Client: Metropolis Magazine and Staples Interiors Competition
Design Team:: Jessica Leete, Xiaoxiao Lu, Jian Bao, Shasha Pan
Year Designed: 2013

Though the title refers to the contemporary definition of services provided by data centers for leasing computing applications, it may be more literally or simultaneously understood as “Living in Air”. This is particularly true in Beijing, China where the levels of particulate matter can exceed World Health Organization Guidelines by more than 10 times. In this proposal we focused on the information technology campus as urbanism, as an agent for change, in the way creative minds are cultivated and relate to their environment. We addressed multiple scales of living in the cloud; atmospheric, building membrane, phenomenal, vegetal, and microbial to graphically display a systemic approach to how the workplace in 2020 will be conceived.

Our research reveals that the virtual is not sustainable in the existing energy paradigm. The ecosystem of the cloud, this intangible machine, demands more resources than the “expect- everything, anytime, anywhere” people we have become realize. By clearly articulating the severity of the situation, the unprecedented goals for what the workplace of the future requires are defined. The solutions already exist in the potential to utilize renewable energy resources to power connectivity and in nature’s capacity to buffer harmful by-products of our retrograde materialism. Strategies from nature are adapted to mitigate the extreme environmental hazards propagated by human industry at the corporate campus and at the micro-climate scale of the human.