Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Panopticon Dome-icile and Las Vegas

Sp in class we were tasked to come up with a kind of community in which people could live, and was based on the themes of out Real World course. My partner and I designed this:

Think of this as our "Dome-icile."

It is a Colosseum-like construct complete with everything people could possibly need to live. They have a large green space right in the center of it, recreation rooms (yellow) and bedrooms on multiple floors all around the building (maroon). The people would pay tons of money to live here because, let's be honest, if you slap a high enough price on something and tell someone it is incredibly novel, they will think it has value.

So, we move all of our rich people in, teach them how to garden in their green space, how to use their well, show them around, etc... and then we cement all of the exits and leave them there for twenty years. Now stay with me.

Of course we will have told them about this plan, but that is what makes it so novel! Then, with cameras (that they will also already know about) we will observe how they live. The circular shape of the building with all of the rooms facing one another will give it a panopticon effect, and people will begin to police one another on behavior, effectively forming their own internal governing system.

We theorized that, given the size of the place (we want to have an entire town's worth of people living there) they will eventually fall into disagreement and form different sections of the Dome-icile. Perhaps they will break into multiple governing systems, each with its own representatives so that they may determine how to share the green space.

So, basically they will be like ants in an Ant Farm, and this little "town" will function much like Umberto Eco claims  in his paper The City of Robots — Las Vegas functions: as a sign and nothing without the sign that it is. Las Vegas, according to Eco, is a city that cannot exist without its signs, because that its all it is. Las Vegas would not exist if i were not just a giant symbol for partying. Our Dome-icile would not exist were it not a giant symbol for the panoptic view of society and the human desire for the novel. Without that, it would just be...a prison.

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