S Y D X LE ND A IA OWL KNGE_ ED RDS A A
W O T L A U S I V L A I T I A T P S SSIFICA A N L O C C D N A F N O O E C N A Y E E G V WLED O N K
DYSLEXIA AND KNOWLEDGE_ TOWARDS A VISUAL SPATIAL CLASSIFICATION AND CONVEYANCE OF KNOWLEDGE
Title page Contents INTRODUCTION HYPOTHESIS
CHAPTER I: DYSLEXIA The Dyslexic condition Visual-Spatial Awareness The Dyslexic Architect
CHAPTER II: LIBRARY TYPOLOGY Introduction Library History Spatial Organisation Of Libraries Information Age Media / The Internet Mediatheque TIMELINE OF MEDIA TYPES
CHAPTER III: LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION Ancient Contemporary Radical TIMELINE OF CLASSIFICATION
CHAPTER IV: CASE STUDIES: British Library / Chethams Library Ideas Store / Peckham Library OMA- TGB / Jussieu Seattle Public Library Sendai Mediatheque V: CONCLUSION
VI: REFERENCE MATTER Bibliography Appendices
INTRODU CTION>> DYSLEXIA AND KNOWLEDGE TOWARDS A VISUAL-SPATIAL CLASSIFICATION AND CONVEYANCE OF KNOWLEDGE The conception of the research study evolved as a natural corollary to my work done in the design studio. The graduate design thesis is based on dyslexia, literature and the imagination, which began following a conversation about my personal experience growing up with dyslexia. The notion that my dyslexia has restricted me from reading my entire life, in particular, never reading a novel, which has subjectively restricted my imagination… (a full thesis synopsis can be found it the Appendices) The program typology of my design thesis is a ‘State University library and archive’ in the educational sector of Yerevan, Armenia. Rationale for site selection in Yerevan, Armenia lies in the unique connection with my family ancestry, its complex history of language and literature and it’s status as an emerging state where to a certain extent literature has been oppressed by communism and dyslexia is essentially unheard of. This design report presented the unique opportunity to simultaneously integrate parallel research with my design studio thesis; comprehensive design project. This systematic research and analysis directly fed into, informed and enriched the design thesis.
Research proposes to recognise both historic and current models of classification, critically analyse the successes and failings of these methods, assessing whether enhanced spatial awareness may or may not effect the organization of knowledge within the context of dyslexia and multimedia.
Over the course of the past 10 months I have visited and conducted in depth research into the library and mediatheque typology covering projects on a truly international scale including fieldtrips to London, Manchester, Paris and Tokyo. The report will ground and challenge ideas against a series of examples including; Chethams Library; Manchester, The British Library; London, OMA’s; Très Grande Bibliothèque, Jussieu University library and Seattle Public Library, David Adjaye’s Ideas Store, Will Alsop’s; Peckham Library and Toyo Ito’s; Sendai Mediatheque.
The research is to ascertain whether there something within the typological case studies and psychoanalytical theories of dyslexia and advanced spatial awareness, that is relevant and useful to the design of contemporary libraries and mediatheques?
Which leads onto the hypothesis; Is there a visual-spatial way of classifiying knowledge an information?, and what are the visual-spatial modes to convey it?
CHAPTER I: DYSLEXIA AND SPATIAL AWARENESS
Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve diﬀiculty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, numbers and other symbols, but that do not aﬀect general intelligence. The word comes from the Ancient Greek words ‘dys’ meaning diﬀiculty, poor or inadequate and ‘lexia’ meaning words or language. (Lester, K. (2005) Pg:1) Dyslexia is fundamentally a language, and reading disability that is thought to be the result of a neurological language processing disorder. Dyslexic’s are also said to have a phonological deficiency, which is, they find it difficult to understand the system of relationships among the sounds within words that encode meaning within any spoken language. Subsequently they have problems with reading, writing, spelling, numeracy and sometimes speech. “Dyslexia is best described as a combination of abilities and diﬀiculties that aﬀect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling and writing. Dyslexia can occur despite normal intellectual ability and teaching. It is constitutional in origin, part of one’s make-up and independent of socio-economic or language background”. (British Dyslexia Association (2003) Pg1) It is estimated that between 4% and 10% of the worlds population are dyslexic, with about 4% severe and 6% mild to moderate problems. In the United Kingdom there are around 6 million people with dyslexic tendancies, 2 million of these suﬀering from severe dyslexia and currently, 35,500 students receive disability allowances for dyslexia at an annual cost of £78.4m. (Lipsett, A. (2009) pg28)
frustration at their own diﬀiculties and their anger at others’ inability to understand their predicament.” (West, 1997. Pg 152) Dyslexia is regarded as a broad spectrum and it is thought that each dyslexic individuals attributes are completely unique. A combination of diﬀiculties and abilities which can often lead to rather distinctive talents. In my personal experience, from a very young age, emphasis was always on the visual. I have always been highly creative, imaginative and dexterous, spending much of my time drawing, painting, modeling, building (Lego!), playing computer games and making music. Frustration at my inability to read and ingest text at an early age lead to a loathing avoidance. When I was growing up I used to buy Manga comics because of their primarily visual format, following the pictures and ignoring the text. I used to look at people reading and wonder what possessed them, what pleasure was gained from it, when ever I attempted to read it would always lead to irritation, anger and disappointment. Throughout my education I have only developed visually. I had weaknesses in literacy and numeracy and strengths in art, design and graphics. I almost felt as if something was preventing me from grasping the fundamentals of literacy or numeracy, and perhaps to compensate for these deficiencies, I developed my skills in the subjects I had strengths in. As far as I can remember I have always had problems with my reading, writing and verbal processing speed. However, the possibility of me having any kind of learning diﬀiculty was never highlighted, it was only until the end of my first undergraduate year at university in 2005 at the age of 20 that I was formally diagnosed with dyslexia by a clinical educational psychologist.
SYMPTOMS REPORT/ANALYSIS “Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. We are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because we think in pictures , it is sometimes hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words.” (Davis, R. (1997) pg16)
(The results of the report are documented in the reserch file)
The traditional schooling system does not tend to encourage and reward skills outside of literacy and numeracy and dyslexic children can experience a great deal of failure which is often written oﬀ as a lack of intelligence.
In my personal report I showed severe weakness in reading and was in fact diagnosed with the age of 8 years and 6 months for reading comprehension (understanding passages of text). I also scored significantly below average for ‘Processing Speed’, which deals with how well you can handle straightforward mechanical repetitive activities that require speed but little complex thinking. This score was in the 18th percentile, meaning 82% of people would score higher.
“It is often observed that children with dyslexia hide their diﬀiculties, if they can, or lash out in rebellion or anger, showing at the same time their intense
The assessment is comprised of a series of standardized intelligence tests covering spelling, vocabulary, verbal/speech, reading and visual-spatial abilities which are designed to determine dyslexic tendencies.
I did however recorded a superior score in ‘Perceptual Organization’ tests which looked at ‘visual-spatial reasoning, pattern completion and detail observation (picture completion, symbol coding, block design, matrix reasoning). Statistically this score was in the 97th percentile, meaning just “3% of people will score higher. “The significantly stronger Performance IQ suggests in many ways that you are, in many situations far more able to use your vision based skills to good eﬀect than your verbal skills.” (Phillips, S. (2005) pg3) Following my needs assessment I was prescribed, computer software which dictates text, taught typing and mind-mapping, a dictaphone, a portable electronic dictionary, extended library loans, extra time in examinations, Scotopic sensitivity testing with optimal colour (asfedic filter) background (R:149 G:203 B:212).
Five years on I am still receiving support from the DSA and I have recently taken part in an ongoing research study conducted by the university of Lincoln that analyses saccadic eye scanning patterns in dyslexic individuals. The study is investigating how eﬀiciently visual information can be processed in dyslexic students, seeing how they view natural images, comparing fixational, saccadic and smooth pursuit eye movements. The study aims to gain a better insight in to the cognitive processes underlying learning deficits of dyslexia. (Boraston, Z., & Blackmore, S,J. (2007) pg 82)
“Visual-spatial learners who experience learning problems have heightened sensory awareness to stimuli, such as extreme sensitivity to smells, acute hearing and intense reactions to loud noises. They are constantly bombarded by stimuli; they get so much information that they have trouble filtering it out.” SPATIAL AWARENESS One dominant trait which is prevalent in almost all dyslexics is that of; enhanced spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is the knowledge of objects, people and the environment around us, a first person awareness which is centred around ourselves. Terence Woodgate (RDI) refers to it as; “It’s as though we dyslexics have a 3D graphics card integrated into our heads.” (Jackson, L. (2004) Pg12) However, even with these supportive measures in place, I feel I have still gone through higher and further education struggling with written work and verbal presentation and it still takes an incredible amount of time to construct written work. I have still to this day never read a book cover to cover. My education is fundamentally based on the reading of visual information (as oppose to words) and learning through audio-visual formats (image, film, lecture, audiobooks, video, sound recordings). With this in mind, as I think primarily with images and intuition, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue) I often have diﬀiculty putting my thoughts into words and am unable to articulate the appropriate information to successfully convey my ideas. Visualisation is one of my strengths as a designer and I have the ability to imagine and build three dimensional spaces within my mind. I often have technicolour ideas of what I imagine within my mind, although, I find it diﬀicult to communicate them in speech (verbally) or in writing and it is often diﬀicult to accurately draw and communicate through hand drawing or computers.
