Janine Danielle Dela Cruz
In Clouds and Stone: A Storytelling Infrastructure

Thesis Supervisor: Tomohisa Miyauchi

Site: Coney Island, Singapore

The project forms a new storytelling infrastructure that has emerged as a result of the death of print media and the shift to the digital age. Situated underground in Coney Island, Singapore, the project has created a hybrid typology with roots in data centres, libraries, archives and museums in order to support a new form of collaborative journalism.

The stories of data-driven investigative journalists, citizen journalists and the local community aim to restore the Fourth Estate amidst this digital era of misinformation and to restore the hyperlocal public sphere. The integrity of our stories and our truths are created, celebrated and stored through various technologies within this architecture of clouds and stone. 

On Storytelling,
the Digital Age
& Space Constraints

Storytelling is important part of forming our identities. However in this era of misinformation and the shift to the digital age, the stories of the world are susceptible to being skewed.

 

The digital age also has increased the demand for data centres in Singapore, but there is a question of how the tiny island can deal with its existing space constraints.

 

Furthermore, as we find a sense of community online, there has been a decrease in our immediate local community ties, resulting in less exposure to differing viewpoints and multiple truths around a story.

A hypostyle of columns stand proudly as they await members of the community to come and scan and edit the objects they bring and insert their meanings and stories behind the objects through a digital interface. 

Scanning a memory allows for us to capture a fragment of time forever, for us and our friends and family to look back on, but to also play a role in preserving a part of our cultural memory of the present time.

Light dapples through the wooden slats of the base pavilion, made of casuarina trees found on Coney Island greeted warmly by journalists facilitating a show and tell between the members of the community. Moving between areas of chatter and silence, the public find spaces where one can take in the views...

... and contemplate on the stories as they sit in faraday cages, providing a digital detox. The journey continues underground in corridors lined with selected artefacts and objects sitting in carved niches in the walls

Moving from a compressed space into vast data halls, the complex holds data centre infrastructure equivalent of 60% of Singapore’s existing data centres. Planters embrace the data tower shells, forming an underground garden. Data is made tangible through the expression of water - reflections of the data racks above show to the visiting public what is the lifeblood of the digital age.

The central knowledge hall features 5 monolithic blocks with galleries celebrating the journalists' investigative pieces alongside stories of the community. Light is filtered through a pool of water and dances on the concrete walls, illuminating the horizontal bands of stone that carry tiles casted with poems and images.

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View Zoom Critique here: