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In the so-called “age of access,” domains once circumscribed as personal are now gray zones of public/private profit-making. Homes are rented out on Airbnb, every car owner is a potential Uber driver, and our bodies are made fit (or unfit) for digital capital through real-time medical tracking and image economies. Founded under the name AIRBNB Pavilion, the collective åyr highlights these contemporary complications of ownership and property, privacy and control, structures and representations in their architecture-based practice. Incorporating nooks and niches, their wall construction turns images from Berlin’s creative community into theatrical illusions and aspirational backdrops while casting a skeptical light on ideas of “openness,” “connection,” “breaking boundaries,” and other mantras of the tech industry and the corporate architecture of recent decades. Referencing a study on the Berlin Wall as architecture from the 1970s by Rem Koolhaas and the contemporary transformations of Berlin’s housing practices and policies, the contribution reflects on the power of the dematerialized walls of the digital age by looking at their sustained ambiguity as devices of division and exclusion—which also condition habitation and communication.
Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard