The Library of Incommensurability / Book Castle Digital Core

Baek-Gi Min

Fictitious Space


Keith Mitnick


"The book is like the spoon, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved" said Umberto Eco. Whereas spoons and wheels are utilized in everyday life, reading a printed book is in sharp decline. At the same time, people actually read more than ever in quantity with the widespread electronic mobile device. Irreversible imbalance of technological development of the information storage medium from paper to digital is exceptional. Because the book will last forever with its simplicity and constancy while most of the other inventions became defunct. Nevertheless, there is a dissonance between the ways of information consumption. In a digital flood of information, people became insensitive for the passive acceptance of information. The library is the last bastion for independent thought armed with books.

According to Michael Foucault’s notion of episteme, The Order of Things accumulated from language and sign, the architecture of the library remains in classical episteme of taxonomy while modern episteme is a transcendental network. To redefine the ontological purpose, collecting and classifying, the library should become an infrastructure to explore a new methodology for information as a platform, institution, and laboratory. We need to remember that people depended on speech and memory before prevalent written information which is a recent event compared to human history and genetic familiarity.

As Slavoj Žižek introduced incompatible and irreducible The Parallax View, apparent displacement of an object in different perspective views, as Thomas Kuhn introduced incommensurability of paradigms, I set up the promise of architecture as parallel evolution between narrative, space, ideology, and material. The design process of the project is continuous interplay and translation between architectural techniques and literary elements from Borgesian to Kafkaesque: juxtapose, classify, transform, gravitate, hide, reveal, divide, package, etc. / character, atmosphere, behavior, stake, format, style, sequence, etc.