MVRDV - Metacity/ Datatown

Due to the continuously expanding communication and the huge amount of interrelationships, the whole world turns from the anachronistic term of the global village into a more advanced state of the MetaCity. This process seems not be finished. How to study this upcoming metacity? One can describe its grandness and explore its contents possibly and initially only by numbers or ‘data'. Its interrelated web of possibilities and frontiers, both economical as spatial, seems that complex, that one need statistical techniques to understand its processes.

By connecting or selecting data under hypothetical prescriptions, the world of numbers turns into ‘diagrams'. These diagrams appear to work as emblems for operations, agendas, tasks. A ‘DataTown' appears that refrains the objectives from stylistic desires only.This ‘DataTown' is therefore not a design. It can be seen as a prelude for further explorations in the world of the ultra grand scale. The spatial implications of this global act could actually help to answer the quest for an emerging agenda for urbanism and architecture.

DataTown is only based upon data. It is a city that wants to be described only by information. A city that does not know any given typography, no prescribed ideology, no representation, no context. Purely huge, only data. To what implications does this city lead to? What assumptions can be identified? What ‘agenda' would appear due to this numerical approach?

DataTown is an extrapolation of Dutch statistics. The urban size is equivalent to one hour of travelling by bullet train. 400 by 400 kilometers. DataTown is dense, let us say four times as dense as the Netherlands. It turns Metacity/Datatown into the densest place on earth. Namely 1477 persons per square kilometer. It results in a city for 236 million inhabitants. The USA in one city. DataTown is autarkic. It therefore has to be self supporting. Every problem has to be solved within its boundaries. Datatown is based upon a series of assumptions. One sector exists in several variations. They are constructed on a series of ‘what-if' questions that embody different assumptions.

DataTown is in progress. DataTown is literally endless. Due to the possible changes within axioms DataTown will never be finished. Therefore it will be always under construction.

Concept : Winy Maas
Research and Design : MVRDV Rotterdam: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries
with : Bas van Neijenhof, Mathurin Hardel, Ximo Peris Casado, Margarita Salméron Espinosa, Eline Wieland, Marino Gouwens, Ali Rahim, Kok Kian Goh, Penelope Dean, Christoph Schindler, Nicole Meijer, Paul Ouwerkerk, Joost Grootens
Film : Wieland en Gouwens, Rotterdam: Eline Wieland and Marino Gouwens
Graphic Design : Graphic Language, Rotterdam: Paul Ouwerkerk with Mathijs Labadie
Soundscape : Van Rijkevorsel
Made possible by : Stimuleringsfonds Rotterdam and Stroom Den Haag
First shown: Stroom Den Haag, December 1998