Island Incubator

Project Description

Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize

As we delve deeper into the realm of the digital, the linear process of production is no longer relevant. Material goods have depreciated in value and knowledge has become the new currency. Innovations and ideas are bought and sold. Material manifestations are secondary and are often designed to provide even more data with which to generate ideas - through user generated content, user data, and other information based inputs. Naturally, the traditional boundaries of the academy, business, and industry are blurring in order to accommodate this new paradigm. Cornell Tech is in this business of knowledge creation.

However, the breakthrough of this industry did not coincide with a new model for workplace design. The corporate open plan is still prevalent. There is a desire to connect with the physical world by naturalizing and domesticizing. Astroturf, fake greenery, and informal meeting spaces are ubiquitous.

The long Main Street of this campus and large ‘shopfronts’ allow for connections to occur, not only with colleagues, but also with the public and the city of New York. The residential units and design labs are optimized in scale and arrangement to accommodate a new way of working and a connection with the living world. But perhaps most importantly, the campus is infrastructure. One that is adaptable to fluctuations in both ideology and climate change.