Dave Edwards - Design

M:+44(0)7515 259 387



The Death and Life of the Contemporary Library: Masters Thesis

Space, Time and Architecture
Relavence to a Digital Age?


Web Design Dave Edwards Copyright 2010

Can the Library as an institution act as a catalyst for (re)emergent urbanism?

This is the global question and context in which the thesis intends to operate within, but in order to answer this I need to break it down this into smaller questions listed below: and hypothesis and consider the counter hypothesis’.
1. Can the institutional building behave in a per formative manner, acting as a backdrop for civic life/ collective space?

Counter Argument:
The institution is structured to perform as a projection of those in power.
The performance is determined or limited by the physical architecture, determining how people behave.

2. Can the institution become truly democratising element with in the city ‘open’ to all?

Counter Argument:
The space could be taken over by commercial or state entities and used to further their ends.
Commercialisation of space. Particularly that of social space.

Why is studying the library relevant? The library is historically the oldest civic building for inhabitants of the city not purely the political elite or religious figures; It has formed a cornerstone of the relations between user the city and power. If the physical library has a continuing life to lead within the city it must confront the digitisation. In contemporary society information is almost infinite currently there are 2.9 billion web pages with over 7 trillion URLs now registered. In this sea of information the hope of anyone being able to assimilate this into knowledge (information understood to be utilised) is limited. Therefore new methods and guides for the cataloguing and presenting information are needed. If the library can no longer physically contain all information its role could shift, acting no longer as store house but as this guide arranging information for easy mass consumption.

Abstract of Thesis 2010








The Death and The Life of The Contemporary Library