Decentralized (Junk Car) Library

The Decentralized (Junk Car) Library project was designed in the fall of 2012 as part of a studio course for bringing interactive design together with architectural design.

The project contends that the monumental libraries could better serve the public if they were more highly dispersed throughout the city. Since libraries are steadily moving content online, access to their online material can theoretically be accessed anywhere. A dispersal of tiny app-reservable reading rooms throughout the city would attempt to encourage reading and library usage in general by making these services decentralized, dispersed, and more integrated into everyday life. 

The "junk car" was selected as the reading room unit because it is inexpensive, can be modified to be quite charming, and inherently has a sealed, locking space. The cars, sitting in "parklets"--parking spaces permanently forfeited for other purposes--would often have various design features around them, so that the little reading rooms would double as urban amenities in the city. The landscaping around the junk car would vary depending on location.

The cars would be serviced by utility poles topped with solar panels for charging the batteries stored in the hood of the car where the engine once was. These batteries would power lights, speakers, and the lock systems of the cars. Additionally, the tower would broadcast WiFi signal, both for the users of the reading room and anyone hanging out in the landscaped surroundings.

The San Francisco Public Library would host a web/mobile application that contains many content access instructions, as well as reading room reservation and access.

Users of the application would be able to socialize about the material they are reading, and connect over it, if they should choose to do so, making reading a social, rather than isolating experience.