How the iPad Affects the Built Environment

The increasing ubiquity of screens in our daily lives and architecture changes the way we experience the built environment, argues Christopher Hawthorne.

iPads, digital billboards, TV on public transportation- these are just a few of the screens competing for our attention in public.

Hawthorne writes, "The appearance of all these screens is not some harbinger of cultural decline. It doesn't signal the end of architecture or even, necessarily, a cheapening of it. What it does mean is that more and more we find ourselves estranged from the physical, bricks-and-mortar life of buildings -- and that we look at the cityscape not just with divided but with fully fractured attention. Even a pedigreed piece of architecture by a famous designer is no longer simply an object that we confront directly or consider whole: It is often something either hidden behind digital walls or half-glimpsed in the background as we direct our main attention to the flickering object in our hands or laps."

Thanks to Samps

Full Story: Digital video runs a screen on the cityscape

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