In 1991 Dr Linda K Silverman conducted research in this field. She refers to the ‘Visual-Spatial Learner’ which is a student who learns holistically rather than in a step-by-step fashion. Visual imagery plays an important role in the student’s learning process. Because the individual is processing primarily in pictures rather than words, ideas are interconnected”. (Silverman, LK. (1991) pg4)
“Visual-spatial learners have amazing abilities to “read” people as they have developed remarkable visual and intuitive abilities, including reading body language and facial expressions. These children are highly perfectionistic and whilst they are highly aware of space they pay little attention to time. “Spatial learners are systems thinkers-they need to see the whole picture before they can understand the parts. However, without easily observable connecting ties, the information cannot take hold anywhere in the brain — it is like learning in a vacuum”. (Silverman, LK. (1991) pg6)
Another particularly influential publication in this area is Thomas G. West’s, ‘In the Minds Eye’ which argues that dyslexia is connected with visual-spatial thinking, promoting the creative potential of visually dominant dyslexic minds. Focused around visualspatial strengths and verbal and literary weaknesses. The book contains a series of case studies on a number of famous dyslexic people such as Winston Churchill, Albert Einstien and Leonardo da Vinci.
In West’s citations he refers to; Albert Einstein’s profound diﬀiculty with language, did not learn to speak until he was 7 years old.(West, 1997. Pg 119) Einstein’s teachers reported that; “he was mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams, he was a daydreamer that played fancifuly with images in his mind, but in the process he created an objective image of the universe that transformed our view of physical reality”. (West, 1997. Pg 129) He talks of Leonardo Da Vinci’s high regard to geometry and he made the image central to his approach to observation and analysis, words were mearly used to help illuminate the picture. (West, 1997. Pg 145) DaVinci is quoted as saying; “You should prefer a good scientist without literary abilities than a literate one without scientific skills”. (West, 1997. Pg 147)
Reference is made to Winston Churchill who struggled with a speech defect as a youth. He had an unpredictable and erratic character with unusual energy, vision (West, 1997. Pg 149) and natural grace in an intense visual-spatial skills, such as flying. (West, 1997. Pg 165) It was also noted that “Churchill showed remarkable appreciation for alternatives to conventional schooling that he so hated” (West, 1997. Pg 153)
West believes that dyslexics process thought in a nonlinear fashion and have a strong tendency to convert almost everything into pictures in their minds. (West, 1997. Pg 7-8) He also states that “If one is articulate with words then one may be hopeless in drawing pictures. Or of one is unusually adroit in drawing or visualizing whole scenes, then it may not be surprising to find that one is less fluent in verbal expression”. (West, 1997. Pg 178) “In some cases, it seems that the greater the fluency with non-verbal thought, the greater the dysfluency of verbal communication. This tendency might create difficulties for those in universities where verbal proficiency is seen as a major indicator of intellectual competence.” (West, 1997. Pg 184) “Visual and spatial modes of thought seem well-suited to dealing with certain complex problems and are often closely associated with major creative achievements in the sciences as well as the arts” (West, 1997. Pg 18) According to West, creative visual thinkers, many of whom have had diﬀiculty with verbal skills, aided by computers, will be at the forefront of innovation in a dramatically changing society. (West, 1997. Pg 403) It is also thought that the dyslexic brain processes information in the right side of the brain, in comparison to orthodox left brain dominance. Traits and functions of the left brain include; Logistics, mathematics, computation, analytic, sequential, factual processes. Whereas the right side is responsible for; imagination, innovation, visualization, creativity, intuition, holism, visuo-spatial awareness (imagery, colours, shape and dimension), accessing the unconscious and the alpha state.
West consolidates the right brain creative fuctions into four elements; ‘Visual thinking’; the form of thought that generates recalls and manipulates images in the mind / ‘Spatial ability’ emphasizes the elements of three-dimensional space. / ‘Pattern recognition’ / ‘Problem solving’ the recognition of a developing or repeating pattern. (West, 1997. Pg 22-23) Many of these traits outlined above are familiar to me and on a personal level, have a profound resonance with me on a number of levels, and helps to make sense of the areas in which I have always struggled. ALTERNATIVE LEARNING There is no total cure for dyslexia, although with correct teaching and appropriate support, the eﬀects of dyslexia can be alleviated and individuals can overcome their diﬀiculties. A dyslexic individual has to learn alternative approaches to learning the things which most people take in quite easily. These alternative approaches are often referred to as ‘multisensory’, and involve the use of all the child’s senses - especially visual techniques and physical movement - to help remember letters and spellings. (Davis, R. (1997) Pg38) Over the past 50-60 years (refer to media timeline) an explosion of alternative channels for learning; audiobooks, film, computer software / typefaces / documentaries / dictionaries / dictaphones / scotopic testing / educational television / Auditory Integration Training (AIT), auditory processing training / Lexiphone / Interactive Metronome / (Psychomotor) patterning / Applied Kinesiology (AK) / Light and Colour Therapy / Brain Organisation Profiling / Optometric evaluation and optometric visual training / Asfedic Tuning (TintaVision), Tinted lenses, ChromaGen lenses.
CAREER Unfortunatly, we live in a literary, text dominated world and many of the traits of dyslexia can lead to limited career prospects. Dyslexic students are highly visual, whereas traditional education methods tend to be linear-sequetial (literary, auditory: phonics, oral directions, etc.). However, dyslexics have many strengths: they are highly creative, intuitive, inventive, original, innovative, have advanced visual spatial awareness as well as multi-dimensional, lateral thinking abilities. Given the correct support, dyslexic students are perfectly able to go on to achieve degrees at university and pursue successful careers. The neurological deficiencies inherent with dyslexia give some dyslexic individuals enhanced abilities that enable them to be successful in a wide range of careers. Many dyslexic people find success and fulfillment in areas which allow them to use their spatial awareness and physical co-ordination skills. Dyslexia provides many cognitive advantages that enable individuals to excel in tasks and occupations that require visualization abilities, creative problem solving and big picture thinking. (Davis, R. (1997) Pg62) It is widely disciplines. search study the RCA have
understood that dyslexics tend to naturally gravitate towards the creative This is further clarified as in 2001 Katherine Kindersley carried out a reat the Royal College of Art which found that on average ‘25% of students at dyslexia’. (Frensch, N. (2003) pg4.)
In the mid-1990s Dr Beverley Steﬀert conducted research into visual-spatial ability and dyslexia at Central Saint Martins, conducting a series of verbal and visual tests on a large group of art and design students, some dyslexic, some not. Steﬀert concluded that, while most art and design students display strong visual-spatial abilities, the most innovative students were often those with dyslexia. In her report she diﬀerentiates between the sign mind – associated with analytical thinking and sequential organisation – and the design mind – linked to visual-spatial thinking. (Jackson, L. (2004) Pg13) The professions in which spatial awareness is a vital ingredient of success are in engineering, architecture and art. These would seem to be logical careers for people with dyslexia to lean towards. So although someone with dyslexia may struggle with words, many would excel when dealing with objects. In adulthood, these individuals excel in fields dependent upon their spatial abilities: art, design, architecture, illustration, animation, physics, engineering, drama, computer games, and photography. ARCHITECT One of the most popular creative disciplines amongst dyslexics and the one particular to me is that of architecture. So much so that some architect’s prefer to employ them due to their; competence with geometry, dexterity, spatial awareness, physical co-ordination and lateral thinking give architects enhanced visualization skills and the ability to see the relationships of large numbers of variables. The enhanced visual-spatial abilities are clearly a gift for architects and designers. Perhaps the most famous dyslexic within the design community is Richard Rogers. In 1938, the Rogers family moved to England, where he struggled through the public school system; many years later, he received a diagnosis of dyslexia. “I was called backward,” Rogers said. “We didn’t know dyslexia.” Rogers has also been quoted saying; “Dyslexics do have many hurdles to overcome and we do need practical strategies, and after 100 years, it is time to look not only at the diﬀiculties, but at the abilities and the potential that many dyslexic people have.” (Jackson, L. (2004) Pg11) Other famous architects include; Antoni Gaudi, Jørn Utzon, Frank Gehry and Bennett Strahan. Strahan inparticular views his condition as a gift, he says that dyslexia is about the best thing that ever happened to him. “I think it has probably helped me more than any single thing I can think of”. Linda Silverman, has used Strahan as an example in counseling dyslexic youngsters- children with trouble decoding written words, who reverse letters and numbers. The right sides of their brains are stronger than the left. Most schools focus on the left-brained, “academically talented child--great with reading, writing, calculations,” Silverman says. “All the things [such schools] focus on are to the detriment of kids who learn like Bennett. (Silverman, LK. (1991) pg8) In the following three chapters I intend to examine and assess whether there is anything within the theories of visual spatial awareness that can be implemented within the design of architecture
CHAPTER II: LIBRARY TYPOLOGY library
• a collection of information, sources, resources, and services: it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. Libraries are integral parts of the country and nation, and indicate the human desire to preserve and collect knowledge, and progress both culturally and intellectually. • a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to. • a collection of literary materials, books, films, tapes, periodicals, etc held in such a building or room based upon the written, and increasingly electronic, word. • a collection of films, recorded music, genetic material, etc., organized systematically and kept for research or borrowing : a record library. • a container/store of information organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual • Interface of knowledge consumption
The purpose/function of a library is to provide access to knowledge. What is the library but an efficient archive of books, a collection of information held for common use which provides a path for the public to reach them. The library has always been affected by the oppositional tension of its archival purpose of preserving knowledge and its public purpose of accessing knowledge; (Dual function; information storage and information transfer within).
“The idea of accumulating everything, of creating a sort of universal archive, the desire to enclose all times, all eras, forms, and styles within a single place” (Foucault. 1967, pg 424) “Libraries store, order, conserve and transmit knowledge affected simultaneously by economic conditions, technological innovations and most importantly the social production of knowledge”. (Klingman. 2001 pg1) “It is the library as social symbol that matters - as a centre of community inter¬action and as a place to celebrate learning”. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 18) Unesco states; ‘The library must be easy to access and its doors must be open to all the members of the community who will be able to make free use of it out distinction of race, colour, nationality, age, sex, language, civil status or cultural level.
