global action spaces. This leads to a faster alternation of activities as well as options and requirements for higher flexibility, which has spread particularly across the world of employment. Not only have companies had to be more versatile and act quicker, greater mobility is also required of staff members. This flexibility must be conceived of in both temporal and spatial terms. An entwinement of production and reproduction as well as an activation of diverse places is the consequence for both. Cities have to increase their flexibility and provide adequate space to those alternating actions and the resulting shorter durations of use. Objectives Preparation of an urban-development design strategy for the planning area includes essential aspects, listed below, that were to be considered in the conceptual design: 1. Increased influence by individuals on personal and collective activities 2. Development of new accesses and filters in order to regulate increasing information volumes 3. Face to Face stimulation and creation of interactions on a personal-level 4. Multitasking to control the emerging flexibilisation and blending of activities 5. Fulfilment of individual needs for self-realisation 6. Anticipation of activities beyond simple functions and programming them in the draft design 7. Creation of multi-layered urban experience spaces. The above objectives for living and working in Serve City are an attempt at balancing the urban designs prepared during the third trimester in a delicate polarising field: Namely between a demand for personal services and the reality of individualised living and working patterns, on the one hand, and the need for community, on the other.
Tim Edler _ Wilfried Hackenbroich _ Regina Sonnabend
[ page B: Rozelle Yard Profile ]