Reign of Logic

Winter 2013
Master of Architecture Thesis Project
Toronto, Canada

Reign of Logic investigates the possibility of indeterminism and serendipity in today’s hyper-defined, informatics-driven culture. With the volume of data we produce, predictive computing has become a dominant part of our daily lives. Conceived as a tactic for targeted advertising, predictive computing evolved into a service for delivering unique and personalized content to users based on accumulated personal data. Our increasing dependence on technology to navigate and explore our cities expands these systems beyond the digital realm.

Drawing inspiration from the Surrealists, this project explores ways of breaking out of the deterministic logic of these systems. The focus of the research is GPS location-based applications (ex. Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare), which guide users and deliver data in relation to geographical context. A careful examination of the input and output of data in location-based predictive applications reveals that errors and inaccuracies in the system are the cracks from which we can escape. Predictive systems increase in accuracy over time; as the amount of data increases, the errors and anomalies that sit outside the primary data set become apparent and are to be swiftly removed. The research, field experiments and findings in Reign of Logic suggests that by embracing points of error (in this case, through physically inhabiting inaccurate GPS data points), we can make these anomalies into “true” data points and in doing so, begin to encourage greater indeterminism and happenstance in our daily lives.