The Campus Amongst Us: Tech Campuses as Anonymous Urbanism

  • Travis Nissen, M.Arch. 2018
  • Hometown La Crescent, Minnesota
  • Class ARCH 6509 Special Topics in Visual Representation II: Drawing City Manifestos (spring 2017)
  • Instructor Leslie Lok

This semester's work investigates Ludwig Hilberseimer's 1924 manifesto, Hochhausstadt, and its modern day equivalent — the corporate urbanism of Silicon Valley. In the original manifesto, Hilberseimer vertically organizes the functions of a city into a series of stratified layers. Composed of transportation, productive, commercial, and residential strata, the systems reduce the form of the city into an anonymous block which can be repeated ad infinitum. Hilberseimer's work anticipates the conditions that underpin Silicon Valley urbanism, including extreme mobility brought on by changing forms of labor. In Hilberseimer's model, housing is reduced to the form of a hotel room, and social activities are distributed throughout the city. Campus Amongst Us questions the new forms of urbanism presented by corporate campuses and their friendly, cheerful appearance.