It is one of society’s tasks to offer opportunities to all citizens, even those who are no longer in the first bloom of youth or at the peak of their physical condition. (Hofer. 2005. Pg9) Public libraries must be central, easily accessible to all and open at hours convenient for all. The building and its furnishings, must be of pleasing aspect, comfortable and welcoming; and it is essential that readers have direct access to the shelves.’ (Hofer. 2005. Pg16) This extract from the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto states the purpose of the public library: The public library is a practical demonstration of democracy’s faith in universal education as a continuing and lifelong process, in the appreciation of the achieve¬ment of humanity in knowledge and culture. It is the principal means whereby the record of man’s thoughts and ideals, and the expression of his creative imagination, are made freely available to all. (Thompson. 1995. pg 8) Surely libraries are also designed to help people to find books?, which is clarified by the Unesco deliberation; which states that one of the purposes of a library is to ‘allow the public to read books’. However, Umberto Ecco believes that libraries came into being whose purpose was not to encourage reading but to hide and conceal books” (Hofer. 2005.pg8)
LIBRARY; A BRIEF HISTORY
(Refer to Classification Timeline)
It is said that the Library of Ashurbanipal established in Babylonian times (668-627 BC), in Nineveh has been long considered to be the first systematically collected library containing over 20, 000 cuneiform tablets. Before its demise in 605BC, the library was considered the intellectual centre of the universe.
The original library at Alexandria in Egypt was one of the wonders of the ancient world. Generally thought to have been founded by Alexander the Great at the beginning of the third century BC, the library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter ( 323-283 BC ) or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II ( 283-246 BC ). As many as 700,000 scrolls, the equivalent of more than 100,000 modern printed books, filled the shelves. All ancient libraries were reference libraries: books could be consulted but not borrowed and the library was open to scholars from all cultures. When fire destroyed the library in 490 AD over half of all mankind’s recorded knowledge was lost when 532,000 papyrus scrolls were destroyed and the last keeper of the library; Hypatia, was burnt alive. (Holt, G. (2008) pg2) It was not until the develop¬ment of monastic libraries in Europe around 1200 that humanity again amassed in a single place what approached the collective wisdom and knowledge of the age. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th Centuries. Most commentators note that the library as we know it first occurred in the Renaissance with the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Casena and Michel¬angelo’s Biblioteca Laurcnziana in Florence. From the middle of the fifteenth century printed books joined manuscripts as communicators of ideas. During the Renaissance the attainment of knowledge gradually acquired a more public dimension. Due to the possibilities of mechanical reproduction, allowing the distribution of information to larger audience, knowledge in the form of printed matter gradually became a commodity available for civic use. (Klingman. 2001 pg2)
“We have always been amazed by those Humanists of the 15th century who rediscovered lost manuscripts. Where did they find them? They found them in libraries: in libraries that served in part to conceal books, but also served to enable them to be found again.” (Hofer. 2005. Pg8) When Caxton developed his printing press at Westminster in 1477, he opened up a demand not only for books but for libraries in which to store them. By 1500, the printed book became relatively common and the library was born. Early examples chained books to walls and oper¬ated the stall system whereby readers perched on high seats. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 42).
The great flowering of the library as a recognizable build¬ing type occurred in the eighteenth century and the plan of this period had a large area for book storage within a semi-basement. The position allowed books and journals to be delivered easily at road level. The growth in books and readers in the nineteenth century changed the library into a rational container of reading rooms (Thompson, G. 1995 pg34) Libraries steadily increased in size with the great growth of printed book production but no change of practice took place until the late nineteenth century, when lending books for use off the premises became common. By the turn of the twentieth century the form of the modern library had begun to appear - thanks partly to the liberal influence of great benefactors such as Andrew Carnegie and the expansion of higher education. Gradually forms other than that of the printed word began to creep in; film, gramo¬phone records, radio although at no time were they thought of as replacements for books rather than supplements to them. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 68). Lending or circulating libraries did not become popular until the 18th century; they became widespread in the 19th century with the rapid development of public libraries. The Public Libraries Act (1850) was one of several initiatives aimed at creating a modem, knowledgeable, literate society. In the UK, the first documented free public library was established in Manchester in 1852, after the 1850 Public Library Act. The first free, public, tax-supported library in the USA was opened in Boston in 1854.
It wasnâ€™t until the following century that libraries began to open access to the stacks and classification began to evolve to enable user browsing. Public libraries did not usually permit open access to their shelves until the early years of the 20th century; many national and university libraries, on account of the size and value of their collections, still restrict access. The computer became part of library operations in the 1950s, which relieved staff from unnecessary repetitive tasks associated with the card catalogue, although for decades the computer and card catalogue have existed side by side. The simple photocopying machine, once a mere office convenience, has nowadays become one of the most important elements of the library service. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 14) CABE (The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) states that â€œLibraries are a vital part of a civilised society, as beacons of learning they act as hubs for their community. However libraries face real challenges in meeting the rapid social and technical changes of the twenty first century. Public libraries are being reinvented. They are increasingly seen as the shared ground in an increasingly diverse society, a place where the whole community can feel a connection. They also provide the vital link to our digital future.â€? (McIntosh. 2003. Pg 3) Where it was once an exclusive and often private building type, over the past 500 years the library has become a truly public building with genuine social space and community purpose. As education moves out of the institutions to inflect the whole of society, libraries have become key communications centres and hubs for their community, concerned with a much wider social agenda. Libraries are now responding to these changes, recognising that while the buildings themselves may change in their external appearance and in their internal design, along with the services offered, there is nevertheless a core library service and culture which has proven to be highly resilient through many decades, and is likely to continue to be so. (McIntosh, H. (2003) pg2)
SPATIAL ORGANISA TION OF LIBRARIES The library’s social identity, as a public institution has evolved. The Library has been transformed from a space to read into a social center with multiple responsibilities, a social symbol, a centre of community interaction and as a comprehensive events space that celebrates mankinds most valuable asset; knowledge As the medium has changed from the book as the sole medium for information transmission to a variety of media the library of the 21st century and the impact of new media and information technologies has had profound effect on the spatial organisation of the library. Today, the library is electronic and virtual, libraries are exchanges of information and market places for ideas. Libraries today need to facilitate multi-modal access to information and. at the same lime, encourage the creative use of knowledge. This was not considered essential when libraries had a primary storage function, but when information is everywhere the challenge is one of knowledge use and dissemination. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 82) • Information/communication exchange network with the urban context • three-dimensional material interface of virtual information exchange. • social market place / meeting place • symbolic expression of knowledge, • a living room in the city • physical interface of knowledge exchange • the civic heart of the community • advertisement for culture. The libraries status as an information exchange has subsequently affected the spatial organization of the library and its emerging presence as a public institution. “What is the right balance of provision between social space and study space? In the electronic library, is there need rooms at all or just a large open market¬place of digital interaction? (Edwards. 2002. Pg 18) The library has itself become little more than one large reading room - a kind of trading floor of electronic learning, “that redefines information exchange as a constructed experience in space.” (Klingman. 2001 pg18)
THE TRADITIONAL READING ROOM HAS
EVOLVED INTO A LARGE MARKET PLACE / TRADING FLOOR / CATTLE MARKET / FACTORY
with the spatial characteristics of shopping mall. An environment not dissimilar to that of the Apple store.
But the shift from a book-based library collection to an electronic one has profound implications on the design of libraries. Rem Koolhaas states that â€œthe library must transform itself into an information storehouse â€œaggressively orchestrating the coexistence of all available technologiesâ€?. (Klingman. 2001 pg18) As the services which libraries provide expand and change, from book lending to computer training, from providing seminar and meeting rooms to the provision of publishing and reprographic suites, the design of libraries is much more likely to take the form of freestyle floor plans, and adaptable internal configurations of space. Core service functions such as the provision of toilets, catering facilities, entrances and exits, need to be designed to be accessible to all users, when other parts of the building need to be made secure. (McIntosh, H. (2003) pg6) As media continuously overwhelm us with images, our perception of information has been drastically modified (evolved) (Klingman. 2001 pg18), the libraries evolution through the integration of new media technologies is responding to societies insatiable appetite for visual stimulation. New libraries have to react to the inherent culture of postmodern media society. The typology and economic the evolving devisions by event spaces
must be prepared for the incessant evolution of media, social, technological conditions by providing a flexible and versatile space which can adapt alongside ambiguity of its building typology. Blurring the boundaries between spatial hybridizing the functional requirements of the library into more comprehensive the interior becomes a fluid datascape.
Giulio Camillo born in 1480, was a sixteenth-century architect/philosopher whose explorations of human memory led him to construct a “Memory Theatre” that possessed magical powers: those who entered would emerge with a complete memory of all the knowledge that had ever existed
Over the past century Camillo’s Memory Theatre has been interpreted in Frances Yates’s influential book, The Art of Memory (1966) and by the prolific architects Diller+Scofidio in an installation that explores the aesthetics of danger and the paths of Camillo’s mind, completed in New York in 1986. “I have long been interested in the creation of architectural models of mental states, so I was immediately drawn to Camillo when I first read his story in Frances Yates’ book The Art of Memory. A meditation upon memory is necessary for the present moment: a time in which America is slipping again into moral amnesia and the accompanying degradation of language is like an epidemic of aphasia”. (Maguire, 1986. Pg3) One of my earliest observations with regard to the spatialisation of knowledge was that throughout history the spatialisation of knowledge has predominantly been represented in overtly circular all encompassing format. Giulio Camillo Memory Theatre, The bodleian and Manchester libraries, even the banality of the trivial pursuit board game in this format, which is undoubtably one of the most successful ways to represent the infinite nature of knowledge. Which is further elaborated upon in the Jorge Luis Borges; Library of Babel.
â€œThe universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. The Library is a sphere whose exact center is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible. Each of the walls of each hexagon has five corresponding shelves; each shelf contains thirty-two books of uniform format; each book is four hundred and ten pages long; each page has forty lines, and each line is made up of eighty black lettersâ€?. (Hofer. 2005. Pg6) The following passage taken from Jorge Luis Borges: Library of Babel (1941) illustrates Borges as an eccentric and intruiging character with a densely layered, complex and imaginative writing style combining; philosophy, fiction, fact, science, metaphysical fantasy and mystery. Throughout the Library of Babel it becomes apparent that Borges description of this potentially infinite and unlimited space, is a potent model of the universe rather than a critique of library classification.
