Absurd / Everyday Campus
No longer just workplaces, tech campuses of today organize tours, host conferences, house hotels and public parks. Condensing life and labor, many also provide game rooms, in-house childcare, and daily dinners for the whole family. While outsiders see these amenities as absurdities, employees view them as part of the everyday culture in the world of technology.
The design for a new Cornell Tech campus is prompted by this tension. Conceived as a series of ceaseless loops, each is crafted to ‘serve’ the respective type of user. By celebrating the desire to keep workers at the office and promoting the campus as a tourist destination, the project hopes to question the workings of such corporations and their role in contemporary life.
The formal exuberance attempts to reflect the campus’ heterotopic conditions while giving imageability to a project that aims to emblematize the East Coast’s new status as an innovation hub. For what is absurd? What is quotidian? And therefore – what is contextual within the metropolitan fantasy and urban incubator that is New York City?