Instructor - Shiqiao Li

Location - The National Mall, Washington D.C

Fall 2016


The Museum of the Digital Environment seeks to act as a linkage between the existing institutions of the Smithsonian.   This museum seeks to rethink the relationship of the visitor and the way they access information through an un curated, decentralized format of digital information technology.  By providing the physical infrastructures and systems required for the digitalization of over 137 Million artifacts in the collection, this site on the national mall becomes the epicenter of research and public relations for the institution, becoming a public forum of interactive information flows.  Moving deep into the 21st century, the role this information must be rethought in the realm of digital tools and objects which surround oneself at all times, influencing the decision we make and the efficiency of our world.

The design is based upon the organization of a QR code and barcode, creating a hierarchy of space in a decentralized design.  Because of this, to the user there is not a clear movement through the building.  Instead, they begin to experience different spaces in different successions, allowing for a Diverse and rich experience. The building is divided into a series of 5 circulation cores running across the site, anchored by a conference tower and a infrastructural systems core housing the computing servers of the building.  These cores rise to the West and dematerialize toward the east, rising up toward the institution and breaking apart toward the U.S Capital, creating a new massing typology on the national mall.  The exhibit spaces are a series of modules spread throughout the site, containing interactive screen and glass displays, allowing the user to experience information through the movement of their body, creating the new digital space, anchored by various other building services, such as offices, habitat modules, dining facilities and multipurpose event spaces.



Connection To Existing Smithsonian Institutions 


Permeable Massing Strategy

Initial Study Model

South Elevation

Computing Infrastructural Core

Networked Data Points

Urban Landscapes