NAi and the Netherlands Public Libraries Association
In response to 'The Architecture Of Knowledge' project, initiated by the NAi, Ester van de Wiel and Jurgen Bey examined an alternative typology for the public library. They thought of the library as a linear urban line: The Library of the Future.
Changes in the production of information, dissemination of knowledge and archiving systems threaten the physical existence of the library. Digital systems often follow the structure of analog ones from before digital technology existed. New media with its high connectivity and its requirements are hardly incorporated into the design of libraries. What would happen to a library collection if you designate a linear zone across the city as public library? What does the collection look like if a store, hospital, cafe, allotments, school, park, bus stop, post office, garage, picnic table along this line become part of one collection, one zone that functions as a library? A manicured open space with the rules of the library, public, where updated knowledge is organized continuously and exchange is stimulated. A strip where diversity is an asset, because you need different sources to collect information on anything. The Hofpleinlijn, an elevated railway line cutting through Rotterdam, has a great variety and is open 24/7. In five separate studies, seven students examined the line as a graphic support for potential interactions, private and professional collections, entrances and connections, the role of the librarian and the idea of a library without a roof.