'A technology is not an independent or alien object, it complements integrally our sensorial and cognitive system; as a medium, it conditions not only communication modes but also the way we perceive and conceive our environment.' LAb[au]

Meta.Design, as a discipline, is based on the setting of signs and codes - language - proper to inFORMation processes, communication, computation and storage, and their transposition in textual, graphical, spatial...networked structures. The methodological approach of LAb[au] in the investigation of IC technology, in their setting of new spatial and semantic constructs, also stands for the shift of the definition of its practice from architecture to Meta.Design

From Architecture to Meta.Design

The increasing implication of communication and information technologies in the process of production and knowledge leads to the fundamental re-thinking of the organization and definition of space. Technology based on the transmission and computation of information influences organization models (modes of production, work and knowledge) and affects the communication process (code, symbol) and the social, economic...relations as well as their spatialization. The affectation of traditional articulations between information, space and time leads to the augmenting need to flatten the electronic realm into the concrete space.

If, as all communication systems, new technologies induce a transmission channel (signal-medium), a message (information) and a code, their property is to operate on any kind of information, even space, a reduction in a sequence of elementary information coded in a binary language, 0/1 or bit/second. But contrary to its analogue counterparts within which information was materially fixed on a medium, the digital media celebrate the loss of inscription; it is the transposition of all stable "FORM" into transmissible and editable "inFORMation".

In electronic media 'proximity' is no longer a concept of space but of time. The instant access to information thus reconfigures the concept of proximity to a question of temporal proximity, instantaneity. Space has turned into a transmissible parameter, a variable of time, defining our environment as a mediated device. The implosion of space in favour of time redefines all forms of space experience by 'here and now' (hic and nunc). As information is inseparably related to human experience, communication processes through binary codes projects our experience and conception of real into the digital realm.

As extension of our sensible and sensitive capacities new technologies of information and communication transform our perception (sense) and conception (cognition) of ourselves as physical entities defined by space and time. Space and time thus operate as referent proper to our mental and cognitive understanding. New technologies therefore perform a transformation on semantic and spatial structures (architecture) as much on the level of language (code, style) as on other levels such as social, spatial, economical political relations.

As a consequence, the investigation in information space constructs shows the shift from traditional architecture into a Meta.Design, exploring new spatio-temporal structures as well as their representation practices such as architecture and urbanism. In this manner information architecture deals with intelligible electronic constructs not only as modalities of perception and cognition, but as mental and psychic settings of behaviour, ontological concerns, as well as the production of active and functional space settings, spaces of intervention within the constitution of e.SPACE CONSTRUCTionS.

Meta.Design deals with the setting of new 'senses' as components of language, while improving, increasing our cognitive capacities and influencing in a major way our psychic state (consciousness), our emotional and social behaviour and thus participate as much in the individual project as to the collective. Consequently, in the field of new medias, it is important to understand the relation that is established between perception (the use of senses), recognition, comprehension and the representation (the extraction of sense/meaning), and the action that results from it (production of sense/meaning).

Meta.Design thus deals with information as programming and meta-inscription, rather than as an output of interpretation - and data as objective reality versus information as narrative and simulation. 'Meta.Design' displays the theme of new space constructs relative to information processes, as the formalizations of communication and computation processes according to social, semantic and spatial structures (architecture) as much on the level of language (code, structure) in order to build up connectivity and efficiency.


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