W.I.C.K. – Wired Integrated Composite Knit
Wired Integrated Composite Knit combines innovative material processes with a technology delivery apparatus to create self-supporting, expressive spaces. Our contention is that through architecture we can stimulate a typically underprivileged social group. This young independent working class is not traditionally seen as the income generators for an economy, but that is now changing in a digital era. There is a sympathy between the specialized flexibility of the transient population and the implementation of a highly performative yet flexible architectural system. The manner in which a mobile, independent professional works and lives in a city served as an analogy for how this system operates within a building, on its own, or in a city. Our hope is that within this arid context of Las Vegas we can nurture a bit of social engineering through architecture.
The tax revenue from casinos and gambling on the Las Vegas Strip bankrolls much of the State of Nevada and City of Las Vegas, making possible the lack of state income tax and low property taxes attractive to relocating business owners. We propose the construction of variously scaled shared work spaces to attract freelancers in creative fields such as film, software and video game industries to develop projects in Las Vegas. These transient communities of creative individuals are - statistically speaking - already spending time on the strip as tourists and our proposal entices them to spend a little more productive time in Las Vegas.
The space generated by the W.I.C.K. system gives identity to a mobile and flexible user group through a prototypical, woven- pultrusion skin. This technology can accommodate services, structure and full enclosure through a flexible knit construction. The surface’s repertoire yields different volumetric possibilities while providing plug-in infrastructure. Our focus is on deploying this spatial amenity at a variety of scales to connect urban nodes and create a passively cooled, public, wired communal space for social collision in downtown Las Vegas.
Given the scalable nature of the W.I.C.K. system, it accommodates different uses and inhabitations. In its smallest iteration, the system creates a freestanding column, providing a seating surface and protective canopy. Arrayed throughout an existing space, the new W.I.C.K. floor, ceiling and vertical connections become wired, charged surfaces that deliver power supply, wireless internet, general and task lighting and radiant cooling. This spatial and material technology allows for leased or parceled space within existing structures to be renovated simply and efficiently without depending of the often unreliable or outdated structure and services of old building stock. This application of the W.I.C.K. system possesses great potential to adapt unused, light-industrial warehouse buildings or refresh generic office space in high rise construction to the needs of a new mobile, independent yet collaborative workforce. In its most comprehensive application, W.I.C.K. technology generates a free-standing structure with full enclosure and services provided by the system. It has the ability to collect data over time, which can be used to further refine the system with each iteration. The longer WICK is in use, the more it can learn about its users and how it needs to adapt to best facilitate collision. In all its configurations, the intelligence of the system is built into a single thread, distributed through the weave and made active through user engagement.