Multiplicities of Self: Realities of pluralised identity in the transnational-state. Or - OFO
The Oxbridge Fibre Orbital is a high speed fibre optic cable. It connects Oxford and Cambridge in a 300 kilometre loop defining the territory of the world's first identity free zone. The OFO is a quasi-national state, offering its inhabitants the full flexibility of multiple identity ownership. Within the fibre orbit you are whoever you choose, whenever you choose.
Nations are dwindling in both representative and political influence as global digital communities fast become the channels through which we communicate and identify. China—the most populous nation on Earth—has 1.4 billion inhabitants; Facebook adds their 2.2 billionth member this month. Viewed in this light, the nation-state is facing a territorial and existential challenge—it must adapt.
Today, we manage an average of 26 online versions of ourselves, curating how we are perceived by the world whilst developing differences in a multiplicity of selves. Our online identity is a catalogue of channelled memories and projections—an archive of everything we want(ed) to be.
In the space of a decade the state of Estonia has digitised 98% of its access and interaction with citizens. E-governance provides non-citizens alike with the right to own businesses and assets through electronic residency. In Cyprus, nationality is traded in return for investment in real estate whilst $100,000 buys you Caribbean citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis. The future of citizenship is fluid, commercialised and pluralised.
The OFO is a small piece of experimental annexed territory within the English countryside. Pre-empting the eventual digitisation of the nation-state, individuals will be free to own, trade and become any identity they choose. Swapping freely between selves, one enters the newly formed identity market—a fully liberalised, open and competitive home of buying and owning identity.
In a world where corporations far outweigh the influence of their counterparts, the nation-state, and where digital E-nations compete against one another for your membership (and your tax incomes), corporate and national symbolism collide. A transnational urbanism of identity thus emerges.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2018
- BA Architecture, University of Sheffield, 2018
- Architectural Assistant, Haworth Tompkins, London, 2014 - 2018; Architectural Assistant, DSDHA, London, 2014; Architectural Assistant, Frenak + Jullien, Paris, 2013
- Everything Out the Door, CAMPO, Rome, 2017
- RIBA International President's Bronze Medal Award nomination, 2014; Dr Brian Wragg Prize in Architectural Draftsmanship, 2013; World Architecture Festival Student shortlist, 2012
- Eternally New, E-flux, 2017; A Chinese Utopia?, Future Cities Project, 2016; Home is where the art is, Future Cities Project, 2016; Institute of Ideas, Battle of Ideas, 2016