Swiss Consulate

Cambridge, USA - 2000

The Swisshouse is a physical/virtual network of consulates, conceived to foster tighter connections among the diaspora of Swiss scientists around the world. The interactive architecture fosters new ways of socializing among the geographically dispersed community of Swiss scientists by subtly expanding and connecting their spaces.


Convergence of physical and virtual - The project integrates novel architectural hardware (digital glass walls, knowledge cafes, sunken arena, nomadic workspaces) and novel architectural software (interactive wallpapers) with the goal to visualize the presence of members of the diaspora, capture conversations, leave traces of encounters, identify and localize viewers, create sediments of thoughts or simply amuse. The project investigates questions related to interactive architecture, including: to what extent can interactive architecture connect formal and informal places? Give local identity to a global diaspora? Increase social interaction? What are the darker sides of interactive architecture? Will they intrude privacies? Disturb the tranquility of solid architecture? The images show the physical and virtual space of a first prototype Swisshouse building, the Swiss Consulate in Cambridge, Massachusetts.