As with the Roving Library Unit, the Chinatown Branch Library recognizes that as texts become increasingly digitized, the library must revive its necessity by supplementing this textual information with that that cannot be accessed digitally—the information of objects. In curating and combining written information with that of informative objects, the library enables a kind of research unobtainable via private PC.

In the search for information, scales shift from large to small as the desired material is pinpointed. Each stage presents its own information as we index and re-index from city block to paragraph. An enormous amount of information is parsed in order to obtain a specific piece of knowledge: information is not merely found in the result, but exists everywhere in the search. The Chinatown Branch Library suggests this universality of knowledge by paralleling its containers of information with its containers of program and in turn, the city.

Studio: Design II | Critic: Karen Fairbanks | Spring 2008
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Changes in Scale and the Search for Information: Indexing and Re-indexing
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In this branch of the New York Public Library, information is categorized and organized into eleven-inch cubes by commissioned experts, authors and artists. These cubes contain not only textual information, but a diverse range of hand-selected media which most precisely conveys their subject. The design and concept of the Chinatown Branch Library is presented as one of these cubes.
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1/8” Scale Model
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View from Eldridge Street: Program Blocks Become Signage