In the 1964 publication by Jorge Luis Borges entitled; Labyrinths, a series of very short stories and writings, there are no descriptions of the labyrinths themselves, again it is his reference to the complexity of universe and ourselves. The Library of Babel is explicitly referenced in the 1995 essay; In the library of Form by Kevin Kelly. Another author profoundly influenced by the work of Borges is Umberto Eco, which is illustrated in both the novel and the film adaptation of The Name of the Rose. The story is centered around a 14th Century Monastic Archive which begins to materialize the idea of the Labyrinthine library with visions of Michelangelo’s ‘Laurentian secret library’. A secret and isolated endless maze and place of supernatural activity reminiscent of the library of babel, even the character of the blind librarian; Jorge di Burgos is based on Borges. (Ecco, U. (1983) pg73)
In response to the borges text, in the forward to Candida Hoffer’s; Libraries, Umberto Ecco formulates a concept for a fundamentally negative library. “I now permit myself to produce a negative model, in nineteen points, of a bad library. A gigantic cauchemar, a complete nightmare’ where; catalogues are split up to the maximum degree, call numbers are illegible, time lapse between request and checkout must be very long, Loans are discouraged, no more than one book at a time may be lent out, If possible, there must be a total absence of photocopying machines, the librarian must consider the reader as an enemy, a layabout and a thief, the information desk must be completely inaccessible, inter library loans are impossible, theft becomes extremely simple, if possible, no toilets and ideally, the user should not be able to enter the library at all.. (Hofer. 2005. Pg8-10) In the creation of the worst possible scenario, it enables you to formulate an idea of the optimal format for a library, strategies that can be implemented on the design of libraries/mediatheque. -Information on any subject is accessible in an instant! -knowledge becomes/is dynamic and intuitive there are many alternatives to knowledge and learning other than the written word / multimedia -everything is portable -Naturally, rare manuscripts are in another library and are a bit less accessible. -you don’t even need many reading rooms, because easy loan, photocopying and checkout procedures largely eliminate the need to spend time in the reading rooms. -refreshment area, the bar and the area with vending machines, where you can bring the books you have taken from the library, thus carrying on with your work at a table with a coffee, while examining the books and deciding whether to take them back to the shelves or to take them out on loan. -There is an extremely large number of photocopying machines, and you can also take books out on loan and the checkout process is incredibly fast: -all the book spines have a magnetic strip security and airport-style electronic scanner on each exit. -This kind of library is made for me. I can decide to pass a the whole day there in bliss: I read the papers, take the books down to the bar, then I go to look for some more, -In this sense the library becomes an adventure. (Hofer. 2005. Pg10-12)
In other words, if the library is, as Borges put it, a mode of the universe, We must try to transform it into a universe on a human scale, and, I would remind you, a human scale also means a light hearted scale, with the chance of a coffee. In other words, a library that people feel like going to. (Hofer. 2005. Pg16)
INFORMATION AGE Since the 1980’s, people have predicted the demise of the library and media is accelerating at such a pace that it is almost impossible to foresee the implications that this will have on the library. There is also the notion of how technology and the internet is rendering the library obsolete. The idea that computer screens will eventually replace books… Over the past decade we have seen a period where the use of libraries has been in steady decline. For many potential users the outmoded design and poor location of some library buildings is a deterrent in itself. We need innovative solutions to make them relevant again. • Since 1992/3 visits have fallen by 17%, and loans by almost one-quarter • 23% fewer people are using libraries for borrowing than just three years ago • There were 290 million visits to libraries in 2000/1 • Almost 30% of the population use libraries for borrowing books or other items • Many more people visit libraries to study, use PCs, the internet, & enquire about community activities. (McIntosh. 2003. Pg 6)
“The supremacy of the book has been challenged by the digital revolution. Now knowledge is virtually everywhere: it has broken free of the constraint of buildings”. Electronic knowledge is nowadays available to everybody; in the home, workplace, airport, school, restaurant etc. However, just as the printing press changed access to knowledge, information technology has revolutionized the library. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 127) Paradoxically, “of the 53 percent of U.S. adults who said they visited a library in 2007, the biggest users were young adults aged 18 to 30 in the tech-loving group known as Generation Y.” (Vorman, J. (2007) pg 2) “The survey showed 62 percent of Generation Y respondents said they visited a public library in the past year, with a steady decline in usage according to age. Some 57 percent of adults aged 43 to 52 said they visited a library in 2007, followed by 46 percent of adults aged 53 to 61; 42 percent of adults aged 62 to 71; and just 32 percent of adults over 72. People now go to libraries to use the internet, more than two-thirds of library visitors in all age groups said they used computers while at the library. These findings turn our thinking about libraries upside down,” (Vorman, J. (2007) pg 2) In an age where information can be accessed anywhere via direct access to a variety of technological information sources around the globe, the status of knowledge has been significantly altered and created an instant access culture. Affordable computing power combined with the spread of online services provides public access to international databases (Klingman. 2001 pg4) The development of information technologies, has created a completely new environment in which the role of traditional information services must be thoroughly revised. Through the manifestation of networking, cooperation, digitisation modification, storage and disseminating information and knowledge. “Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside.” (McLuhan, M. (1962) pg 83)
INTERNET Even in the early days of my undergraduate degree, less than 5 years ago I recall that if I needed to find specific information I had to search for it in the confines of my local library, if the information was not available you had to go through the lengthy process of an inter library loan. The internet has revolutionized information access and has opened up a fantastic breadth of global instantly accessible knowledge and according to wikipedia; as of 2009, an estimated quarter of Earth’s population uses the services of the Internet. “The Internet has simultaneously shifted our perception of knowledge as well as our relationship to the physical territory”. (Klingman. 2001 pg4) Contrasted against the limited information available in the traditional library, the internet is a non-hierarchical interactive network that enables holistic, immediate and unrestricted access to knowledge, which I believe is exactly what the library should be. “The Internet is the largest collection of information known to humans that seems to have created an information hunger and it is information-savvy young people who are most likely to visit libraries.” (Vorman, J. (2007) pg 2)
FUTURE In Issac Asimov’s The Naked Sun about an interplanitery detective is transported to an outer world (Solaria) inhabited by robots. The author imagines an audio-visual library orchestrated by robots and refers to ‘book-films’ as a hybrid information format. “The robot submitted, but even as it manipulated the controls that plucked the requisite book-films out of their niches and transferred them to first to an exit slot then to baileys hand it rattled on in respectful tones about all the other categories in the library, adventure romance, chemistry, fantasy, galactography; “the list was endless”. (Asimov, 1957 pg 64) The 21st century library has become a cultural institution and comprehensive events space that has been infiltrated by alternative forms of electronic information media that seem to be slowly replacing the conservative functions of reading and writing as the primary methods of information transfer. West cites research in neuroscience that shows a link between visual talents and verbal difficulties, and he believes that new developments in computer technology herald a significant shift toward the increased use of visual approaches throughout the economy. These changes may be as revolutionary as the technology of the book, which translated ideas into written words. The use of visualization and virtual reality computer displays has already begun to move out of the world of science into that business, representing marketing trends through moving pictures rather than tiresome charts and tables of numbers. (West, 1997. Pg 403)
“The Library has been transformed from a space to read into a social center with multiple responsibilities” and it is the simultaneity of all media and, more importantly, the curatorship of their contents that will make the Library vital in the future”. (Koolhaus, 2005. Pg 11/32) Libraries are social, community and meeting places, as well as learning centres. The Library is deliberately ambiguous so that people can find in it something that they can recognise from their point of view. I hope that people can know before they come that they are welcome, and that it is open-ended about what they can do there, the State Library of Queensland manages to feel coherent and organised yet open to numerous possibilities. (Hill, D. (2008) Pg8) Future libraries will be developed in partnership with other services, encouraging electronic links between homes and libraries. Librarians and other staff now need to be computer literate. Virtual library services will be provided 24 hours a day, thus allowing mobile individuals to plug into online services and networks wherever they happen to be. “If it is a fact that in the future the bulk of knowledge will be stored on magnetic tapes or greatly reduced microforms and fed into computers that information transactions will be negotiated through terminals located at home, in the dormitory, the classroom, the office, or in service stations remote from where information is stored; and that information will be transmitted to users over long dis¬tances then it is imprudent if not illogical, to plan costly structures to house non-existent books and their readers.”(Thompson. 1995. Pg 26)
MEDIATHEQUE The Mediatheque (Multimedia Library) typology is one that has only really existed since around the turn of the 21st century. French in origin, it is a format which is utilized worldwide. A program that embraces digital media, providing alternative means of obtaining information/knowledge other than literature and encouraging dialogue between physical and digital worlds. The Mediatheque constitutes an emergent building typology. Through the staging of various advanced technologies the mediatheque is a place where all forms of media co-exist with traditional forms, and run in parallel. Computer screens now stand side by side with books and journals, IT suites, newspapers and magazines, reading rooms, children’s libraries. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 22) The location, design and services offered by new public libraries are changing in unprecedented ways, and will continue to do so in the future through cross-programming and the integration of new art galleries, cinemas, theatres, science labs, shopping arcades, kresh & nursery facilities, and in one case; housing association offices, careers and youth services, and even administrative offices for the local police. (McIntosh, H. (2003) pg6) “An environment where information is merged with entertainment and where the transposition of image, sound, and text assimilate data into a comprehensive experience. The user becomes immersed in a virtual world of predigested data, which presented as a ready-made product of seduction”. (Klingman. 2001 pg4)
“This is exactly how libraries should be reacting to the internet - they can actually reinforce their significance by becoming a physical manifestation of the information age.” (Hill, D. (2008) Pg7)
New libraries have to react/respond to the zeitgeist culture of postmodern media society. The fundamental revolutionary change is the sociability of the networking/multi-tasking culture that now occupies libraries. How architecture addresses that culture is the profoundly interesting; it seems to me that similar to the holistic nature of the internet, the mediatheque hybridizes these new modes and interfaces of knowledge consumption and media into a continuous landscape of knowledge.
