Master´s Thesis 2020 Material Turn

Tim Jarnvik

How can virtual information be implemented in architectural design at an equal level of importance as physical materiality?
To what degree will the public library change to fulfill the new society’s functions and requirements?
How can information, as a building material, articulate design decisions of a public library?


As the full effect of the fourth industrial revolution is approaching, the way we understand and interact with reality will forever change. Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy storage, quantum computing, and material science, are just a few fields that will revolutionize every sector across society. A new era of technological breakthroughs builds on and amplify each other across the physical, digital, and biological worlds.

Mixed reality (MR) occurs when the physical and virtual worlds merge to produce new environments, where objects co-exist and interact in real time. It creates an immersive environment supported by equipment that augment the physical senses, such as vision enhancers and haptic sensors. The connection to virtual information in any physical location is nothing new, since the internet and smartphones already provide society with the services. The difference lays in the experience; the interaction between the mentioned worlds.

Moving towards this future, the built environment will not shift focus from the physical artefact but rather include its virtual counterpart. From the application’s virtual representation of the physical world on your smartphone screen to be an integrated part of the physical world. As information will be retrievable from any physical location, the built environment has to take a greater responsibility of curating the usage of information to fit and support the end user.

This thesis investigates the twilight between the physical and virtual via the design of a public library. Due to the fact that the public library has been one of the most prominent public institutions for decreasing segregation gaps, improvement of democracy, and the enlightenment of knowledge, society would take a great loss if it cease to exist due to alternate ways of retrieving information. The exploring of how virtual information materializes in the physical world and how that will affect the design and function of a public library will be more important than ever.