Communication Booth competition entry

HALO embodies oppositions such as public and private, open and closed, transparent and opaque, by reexamining the legacy of the modernist glass box. The classic phone booth may be understood as a modernist glass box in miniature. As such, it houses private functions in a transparent enclosure within public space. Visually, its privacy is a farce — like Clark Kent’s glasses, supposedly meant to conceal his identity, the glass booth hardly conceals Superman’s body. Designed before smart phones were widely available, HALO was conceived to be located on urban sidewalks and plazas to provide a single workstation with Web access for universal use — like a telephone booth cum office. Plate glass, the material of the Machine Age, is replaced by glass fiber, the material of the Digital Age. A molded synthetic glass monocoque shell is wrapped in a “halo” of translucent tubes filled with optical fibers. Each booth acts as a switching station in which Internet activity from the surrounding neighborhood may be routed. HALO pulsates with light as the community talks to itself.

PRESS: Architectural Record, Design Issues, XS Green: Big Ideas, Small Buildings (Thames and Hudson)