MEDIA TIMELINE 3200 BC- Hyrogliphic Writings
1950- Automatic Camera
2700 BC- Egyptian alphabet
1927– TELEVISION (Black and White)
1800 BC- Hyrogliphic Egyptian Writings
1928- Microform / Ultrafiche
150 BCE- Dead Sea Scrolls
1938- TELEVISION (Colour)
800BC- Greek Alphabet
1952- Computer Video Games
405BC- Armenian Alphabet
7thC / 1st C / 8thC /4thC /1600- Manuscripts
1962- TELEVISION (Cable and Satellite)
1965- Fibre Optic Cable
1968- PC (Personal Computer)
1450- Movable Type Printing
1970- VIDEO (VHS)
1477- Printing Press (Caxton)
1971- Floppy Disc
1971- Touch Screen Technology
1816– PHOTOGRAPHY (Black and White)
1975- Digital Camera
1844- Speaking Telegraph
1979- Compact Disc (CD)
1874- QUERTY Keyboard
1983- Mobile Phone
1906- Telephone Directory
1929- Audio Cassette
1989- World Wide Web (Tim Burner)
1935- Microform (Microfilm)
(Microforms; roll microfilm, micro-opaque, Micro-card, microprint, microfiche and types of aperture card)
1942– PHOTOGRAPHY (Colour)
CHAPTER III: LIBRAR Y CLASSIFI CATION
Library classification was the first means of subject access to information, it is a systemic way of arranging library materials according to their particular subject and format. Items are grouped according to contemporary scholastic disciplines and ordered into a concise hierarchy. Unique bibliographic classification codes contained within a library catalog determine where they items are placed on the shelves or within the stack. Classification systems are not merely ways of categorizing books; these are systems for categorizing all human knowledge. Whether the codicology is enumerative, hierarchical, faceted, synthetic, semiotic or noetic, this chapter outlines the evolution of library classification schemes throughout history. A library catalogue is a list of books and other items in the stock of a particular library which has the entries arranged in a logical order which provides a bibliographical description and a location. Cataloging is in place to keep a record of stock, using strict rules to ensure consistency. Holdings are categorized under either; Subject Index = alphabetized list of subjects in stock or Name Index = organized under title or author (A-Z). A typical catalogue entry gives the author’s name, the book’s title, edition, and imprint, and possibly also a note on its publishing history or subject matter or its publishing history. Throughout history it is said that library classification began at the Imperial Library, China which was during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) which suceeded the Qin dynasty (221–207 bc). “One of the curators of the imperial library in the Han Dynasty is believed to have been the first to establish a library classification system and the first book notation system. At this time the library catalog was written on scrolls of fine silk and stored in silk bags.” (Holt, G. (2008) pg1) However, classification practices in Ancient libraries may have varied from arrangement by title, broad subject, by chronology, medium (i.e. cuneiform, obelisk, scroll, stele, stone, wood, ivory, parchment, papyrus, etc.) Archeologists have found at Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, cuneiform tablets, (ca. 2100 B.C), classified by topic and stored in especially made clay boxes called saduppu , which received an identifying tag on which was noted the number of tablets inside, and the subject of classification. (Levy , D. (2001) Pg4) The library of Ashurbanipal (668-627 B.C) at Ninevah, the city to which Jonah flees, and the city whose destruction in 612 B.C.E. is celebrated by the prophet Nahum was excavated by Austen Layard in 1849. Many classical texts of ancient Mesopotamia were arranged carefully, collated, and edited with a view to establishing an authoritative recension, with attention to counting line numbers, and recording the colophons. Tablets were grouped together by series (iskaru ) and by subseries (pirsu ), arranged by numbers, indexed at the rims. They were topically arranged in series, tablets from each series being stored together in built in cases with bundles tied together by string, with tags attached to identify the contents. Frequently the first line of the next tablet or series at the end of the preceding item, appeared in the hand of the ancient archivists. Catalogs in duplicate copies with serial catch lines were also found. Finding lists or catalogs were often inscribed in the wall near the door or on clay tablets kept easily available. (Levy , D. (2001) Pg4) The scribes of the Alexandrian library inscribed the colophons at the end of the rolls with identifying tags to each roll, and book boxes or buckets were used with checklists of the contents of each container. Knowledge was organized into ten main categories so that the library included ten main halls. (Levy , D. (2001) pg5) The Card Catalogue is said to have first been used to organize manuscripts within the libraries of medieval Islam around c.800. Originally the entries were catalogued according to their author and as time progressed, catalogues were also organized according to titles, subjects, locations and keywords. The accelerated growth of library collections and the mounting cost of printing led to the replacement or supplementation of the printed catalogue by either a catalogue on paper slips kept in binders, a sheaf catalogue, or a catalogue on cards kept in a cabinet of drawers. This was easy to consult and to keep up to date with insertions, withdrawals, and replacements of worn cards, but its maintenance was costly and its size could be cumbersome. The first catalogue of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, published in 1605, shows that the library was arranged according to the four faculties into which studies at the University of Oxford were then divided: theology, medicine, law, and arts. As subjects of study have diversified and multiplied, classification has been extended to take in new subjects and divisions and combinations of existing subjects. (Holt, G. (2008) pg 2) In addition to the works of Jorge Luis Borges outlined in the previous chapter, in the ‘Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge’s Taxonomy’ taken from the essay “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins” published in 1942, Jorge Luis Borges Illustrates the often illogical and paradoxical classification of knowledge; “These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia called the Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its distant pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel’s-hair brush; (l) etcetera; (m) those that have just broken the flower vase; (n) those that at a distance resemble flies.” (Borges, JL. (1942) pg68).
TYPOLOGIES (Refer to Library Classification Timeline) (See APPENDICES) Dewey Decimal System Devised by Melvil Dewey in 1876, each subject has its own number which are divided into 10main headings or ‘classes’ which are then separated into 10 divisions and then into 10 further sections. Essentially hierarchical, the decimal/ numerical system allows for the integration of new topics and leaves potetial for an infinite number of entries. The Dewey system is easy to use, if you enlist the aid of others in either setting up or maintaining the system and also allows to be found and replenished/ returned relatively easily. Fiction is ordered separately and alphabetized. The system is continuously revised to keep pace with knowledge and has a series of codes and rules that ensures uniformity of practice between different catalogues and libraries. The DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world. Libraries in more than 135 countries use the DDC to organize and provide access to their collections In the movie 2012, a conspiracy activist named Charlie Frost relies on Dewey Decimal Classification to organize his lifelong work related to the series of apocalyptic natural disasters in year 2012. (Holt, G. (2008) Pg6) The system is used internationally, although adaptions/hybrids of the system are used in China, Japan and Korea. DDC has undergone a series of revisions since it was inaugurated in 1876 and is currently in its 22nd. Cutter Expansive Classification Inspired by DDC, the cutter number is an alphanumeric device to code text so that it can be arranged in alphabetical order using the least amount of characters. Bibliographical in character, the first line represents the subject, the second the author (and perhaps title), the third and fourth dates of editions, indications of translations, and critical works on particular books or authors. All numbers in the Cutter system are (or should be) shelved as if in decimal order. The Cutter Expansive Classification served as the basis for the Library of Congress classification Universal Decimal Classification Based on the Dewey Decimal Classification, UDC is a multilingual adaptation of the DDC that uses semiotics to indicate specific unique relationships between each items multiple subjects. The system is used internationally in over 130 countries, especially within specialist libraries. The system has undergone a number of revisions over the last century and works well with digital cataloging systems. Library of Congress Classification Developed in 1897 by Herbert Putnam of the Library of Congress in the United States. The LCC is a specific development on the DDC and the CEC that was developed in a specific response to the particular purposes of the Library of Congress. The LCC system is almost totally enumerative but separates subjects into a 21 (A-Z) classes with an organic list of subclasses. The Library of Congress classification system, considered highly expandable and most economically feasible. The system was developed based mainly on the idea of literary warrant; classes were added (by individual experts in each area) only when needed for works owned by the Library of Congress. Library of Congress classification system, considered highly expandable and most economically feasible. The system is used within most academic and research based libraries across America Colon Classification A form of ‘faceted classification’ developed by S.R.Ranganathan in 1933, The name comes from its utilization of the colon to separate each items subject components within its unique call number. Faceted classification allows objects/ materials to obtain multiple subjects classifications, for example; medicine, religion and art, as oppose to being assigned to one subject. Ordered around 42 main classes in many ways reminiscent of the LCC system. Since its inauguration in 1933, there have been 6 major revisions. Bliss bibliographic classification Published between 1940 and 1953 by Henry E Bliss in New York. Bliss was somewhat of a eccentric maverick and designed his system in revolt to the LCC and DDC systems dominating US libraries, however the system is more commonly used in Britain and has been since 1967. The faceted system specifically does not utilize the use of the decimal point and instead uses alphanumeric coding and semiotics. OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) Is a global system that unites libraries around the world by using the service to locate, exchange and conserve library stock. In 1967 OCLC, the first major regional centre, was founded; it began with batch mode cataloguing but went on-line in 1971. By 1985 it was serving nearly 3000 libraries, and it now has an international bibliographic catalogue of over 1 billion items. The OCLC is used in over 72,000 libraries in 86 countries and territories worldwide and holds the rights to DDC after the death of Melvil Dewey. MARC Invented by Henriette Davidson Avram the MARC system was devised an national and international analytical system which allows the standardization and sharing of bibliographic records. MARC encourages access to other libraries holdings, played a great part in transferring card catalogue data into digital formats and greatly enhanced the feasibility of interlibrary lending. “Avram’s development of the MARC format in the late 1960s and early 1970s at the Library of Congress had a revolutionizing effect on the practice of librarianship, making possible the automation of many library functions and making it possible to share information electronically between libraries” (Schudel, M. (2006) pg B06) OPAC The ‘Online Public Access Catalog’ was instrumental in replacing the traditional ‘Card Catalogue’. There are online public access catalogues for both single libraries and networks of libraries. The scheme was first specified in the late 1970’s although did not become mainstream until the 1990’s.
