D-tower is a coherent hybrid of different media in which architecture is part of a larger interactive system of relationships. It is a project in which the intensive (feelings and qualia) and the extensive (space and numbers) start exchanging roles, in which human action, color, money, value and feelings all become networked entities. The project - which will be built in the city of Doetinchem, the Netherlands, by early 2003 - consists of a physical building (the tower), a questionnaire and a website. All three parts are interactively related. The building, designed by NOX, is a 12-meter-high structure in which standard and non-standard geometries together make up a complex polyester surface formed by a computer-generated molding technique (CNC milled styrofoam). This surface is very similar to a Gothic vault structure, in which columns and surface share the same continuum. The building is related to the website and to the questionnaire, and the last two are in turn related to each other.
The website is a visual representation of the inhabitants' responses to the questionnaire, written by the Rotterdam-based artist Q. S. Serafijn, which deals with everyday emotions like hate, love, happiness and fear. Every month the questions become more precise, and the answers are graphed in different "landscapes" on the website. The landscapes will show the valleys and peaks of emotions for each of the city's postal codes. Second, the four emotions are represented by four colors, green, red, blue and yellow, and determine the colors of the lamps illuminating the building. Each night, driving through Doetinchem, one can see which emotion is most deeply felt that day.
Finally, under the tower, inhabitants of the city can also place their own messages on the emotional landscapes on the website. They can also add a photograph and a short letter to the site; these are linked to the landscape by means of a small clickable virtual flag. To further intensify the relations between all these elements, the tower will send prewritten love letters and flowers from "love addresses" to "hate addresses," and at the end of each year the tower will present a 10,000-euro prize to the address with the highest emotions. The tower is expected to stay in place for decades, making the visualization of the emotional states of different people on different streets in different neighborhoods especially involving. The city's different states of emotionality will be archived and made accessible on the website.
Simon de Bakker