The Architecture of Information

September 6, 2010

Information compiled by MAS Context.


Mas issue information the architecture of information 01

Collserola Tower in Barcelona.

The first hand-held phone was demonstrated by Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing in at two kilos.In 1990, 12.4 million people worldwide had cellular subscriptions, and by the end of 2009, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide reached approximately 4.6 billion.1

Mas issue information the architecture of information 02

Front entrance of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway.

The Seed Vault has the capacity to store 4.5 million different seed samples. Each sample contains on average 500 seeds, so a maximum of 2.25 billion seeds may be stored in the Seed Vault.

The Seed Vault will therefore have the capacity to hold all the unique seed samples that are conserved today by all the approximately 1,400 genebanks that are found in more than 100 countries all over the world.2

Mas issue information the architecture of information 03

Project for the National Library in Paris, France, by Étienne-Louis Boullée.

Our ambition is to redefine the Library as an institution no longer exclusively dedicated to the book, but as an information store where all potent forms of media–new and old–are presented equally and legibly.

In an age where information can be accessed anywhere, it is the simultaneity of all media and, more importantly, the curatorship of their contents that will make the Library vital.3

Mas issue information the architecture of information 04

Detailed aerial of the Arecibo Radio Telescope, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

In 1974, the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Puerto Rico. The transmission consisted of a simple, pictorial message, aimed at our putative cosmic companions in the globular star cluster M13, roughly 21,000 light years from us.

The message consists of 1679 bits, arranged into 73 lines of 23 characters per line. It consists, among other things, of the Arecibo telescope, our solar system, DNA, a stick figure of a human, and some of the biochemicals of earthly life.4

Mas issue information the architecture of information 05

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distance.

In 2005, more than 15 million additional documents were classified, a record amount, according to the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives.

It cost the United States an estimated $7.7 billion to keep all the nation's information under wraps, according to the ISOO–an increase of more than 50% since 2001.5

Mas issue information the architecture of information 06

One Wilshire building in Los Angeles.

Massive telecommunicational urban hubs like One Wilshire and their radial networks make the virtual world possible, and firmly ground it in the concrete cityscape. Once this raw data of ether is created, it has to be stored and organized through stable control centers.6

1 Wikipedia, Retrieved on August 23, 2010
2 The Ministry of Agriculture and Food (Norway) Retrieved on August 23, 2010.
3 Rem Koolhaas in the book Seattle Public Library, OMA/LMN, (Barcelona: ACTAR, 2005).
4 "Arecibo Broadcast", SETI Institute Retrieved on August 23, 2010
5 Alexandra Marks in "New twist on government control of data: use of subpoenas", The Christian Science Monitor, December 18, 2004.
6 AUDC/Robert Sumrell and Kazys Varnelis in the article "Ether, The One Wilshire Building" published in Verb Connection, One Wilshire building in Los Angeles (Barcelona: ACTAR, 2004).