When I began this study, within the context of my cultural research of Armenia, I always assumed I would come across a radical Soviet Russian Constructivist take on classification, however, disappointingly it turned out that the American classification schemes (DDC, LCC) were utilized across the states within the soviet union. “The Dewey Decimal Classification has served as the foundation for the majority of Soviet schemes, although in the past efforts were made to devise a new classification scheme based on Marxism-Leninism.” (Baumanis, A. (1958) pg172) The traditional card catalogue is in fact still used in Yerevan’s only public library which was built in the 1930’s during the soviet union.
The two major classification systems in use internationally today are; the Dewey Decimal Classification, and the Library of Congress classification system. DDC has been criticized for being inadequate in covering many subject areas of knowledge and another disadvantage of DDC is that it was developed in the 19th century essentially by one man and was built on a top-down approach to classify all human knowledge which makes it difficult to adapt to changing fields of knowledge Critisisms of the LCC are that because each area is developed by an expert according to demands of cataloging, there is little consistency. It has been criticized as lacking a sound theoretical basis; many of the classification decisions were driven by the particular practical needs of that library, rather than epistemological considerations. (Holt, G. (2008) Pg8) However, apart from its frequent revisions, DDC’s main advantage over its rival, the Library of Congress Classification, is its adaptability and simplicity. DDC optimizes the ease of experience for user and browser with its relatively coherent subject hierarchy, whereas LCC’s private stack and often illogical call numbers can restrict the user in many ways. The came a point in my design thesis that I had to make a decision on which system to specify in my library. “What system is to be used by a library depends
on the size of the collection, the personal needs of the library patrons, and the type of library, all of the systems share the objective of providing coherent access to books by an ordering principle that arranges materials by subject classification.” (Levy , D. (2001) pg9) Taking into consideration the classification systems utilised in the former republics of the Soviet Union, the ease of use for both the cataloger and user that enables communication with other libraries nationally and internationally and not forgetting most librarians and users at least have a working familiarity with DDC. The system is constantly evolving and categories can be extended to accommodate unforeseen subjects and in the increasing globalised market, no unique or specialized tendency could override the international specification of the Dewey Decimal system to increase ease of communication between libraries around the world. Which is why I decided to specify the Dewey Decimal system in my library design.
LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION TIMELINE 2600BCE- Cuniform Tablets (Jewish) 2100 BCE- Ur Archive (Abraham) 1300 B.C.E- Hellenic ancient archives (Pylos in Messenia) 1115-1077BCE- Assyria Archive (Tiglath Pileser) 668-627 B.C.E- The library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh 516BCE- Temple of Jarusalem 330 BC. Library of Hadrian, Athens 260 BC. LIbrary of Alexandria, Egypt 206 BC- Imperial Library China 117 AD- Celsus-Library in Ephesos c.800- Card Catalogue (Islam) 1550- Giulio Camillo; Memory Theatre 1605- Bodleian Library, Oxford 1854- ‘Public’ Library (UK: Manchester / USA; Boston) 1800- fixed location system / Thomas Jefferson 1876- Dewey Decimal System 1880-1890- Cutter Expansive Classification 1894- Universal Decimal Classification 1897- Library of Congress Classification 1933- Faceted Classification- Colon Classification 1940- Bliss bibliographic classification 1941- Jorge Luis Borges; Library of Babel 1950- Computers in Libraries 1967- OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) International Online Public Access Library Catalogue 1968- MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) 1978- OCLC (Online public access catalog) 1998- RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies that use radio waves to identify people or objects carrying encoded microchips 2000- RFID Libraries 2003- 22nd Revision of the Dewey Decimal System
CHAPTER IV: LIBRARY CASE STUDIES / EXAMPLES
In the next chapter I am going to outline a number of historic/traditional libraries and current models of contemporary media libraries or mediatheques, examples that have resonance with my research into the dichotomy between linear-sequential and visual-spatial abilities and have informed and profoundly influenced my graduate design thesis. (a full list of the case studies is located in the appendices section) Following on from the section on library typology and history, the following examples aim to illustrate the evolution from the linearsequential to visual-spatial organization of knowledge. OXFORD BODLEIAN LIBRARY, 1602 Oxford’s Bodleian Library opened in 1602 with a collection of 2,000 books assembled by Thomas Bodley. The Bodleian library is regarded as a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Known to Oxford scholars as “Bodley” or simply “the Bod”, under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Though University members may borrow some books from dependent libraries (such as the Radcliffe Science Library), the Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and in general documents may not be removed from the reading rooms.
CHETHAMS LIBRARY, CHETHAM SCHOOL OF MUSIC, MANCHESTER, 1653. The library is Part of the Chethams School of Music which was established in 1653 in Manchester, England and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Today, it is an independent charity and remains open to readers and visitors free of charge. The Library holds more than one hundred thousand printed volumes, over half of which were published before 1851. The oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. The library is wonderfully dark and atmospheric, somewhat imposing and it is fantastic to still see that the library still has volumes chained to the walls of the library.
MANCHESTER LIBRARY 1934 Circular in design, on the first floor is the Great Hall, a large reading room topped by a dome. The library was constructed between 1930 and 1934, but because of its traditional neoclassical architecture it is often mistakenly thought to be much older. The main reading room orientated around a large central archive which I was lucky enough to be granted access. The Library is scheduled to be closed between May 2010 to 2013 for major refurbishment and expansion. Some of its services will be available at a temporary location nearby. Manchester Archives and Local Studies, on the first floor of the Central Library, is home to a wide range of materials relating to the history of Manchester, its organisations, its buildings and its people. Anyone studying the city and its history is welcome to use the range of reference facilities available here. There are also lending books which can be borrowed. Membership of Manchester Libraries is free and open to anyone.
BRITISH LIBRARY / SIR COLIN WILSON The British Library (BL) is the national library of the United Kingdom. The library is one of the world’s largest research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats: books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, drawings and much more. Its book collection is second only to the American Library of Congress. The Library’s collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial additional collection of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 300 BC. First opened in 1973, the Libraries Budget was £100,000,000.
PECKHAM LIBRARY / WILL ALSOP “Typical of the new generation of libraries is that at Peckham, winner of the Stirling Prize in 2000 as the UK’s Building of the Year. Designed by Alsop and Stormer in the inner city suburb of Peckham in South London, the new library is a people’s building bedecked in strong coloured glass, filled with Afro-Caribbean collec¬tions, surrounded by new public space and divided on the inside into meeting areas of various kinds. This large new public library combines traditional carrels around the perimeter with ship-like structures towards the centre which, in Noah’s ark fashion, house the library’s special collections. The building pushes at the frontiers of library design, taking the challenge of IT, the needs of young people and multi-culturalism as the agenda for a fresh approach to library architecture. Peckham Library serves as a symbol of economic and intellectual regeneration amongst the broken streets of South London. Equally importantly, it ushers in a new dawn for library architecture one where people come before books and colour before drabness”. (Edwards. 2002. Pg 140) It is a striking building best imagined as an inverted capital letter ‘L’, with the upper part supported by thin steel pillars set at apparently random angles. Various ‘pods’ house meeting rooms, children’s areas and the library’s Afro-Caribbean section. Alsop has taken the plan footprint of a conventional library and elevated it to create a public space beneath the building and to remove the quiet reading space from street level noise. The remaining, supporting buildings on the ground and 1st floors house the information and media centre. I was surprised by the small scale of the library as it exists on one upper main level, however the library was bustling and colourful. The striking design of the Peckham Library has provided a new landmark in an area much in need of regeneration. The figures for the first full year of the new library compared to the two closed libraries it replaced show that annual visits were up from 168,000 to 536,000 and loans from 93,000 to 385,000.(McIntosh, H. (2003) pg17)
IDEAS STORE (Whitechapel) (Chrisp Street) / DAVID ADJAYE Part of a program based on a new type of information and learning provision being pioneered by the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Idea Store Chrisp Street opened on 19th July 2004 and offers the Idea mix of learning and library services for all. The Store offers free internet access, courses and events for every age and interest, thousands of books for loan, and CDs and DVDs for hire for a small fee. Idea Store Chrisp Street was funded by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Leaside Regeneration, Lloyds of London Charities Trust and UK Online. Idea Store Whitechapel - the borough’s flagship library, learning and information service opened on Thursday, 22nd September 2005. The store offers the fullest range of services: More books, CDs and DVDs / An extensive range of newspapers and magazines / A dedicated reference and information library / A children’s library / Deaf World collection / A cafe / Free Internet access / A range of state-of-the-art learning spaces and classrooms / A creche for the children of learners / Specialist spaces for teaching dance and complementary therapies. -Ground floor retail / five storey height atrium -Mix of library and education space -Café on the top floor offering panoramic views of London. -Audio visual section / teen library / Life-long learning class
Refer to accompanying CD-R and Appendices!
Next I wish to discuss two innovative and iconic competition entries by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture
TRÈS GRANDE BIBLIOTHÈQUE, TGB (Very Big Library) FRANCE, PARIS, 1989 OMA received an honorable mention for Très Grande Bibliothèque, a competition to build a new national library in France. The program called for the creation of various smaller libraries contained in one building envelope; including libraries for moving images, recent acquisitions, reference, catalogues and scientific research. The immense amount of information to be stored within these spaces (books, films, digital databases) became the impetus for the overall concept design. The library is imagined as a solid block of information, a dense repository for the past, from which voids are carved to create public spaces – absence floating in memory. .” (Koolhaus, 2000. Pg 67) Along with offices, restaurants, offices, conference centers, café’s, a cinemateque, shop’s and café’s, the Bibliothèque would contain: a library for recent acquisitions, a reference library, a library of catalogues, and a scientific research library. To quote Remment himself;
“They all anticipate the utopia of fully integrated information systems to materialize before the opening of the building: books, films, music, computers will be read on the same magic tablets. The future will not spell the end of the book but a period of new equalities.” “The Very Big Library is interpreted as a solid block of information, a repository of all forms of memory - books, laser disks, microfiche, computers and databases. In this block, the major public spaces are defined as absences of building, voids carved out of the information solid. Floating in memory, they are multiple embryos, each with its own technological placenta.” (Koolhaus, 2000. Pg 68)
JUSSIEU - TWO LIBRARIES, FRANCE, PARIS, 1992 In the award winning scheme for two libraries at Jussieu, a technical university in Paris, OMA radically reconfigures the typical library layout. Rather than simply stacking one level on top of another, sections of each floor are manipulated to connect with those above and below, forming a single trajectory - much like an interior boulevard that winds its way through the entire building. These new surfaces - a vertical, intensified landscape - are then ‘urbanized’ almost like a city: the specific elements of the libraries are reimplanted in the new public realm like buildings in a city. Jussieu is a network, not a building; a social magic carpet. Through its scale and variety the effect of the inhabited planes becomes almost that of a street, a theme which influences the interpretation and planning of the Boulevard as part of a system of further supra-programmatic urban elements in the interior: plazas, parks, monumental staircases, cafes, shops. The visitor becomes a Baudelairean flaneur, inspecting and being seduced by a world of books and information and the urban scenario. (Koolhaus, 2000. Pg 46) “The reader is simultaneously seduced by the miscellaneous selection of books as well as by the possibility of social intercourse and visual stimulation” (Klingman. 2001 pg5)
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY, USA, SEATTLE, 2004 The building is compartmentalized into separate stacked functional containers. The five platforms were created in a logical hierarchical order, whereby each is conceived as a programmatic cluster of similar thematic components; parking, staff, meeting, storage and hq. Clear spatial definition of the different functions of the library incorporate special programs related to work, interaction, and play.
The new Seattle Public Library houses the libraryâ€™s main collection of books, government publications, periodicals, audio visual materials and the technology to access and distribute information from the physical collection online. The program includes; Living Room (ground floor; unprogrammed public free space), Reading Room, Mixing Chamber (central core), Book Spiral, Childrenâ€™s Library, Auditorium, Administrative Platform, Library Headquarters, Car parking garage, Roof Terrace.
At the moment when the electronics revolution seems about to melt all that is solid- to eliminate all necessity for concentration and physical embodiment- it seems absurd to imagine the ultimate library. (A&U Publ.Co. 2000. Pg 68) Koolhaus states;
“Our ambition is to redefine the library as an institution no longer exclusively dedicated to the book, but as an information store where all forms of media – new and old - are presented equally and legibly”. Books have to share attention with other media of potent performance and attraction A parallel exists between the vast proliferation and incredible intricacy of program in the new library, and the equally explosive multiplication of information media and social obligations that have to be accommodated within it. (Koolhaus, (2005) Pg10) “The Mixing Chamber is an incredibly holistic environment that consolidates the library’s culmative human and technological intelligence: the visitor is surrounded by information sources”. In a spatial sense, the Mixing Chamber is an area of maximum librarian–patron interaction, a trading floor for information orchestrated to fulfil an essential need for expert, interdisciplinary help”. (Koolhaus, (2005) Pg38)
“The Seattle project choreographs the social, economic, and organizational implications of new information technologies as a programmatic hybrid and only inadvertedly deals with its architectural formalization”. (Klingman.
One area of innovation within the spatial organisation/classification of books/library and a strategy that what adapted within my project was OMA’s spatialisation of library classification where the Dewey Decimal Classification system is literally woven through the architecture and the call numbers are adorned throughout the interior space. “The book spiral arranges the collection in a continuous ribbon - running from 000 to 999 – the subjects form a coexistence which approaches the organic: each evolves relative to the other, occupying more or less space on the ribbon, but never forcing rupture. For Seattle the 6,233 bookcases which are guaranteed to house 780,000 books upon opening, with flexibility to grow to up to 1,500,000 books in the future without adding a single new bookcase.” (Koolhaus, 2005. Pg 10)
The three libraries should be assesses in view of their particular reading of the cultural and political context. Jussieu is particularly site specific, a building that enters into a dialogue with its immediate context. the Jussieu project dealt with the notion of place in a very localised manner namely by becoming a litereral extension of the urban territory. Jussieu’s seamless integration with its surrounding context creates and interiorized urban metropolitan environment and artificially constructed “urban event space that enables the “smooth transition from the exterior street life into the interior of the library” (Klingman. 2001 pg5) Whilst the seatlle project has much in common and takes precedence from the competition projects in Jussieu and TGB, it is the context which separates them in the end. Jussieu/ TGB is literally a continuation of the urban campus’s landscape/fabric, whilst seattle is an entirely separate entitity existing independently of its context, an overtly public building within a field of commercial and corporate institutions. Seattle arguably does not overtly pronounce its contextual ambitions in the classical sense, similar to TGB, Seattle is designed as a self sufficient entity within a highly commodified privatized urban environment dominated by large corporations.” Seattle’s disconnection with its immediate urban territory creates an entirely self sufficient entity, in many ways reminiscent of the typology of ‘shopping mall’. Each of the three projects successfully illustrates the transformation of the library into a multitasking social center Koolhaas effectively merges the impact of new information technologies with the proliferation of cultural event spaces and recreates the identity of the library through its programmatic expansion merged within a symbolic form, translates the impact of new information technologies into programmatic strategies”. (Klingman. 2001 pg10)
SENDAI MEDIATHEQUE / TOYO ITO, JAPAN, SENDAI, 2001 I visited Japan upto six months prior to the inception of this research project although my visit to Sendai mediatheque was equally as inspiring than it would have been afterward. The Sendai Mediatheque began life back in 1995 as an architectural competition funded by the city of Sendai for a ‘new building typology (previously unheard of in Japan); ‘Mediatheque’, a mixedmedia Library, multi-purpose cultural centre and conceptual ‘media convenience store’. Ito’s winning scheme was chosen from amongst 235 competing proposals. The mediatheque was a concept which already existed in France, but not yet in Japan. It was hard to explain it to the administration, but everybody was interested in the newness of this name. The client thought that we needed the spirit of the name of the institution. I also think that if we had called it something like ‘cultural information center’ we wouldn’t have achieved the same results. By naming this building a ‘Mediatheque’, the client and the competition jury seemed to be looking for a public facility that would respond to the present and future requirements of the information age. A possible approach would have been to use the latest building technologies or to design simple containers that could be continuously transformed. (Ito, T. (2003) Pg175) The strategy would bring together the four basic functions: gallery, library, audiovisual media center and barrier-free information center, although, essentially the possibilities for future change are left open and physically, the limits of each space are not strictly defined. (Ito, T. (2003) Pg31) After the project by Toyo Ito and Associates was selected in the open competition held by the city of Sendai, the Sendai Mediatheque Project Team was set up to seek a concrete definition of the activities that were to take place in this novel public facility and how the mediatheque would be organised. The guidelines approved by this team were stated in the following principles: The Sendai Mediatheque flexibly serves the needs of people by supplying the latest knowledge and culture.
The Sendai Mediatheque maximizes networking potentials through nodes rather than terminals. The Sendai Mediatheque serves all people including the disabled, users, providers, and people of different languages and cultures, by allowing unobstructed access to the premises and its programs/through freeing them of all barriers. (Ito, T. (2003) Pg108) The Sendai Mediatheque was, in the very first planning stages, conceived as an amalgam of four different programs: “a new building for the Sendai Civic Gallery whose lease period was coming to term, a replacement structure for the delapidated Aoba-ku Branch of the Sendai Public Library, improvements in the Sendai Audiovisual Learning Center, and the necessity for an information services center for the audiovisually impaired.”
Competition guideline restrictions included; ‘Multifunctionality’: all the required institutional functions had to fit within one compact 4000 m2site / An art gallery and workshop as well as a media center fully equipped to handle the demands of digital-age multimedia. / Data media (books): in addition to present library functions, offering integrated services of audiovisual materials [ultimately inclusive of even artworks), as well as on-line networking capabilities. Not merely a space for looking at “books,” but a place for searching out “information.” (Ito, T. (2003) Pg7) The program distributed accordingly and the Sendai Mediatheque houses; a library, exhibition galleries, audio-visual library, film studio, cinema, administration offices and café, providing books, audio-visual library, computer stations and free internet access GF- reception, café, shop 1F- children’s library(white), periodicals, internet, administration 2F-3F- reference library, lending library, reading room 4F- Exhibition space (citizens) 5F- Exhibition space (private) 6F- Cinema, meeting rooms, administration, viewing and lending library of cassettes and dvds The ultimate conclusion was the extreme realization that we had to ‘avoid fixing the program. A new public institution, which would include a gallery, a library, an audiovisual media center, and a barrier-free information center for senior, handicapped and foreign people. (Ito, T. (2003) Pg108) The building is a 7 storey transparent building with a tubular steel structure, each façade is different; south is glass, west (emergency exits) is uniformally clad in metal, east and north walls have different cladding for each level; aluminium, opaque sand blasted glass, polycarbonate, transparent glass In a spatial sense, each level of the building has a different colour tone (hue temperature) (white/red/blue/yellow) and lux quality setting (500-1000) that reflect the charachteristics of each function in the building
Traditional cultural facilities are systems housing collections which are open to the public, based on the museum and library typologies of the modern era and built for the purpose of educating the public. We can redirect some of the functions of existing cultural facilities toward pursuing discovery and creation, which requires dismantling the organization principles of traditional facilities such as a library or an art gallery. Existing public facilities define conclusive functions and are managed according to these definitions - reading books (library), appreciating art (museum), viewing plays or listening to con¬certs (concert hall), etc. If we think for instance of library functions, to read or take out books, it is difficult to fully satisfy them in a single facility, as regular budgets will become insufficient for purchasing all necessary books. Instead, the idea of creating through the Sendai Mediatheque a library consortium together with the university library and other specialized libraries in the region allows us to share acquisitions and data. (Ito, T. (2003) Pg31)
Ito tried to answer in two simultaneous ways. Regarding the program, he looked at how the use of the computer affects the organization of a library or of a museum. And regarding the image of the space, the approach was to suggest an architectural metaphor of computer or electronic technology, just like 20th-century architects based the image of their architecture on metaphors of the machine age. Ito thought of referring to communication networks as something fluid, like water streams, to pro¬duce an artificial nature rather than architecture. Ito imagined the building as a park or an aquarium (fluid space), flowing with air and light. When he first tried to draw this concept the idea of spatial partitions or individual rooms was rejected, so he tried to make ‘places’ instead of rooms’. These places are defined by furniture, not by walls, and coexist with the tubes reminiscent of natural streams or forests. This building is not only a center for new media, but for any kind of media coexisting side by side. There is a library and a gallery for the visualization of very classical media like books and paintings, and conference rooms full of computers. The building becomes a sort of ‘supermarket’ or ‘convenience store’ of media.” (Ito, T. (2003) Pg175) Not only does media exist inside the Sendai Mediatheque, but also the Mediatheque is present in the media.
