Ben Brady Library


Just another site


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RANT ahead….

I have started making  a massing model.  Basically the building will be organized around light.  The top is the library…the precious box  that looks in on itself and away from the city.  It is focused and will be design to the precision of the human body.  This will probably be a large dead spot too with no wifi or cell phone coverage inside.  It will not be a library of the past though.  This box will carry books and organize them in a contemporary way.  The physical library can adopt lessons from the ways we organize our lives digitally, on-line and with the aid of digital devices.  Below is a break.  The program that attaches itself to the library today (community center, theater, cafe, restaurant, digital research center, cinema,etc.) exists  below in the triangular shaped spaces.  Those spaces are inhabitable and at the same time push space on the public ground level around.  The ground floor is a digital space for gathering.  People will sit on street furniture, pull up chairs to tables and eat their lunches, and basically will be a charged public space for the city.  The digital belongs to the speed of the city.  The analog of the physical library is something different and will float above.  The library wants to be one thing and the digital space/social programs want to be another.  Blurring the line between them and creating ‘hybrid space’ is worthless in the case of the library and creates grey, murky space.  This library is a call to de-hybridize the library and for dedicated space once again.  We have devices like iphones that do 5 million things and they do them sort of forgettably.  This isn’t a new phenomenon.  We have objects in our daily lives like swiss army knives that do many things and most of them not well.  But we love the convenience and the accessibility and speed of these devices.  It is only natural that we have tried to spatialize this phenomenon but I would argue that at the moment, it hasn’t produced that much great.  Technology is moving really fast over the last half a century and it will probably continue to do that.  Should something as static as a library, a place to hold books (our most stable form of reproduced knowledge) reflect a time that is in such flux?  Probably not.  It seems to me that the digital and the physical are at odds with each other in the library.  The book is constantly trying to hold ground in the face of new technologies, media, and social programs that are vying for their physical space.  The digital is equally hindered by the physical and we see traces of the past emerging as skeuomorphs both in our physical environments and our digital ones.  So, maybe for now they have space to breath and then we can focus the interactions between them on a smaller scale.  This is what I think.

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no signal:(

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I made these to go on the door of the Isolation room

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I don’t think I am going to be able to build this physical space on top of the digital one anymore.  But, i thought it looked cool sitting in the middle of Widener’s reading room.  I think instead of lifting this room, I can focus more on isolation and focus and control in a more simple (cheaper) way.  That is why I am building the WIFI-Cold spot.

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This is what the little room will look like.  The whole thing will look like this polka-dotted thing.

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GIFs…click on them

blur /// sharp
click this to see the box with the light on and off

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This is what it may look like when people are moving outside of the room while you are inside.


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The focus box is a recent experiment I am doing in looking developing a space for focus and control.  This box is meant to be a diorama to explore effect with light, wood, and plastic.  The larger project will be a room, inside of a library or really any other highly digitized (wi-fi, cell phone reception, digital) space.  The small room will be a place to escape this reality.  Just like the box, the room will appear to be a craggy, massive, shape carved of solid wood.  The inside will be painted with an EMF shielding paint that will block wifi signals and cell phone signals.  The idea is to create a wifi-cold spot.  This spot will be a place of slow isolation and self-reflection in an overly digitized environment.  The inside is also made with acrylic rods that are embedded into the plywood.  The plywood has been cnc milled to make it paper thin where it has been bored out…and this is how light is transmitted into the space.  The rods vary in length and act similar to fiber optics bringing rings of light into the space.  Inside this room there will be a stool and a lamp.  When you feel like it, you can turn on the lamp and read, free from any burdens of emails or vibrating or chirping mobile phones..  When you turn the lamp on, the same holes that originally brought light into the space create a polk-dot pattern on the outside of the space indicating to others that it is occupied and to leave the person inside alone.  I am going to build this small room soon. Thank you to my buddy Nick Polansky for modeling.

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