In the future, the past will not be excavated; it will be retrieved.
The thesis “Cold Data” builds on the premise according to which, as the volume of each individual’s personal data on the Cloud is growing exponentially larger, we collectively start questioning whether this digital existence is inferior or even simply supplementary to the corporeal one. Based on this thought, this thesis examines the ways through which this new condition is able to inform the landscapes of death and recharge their symbolical aspect as the prime landscapes of memory, body management and personal data archiving. More specifically, it attempts to reclaim the practice of archiving as the core of a commonly shared, accessible death culture and introduce a new typology for the death landscape of the digital era.
The proposed design draws references from the architecture of technological infrastructure such as server farms, data storage vaults and modular data centres while simultaneously keeping at its core the relationship between architecture and landscape, especially how the latter has marked the evolution of the death spaces since the 18th century. Special attention is paid on the reading of the island as a self-contained, existing-in-itself world of limits, otherness and imaginaires and the reading of the ground as the geophysical world of transmission, storage and archiving of information. Finally, the narrative of the architectural proposal is constructed on three, fundamental and complementary connections: the relationship between man and landscape (island), man and cognition - information (cenotaph) and finally, that between man and body (crematorium).