Author : Wesley Soo

University : Architectural Association

Status : RIBA II, 2015

Advisor : Tobias Klein

Title : The Cathedral of Acxiom

Within the modern society, Mankind’s pursuits for salvation have been long surpassed by the drivers of materialistic endeavours of the  [ capitalist market] .  In an age of  ‘More Tech Less Privacy’,  digital and virtual addictions have become increasingly prevalent in a society of instant gratification and self obsessiveness. The virtual-self has undoubtedly become more prominent and existential than the physical-self.

In an age of  [ Big Data ] , records have become increasingly critical, where the understanding of people becomes the processing of binary. By examining the dichotomy between the age old data registers within the Vatican Secret Archives to the contemporary Database Marketing Servers, the following thesis exposes the hidden mechanisms behind the sacred and corporate space, encapsulating and exploiting the identities and behavioural datas of our lifelong expectancies.

Through the unholy matrimony of the religious in the Catholic Church and the corporate of the Acxiom, The Cathedral of Acxiom speculates and  [ hybridizes ] the core beliefs of both parties in the consequence of architectural space and liturgical operations. A vertical narrative of sacraments elevates the soul to a closer altitude to God, relieving worshipers the burdens of endless contaminators of modern capitalist projections.

Interview

S//A : What’s the most important aspect of this project that we should be aware of?
Wesley Soo_ Like it or not, there is no emancipation from our digital-self unless we disconnect from the civilization we have become accustomed to entirely.

S//A : What other fields outside of architecture interest you?
WS_ Future technologies and the relationship between the user alongside tangible surfaces and ethereal interfaces.

S//A : Most important thing you learned in architecture school?
WS_ Its fine to be different, and it was often those that were comfortable enough to be different that succeeded. Let your passions drive you into the infinite abyss you could never have imagined – the Germans have a word for it: ‘selbstverwirklichung’.

S//A : Describe your dream project
WS_ The overdose of data lends us often to over-complication of our senses and sensibilities of space. It would be a dream to optimize the technologies of today, implementing them into fundamentals of Modern Architecture.