June 21, 2018

The unbearable awkwardness of automation


Post-human architecture is a new phenomenon, one in which structures are geared more at generating machine interactions than in bringing human beings together.

The current wave of automation is affecting spaces that were once specifically designed around human interaction: the front desk at the medical office or the hotel check-in counter, for example. At Yotel, an outpost of the affordable hotel chain in New York City, guests are greeted not by hotel staff, but by a row of check-in kiosks, as well as a luggage storage robot called the “Yobot.”

Yotel is easy to navigate because it’s small. But at larger hotels and office towers, automation can leave a building visitor feeling slightly adrift. “Many buildings no longer have a receptionist,” notes Hyde. “Which is fine if you work there and you know where you are going, but it’s extremely disorienting to everyone else. The legibility of the architecture breaks down.”

Get the full story at The Atlantic