As part of the Extended Program of the Dutch Pavilion of the Biennale Architettura 2018, the Institute of Patent Infringement is launching an Open Call encouraging students, architects, urban planners, designers, artists, programmers and others interested to reimagine, infringe and hack existing Amazon patents.
The Institute of Patent Infringement by Matthew Stewart and Jane Chew
Within WORK, BODY, LEISURE, the Dutch contribution the Biennale Architettura 2018, Het Nieuwe Instituut and Creative Industries Fund NL jointly organized an Open Call in Autumn 2017 to support designers and advance knowledge in the field of architecture before, during and after the Biennial. Applicants were asked to submit a project proposal reflecting upon and responding to the theme of the Dutch Pavilion, as part of its extended program. The Institute of Patent Infringement was one of the five projects awarded by the advisory committee.
The satirical Institute of Patent Infringement aims to dissect the dubious world of intellectual property rights that allows 'Big Tech' multinationals a monopoly on ideas concerning automation. The project unveils the future of technical innovations imagined and designed by Amazon by detailing and organising thousands of patents filed since 2010, ranging in scale from the body to the 1km2 fulfilment centre. An open call invites practitioners to merge, reimagine and subvert these patent drawings, revealing a possible radical and emancipatory potential inherent in these technological regimes, as well as a space where architecture can play a role in this.
More on the Extended Program projects.
To negate the top-down and closed system of patents, The Institute of Patent Infringement thus invites submissions from students, industrial designers, architects, urban planners, artists, programmers and the wider public to merge, reimagine, infringe and hack existing Amazon patents.
The crux of the open call is to emphasise the radical and emancipatory potential inherent in these new technologies assembled by Amazon. To reveal this potential, submissions may chose to challenge: the hyper individualised and consumption based nature of Amazon’s wider patent filings; the emphasis on efficiency and quantification through data collection inherent in these new technological regimes; labour, social relations and the role of automation within this; the relationship with nature and the environment; unequal global processes of production and distribution; and the affect of these technologies on everyday life.
This may include ideas working at scales from the body to the planetary and from the rural to the urban. Relevant themes may ask: can patents for the wearable monitoring of workers be appropriated to hack and monitor nature? How could Amazon’s global distribution network be rethought? Can we think of new ideas to repurpose data centres, potentially merging these with other functions? What might arise from the collective ownership and control of data?
Could fully automated warehouses be refunctioned as spaces of infinite leisure? What role does labour play in this new world? Can smart road management systems for automated cars be used for an extensive and sustainable public transport network? How could Amazon’s quest for algorithmic efficiency, be used to plan a zero growth, zero carbon economy? And how might these technologies work if bottom up and participatory rather than top-down and monopolised?
Above all, submissions are encouraged to think of radical interventions challenging the essence of Amazon while considering the social role technology may potentially in any future.
More information about the open call, including submission format requirements and drawing rules for proposals can be found in the Institute of Patent Infringement website.
Questions related to the open call that are not clarified in the Institute of Patent Infringement website can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions is midnight (GMT) 16th April 2018.
Proposals will be reviewed by a jury composed of Het Nieuwe Instituut's Research team and the Institute of Patent Infringement. All submissions will be evaluated and the ones more relevant to the theme of the Open Call will be selected for display in the Dutch Pavillion as part of WORK, BODY, LEISURE at the Biennale Architettura 2018. A wider selection of proposals will be displayed through exhibitions at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and London during Autumn 2018.