AIR FUTURES - WALL STREET 2012
Fullscreen

The Wall Street headquarters of the Air Futures Company - the company controls the trade of Air Rights in New York.







Currently exhibiting Air Futures model, scenes and on site installation at the Unit 11 space at Bartfest 2012 show, UCL






Air Futures looks at the trade of Air Rights (TDR’s - Transferable development Rights)
in and the current development of an Air Bank in New York City which sees the
proliferation of a commodity with essentially no intrinsic value. The Air Futures system
- the system that trades in this developing commodity, air - embraces both the legality
and physicality of the air above New York. Air is manipulated, bought and sold within
the Air Futures Building to the ends of the traders, and the financial system as a whole.
They are set at the end of Wall Street at the end of an axis that runs from Trinity Church
to the west. The instatement, and sustaining of authenticity of the value of air is key to
the success of this maniacal trade in the substance breathed in New York. Basing ideas
of value on speculative ideas of future or immaterial opportunities can achieve great
rewards, but as we now know - after 2008, and all the other crashes before it - can be
potentially dangerous.

The architecture - based on research within my thesis; “The Architecture of Mania” -
takes the genesis for its forms and themes from explorations of how thresholds, ritual-
paths and hierarchies can create authenticity of value in a traded commodity.

The Air Futures Building raises itself above the street on a new city datum, which serves
to separate the traded and valued air, from the everyday air of the city. The concrete
ritual paths into the building, serve to create a feeling of entering another realm, where
this valued air resides, and is controlled by the commercial system. The physicality of
the building embraces the commodity, where air is seemingly trapped within it. The
architectural devices used see bulbous concrete columns supporting the building, and
the framing of air through red boxes atop the structure - these are matched with the
flows of air manipulated throughout the building - for example, the ventilation fans in
the Trading Room. Environments, like that of the Trading Room are carefully managed
by the system's air technicians to produce optimum performance. Fluctuations in the
market are controlled through changes in oxygen levels to manipulate excitement and
euphoric feelings that are essential to the frenzy of trading.

The Air Futures Building provides a speculative future for how the alchemic mania of
commerce in the present day can become manifest in an architecture that is completely
embedded within the system it contains.





























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