Amazon Here

M.Arch Thesis | MIT

As subjects of the digital world, we are often less mindful about the increasing control tech companies have over both of our digital and physical lives. This thesis investigates the architectural opportunities of a future in which tech corporations assume government responsibilities and create a new generation of company towns. The friction between corporate and public interests is the driver for the design of a commoditized public space in which architecture has the potential to enable data subjects (the public) to gain agency and control.

This project speculates on a new type of corporate-sponsored public building created by Amazon that empowers end users by spatializing the digital experience. By providing visitors a direct engagement with the infrastructure that enabled corporate control of our daily lives, the architecture exposes the unspoken truth that at the age of data, accessibility is not about ADA but information.

This thesis is not to present an idealized version of the future for either the corporation or the government, but one in which a new typology of infrastructure emerges for the citizen as a data subject.

 
 
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Video

 

An Amazon VP explains the corporation's strategy to build Amazon Here at Chicago's Old Main Post Office.

 
 

A facility worker explains the operations of fulfillment center and data center at Amazon Here.

 
 

A mother explains her experience at Amazon Here.

 

Joint thesis with Anran Li.