Veniscape | Venice, Italy | Unit 21 | 2020

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Veniscape is a transformative performing landscape situated in Venice which explores the possibility of a feedback system in architecture that can respond to users’ ratings through space transformations. As Venice uses water to define islands, the proposal uses natural and artificial flooding to define circulations. It is a dynamic landscape with subtle changes in volumes that floor panels can be rotated at a pivot using airbag and water tank mechanism to create water boundaries around stages for performances. In this place, users are often living in the memory of the last performance experience.
Background The proposal is a possible application of a rating system in architecture with the reference of Sesame Credit, which is a grading app on trustworthiness aimed to be fully compulsory and operational on 1.4 billion citizens in mainland China in 2020. It was created by Chinese Alibaba Group as part of the Social Credit System in China to track, monitor and control citizen’s behaviours and trustworthiness in the society. This could be ‘Fifteen Million Merits’ and ‘Nosedive’ from Black Mirror, which picture post-cash societies as dystopian worlds as they reveal human lives being coerced into behaving in certain ways that translate into data, coming to live.
In this digital era, different rating- surveillance systems happen every day, from the number of stars on Uber services to the restaurants on Google. At the same time, every second of our lives are rendered into different digital instruments and are managed by authoritarian regimes. In some ways, our freedom is being ‘robbed’ as we enjoy the convenience we have right now.