Server Manifesto

Data Center Architecture and the Future of Democracy

Server Manifesto
Data Center Architecture and the Future of Democracy

By Niklas Maak, illustrated by Niklas Maak und Studierenden der Städelschule Frankfurt und der Harvard Graduate School of Design, text(s) by Francesca Bria, contributions by Karsten Spengler

English

2022. 112 pp., 60 ills.

ISBN 978-3-7757-5072-1

Server Farms as Sites of Participatory Power

Server farms are to the digital world what castles used to be: the seat of power. If data is the greatest collective treasure of a digital society, basic material for business and politics: Why are the places where it is stored still so invisible?

Together with students from the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Niklas Maak shows what the future of the most important new building typology of the twenty-first century might look like—and what new collective places a city needs in the age of digitalization.

“This is a historic moment. Data has become the most valuable commodity in the world. We can’t leave it to a handful of tech giants. We must conceive of it as a public good and a critical public infrastructure, alongside roads, electricity, water, and clean air. To that end, we need what Niklas Maak calls a ‘Centre Pompidou for the digital age.’”

Francesca Bria

NIKLAS MAAK (*1972) was born in Hamburg, Germany. He is the architecture critic of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and a guest professor of architecture at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. From 2014 to 2020, he taught architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the George F. Kennan Award, the Henri Nannen Award, and the Architectural Critic Award by the Association of German Architects (BDA). Maak was a cocurator of the 2020 show Countryside, The Future at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and is the author of many books, among them Living Complex: From Zombie City to the New Communal and the novel Technophoria.

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