My research has given me an understanding of the dichotomy between visual and verbal literacy (visual-spatial / linear-sequential). I have met many design and architecture students over the past ten years and in my experience, students that experience success and aptitude in either literary or visual skills tend to have difficulty in the other. My ex tutor at Westminster University Andrew Peckham once came across a student who was not verbally dyslexic but who had exactly parallel problems spatially which led him to believe that the two don’t go together, meaning that there is a perhaps a spatial equivalent to dyslexia. It is hard not to believe that there is some kind of link between the complex processes of design creativity and the structure and workings of the dyslexic mind. There are many positive aspects of the condition, the creative powers of lateral, unorthodox, imaginative, nonlinear thought processes and in the future, society may start to view dyslexia as a gift, an abilty rather than a disability. In a world becoming more and more acceptant and encouraging of creativity, the way that society is progressing seems as if the comprehension of information and knowledge may turn full circle and it may be text based/linear-sequential learners which develop a difficulty in the increasingly visual/digital future. The idea of the library is to allow people to read books although fundamentally, many traditional library models seem to restrict that. This research study is arguing that mediatheques positively encourage/make knowledge more accessible to dyslexic users. There is a limit to how far architecture can contribute to the materialisation of these changes but the main points found in the typology research and case studies that work towards a visual-spatial navigation, classification and commodification of knowledge are; -Integration of alternative digital multimedia technologies are key to successful non-verbal, dyslexic learning. -Adaptability of internal layout and design (open, adaptable space which is equipped for change/evolution) -Cross-programming techniques (building as city) -Coherent and strategic organization of functions -The transformation of the library into a cultural event space -Librarians shifted role from custodians of culture to knowledge navigators -The spatialisation of traditional library classification systems (SPL/Book Spiral) -Colour Coding (Internal walls / furniture / lighting / synesthesia) -Intelligent lighting design (directional / colour / lux specification) -Semiotics (Sinage)- brail, digital interactive graphics -Open access and adaptable hours of services
Overall I feel that the case studies document the library typology’s advancement over the past 10-15 years and illustrate that the library typology is going in the right direction towards the visual-spatial classification of knowledge. In my mind the case studies show how library has become much more accessible, which is conductive to our human thirst for information. I have studied and witnessed the library/mediatheque typology evolve through the integration of new media technologies in responding to societies insatiable appetite for audible and visual stimulation, through which the mediatheque becomes an important critique of information access in the 21st Century. Our understanding of knowledge has changed and where libraries were first built as functional containers to house repositories of knowledge, they are now cultural icons, symbols of economic and intellectual regeneration and an important metaphors for today’s society. Contrasted against the rigid (linear-sequential) organisation of library classification, mediatheques and multimedia libraries embrace the holistic and dynamic nature of the internet, becoming a dynamic fluid landscape of information, which is exactly how the typology should be responding, by becoming a physical and literal manifestation of technology, media and the information age. The mediatheque is a building which increasingly exists independently of the printed word, however, media is accelerating at such a pace that it is almost impossible to foresee the implications that this will have on the library. I do believe that computer screens will eventually begin to replace books, however, I also believe there is something inherently nostalgic about holding a book in your hands and although most published information media exists on the internet, demand for printed books is as strong as it always has been, people still want a paper copy, something that is tangible, rather than digitized and ephemeral. Perhaps the book will eventually be phased out but for now, the library is a place where all forms of media coexist, because these media are in so many ways extensions of the book form, that serve to supple¬ment rather than replace the book as we know it.. One thing that is clear is that the need for a physical interface will always remain. The library would be needed as an institution even if new media completely replaced the book as it fundamentally brings people together in the pursuit of knowledge. A container of knowledge and threedimensional physical interface of virtual knowledge that begins to redefine information transfer as a constructed experience in space. In my opinion the mediatheque provides the evolving ambiguity of the library, asset; knowledge, and whilst there may sification of knowledge, the library is
a building typology that can cope with and adapt alongside continuing to provide access to mankind’s most valuable be no concrete specification for the visual-spatial clasnow infinitely more accessible for dyslexic users.
VI: REFERENCE MATTER
YEREVAN STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE. The program of which was derived from a response to ideas explored within the design and research studios and as a response to specific contextual analysis in the city of Yerevan. The building is fundamentally a repository of knowledge which distributes and provides access to this information, fulfilling its (dual function) archival purpose of preserving knowledge and its public purpose of accessing knowledge. The library primarily caters for the Academic institutions within the city of Yerevan however the building is essentially a multifunctional cultural institution within an educational urban context incorporating landscape which offers a combination of different public services. The archive will house the archival collections of the state universities 24 departments. The purpose and function of a library is to provide access to knowledge and books, an efficient archive of books, and a path for the public to reach them. The academic library is symbolic of learning and is where books, journals and other material, particularly electronic information sysÂŹtems, are housed primarily to support learning or research. The main function of the university library is to store bibliographical and audio-visual materials and to make them available swiftly to students, faculty and research workers. Yerevan state university library is the city of leading lending library with books, spoken word recordings, videos, CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, scores and films available for loan. Newspapers, magazines, journals, periodicals, research papers, slides, transcripts, photographs, records, cartographic data and other archival objects are available for reference. The formal and spatial composition of the building is derived from ideas and concepts explored within the design studio, responds to the unique urban context, contributes to its environment and perhaps most importantly, reacts to the function and evolving programmatic typology of library. The building is conceived as a complex network that establishes a series of interconnected relationships between; programmatic, departmental and ancillary functions of the building, intricacies of the libraries collection, predicted events within the building and their fusion with the cultural and physical characteristics of the site. The building establishes a unique set of scenarios where users/individuals can go to read, watch, browse, work, study, play and socialise dependant on their particular mood or personality. Cut-outs alcoves and voids are there to be explored and inhabited.
The building contains; the main archive and book spiral, administation and operations offices, auditorium, restaurant, cinema, lecture theatre, gallery, drawing room, scriptorium, silence room, cafĂŠteria, bookshop, binding and printing workshops, conference rooms, infodeskâ€™s, media suites, arcades, photographic dark rooms, ebook pods, audio stations, music and film editing studios.
One of the earliest decisions I had to make concerns the relationships in space between the various operational areas and the priority of access routes between them. Providing departmental relationships between the central library market place, book spiral, archive, media services, administration, operations, and the comprehensive range of public functions. The upper podium, stands 8m above the ground. This elevated structure accommodates three storeys with two intermediate storeys of library space and is connected to the plaza, carpark and archive below by a series of escalators, elevators and stair cores. BOOK SPIRAL The book spiral is a physical and literal manifestation of my research and analysis of library classification and the spatial and pragmatic organization of knowledge. The stacks are organized on a continuous plate and standard floor planes are manipulated to connect; thus forming a single trajectory. Spatialised around the dewey decimal system running from 000 to 999, the collection stacks are organised on a continuous spiral which can adapt and evolve with unpredicted growth fluxes in specific subject areas, each evolves relative to the other, occupying more or less space on the ribbon, but never forcing rupture. The book spiral takes crude and explicit reference from; Giulio Camillo Memory Theatre, Jorge Luis Borges Library of Babel, Seattle Public Library, The banality of trivial pursuit.
CORE / MIXING CHAMBER: / MARKET PLACE / TRADING FLOOR / CATTLE MARKET / FACTORY The library has evolved into one large reading room, a kind of “trading floor of electronic learning” Level 1F, the central core of the building from which primary functions are accessed. A large open market¬place of digital interaction. Employs spatial characteristics of market culture and the typology of the shopping mall. Users are free to explore the dynamic and intuitive landscape of knowledge that blurs boundaries between traditional spatial devisions by hybridizing the functional requirements of the library into a series of comprehensive event spaces. The building is composed according to a series of independent spaces and volumes connected by geometrically articulated episodes of horizontal and vertical circulation. The program is distributed through a series of ramps and slabs and sections of each floor are articulated to connect with those above and below.
PLAZA The main library market place podium is elevated from the ground to create a public plaza space beneath which provides pedestrian access between Teryan street and the university campus through to the park and kindegarten to the west. The rooftop terrace preserves the south views into the city and north towards the iconic Mayr Hayastan (Mother Armenia) statue. The ground floor plaza is an important social meeting place and multifunctional public ground floor space (exhibitions, music events, jazz festivals) On the exterior, visitors may also proceed from the large open plaza level down to the Garden Terrace on the east and west sides of the building. Even when the library is closed, the public aspects of the program operate independently and the site is predominantly accessible, visitors and locals can use the; Parks/Gardens, Roof Terrace, Bar, Auditorium, Gallery, Cinema.
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Published on Aug 9, 2010
The conception of the research study evolved as a natural corollary to my work done in the design studio. The graduate design thesis is base...