Our proposal, Xchange, aims to mitigate the downsides of peer-to-peer digital marketplaces by creating an intermediate space where information is shared instead of sold. The intervention imagines the potential for architecture born from the third space that exists between digital economies and physical goods.
Xchange humanises the digital economy through transactions that facilitate social interactions, leading to increased inclusivity and a bigger sense of community.
In exchange for opting in, users receive information that can be of service to them – for example details of potential buyers or merchants they might be interested in, and alerts to nearby events or gatherings.
Information about Xchange and its users is codified into colours that materialise with augmented reality. In this sense, the platform is able to physically respond to the digital stimuli of its users, adapting to the mutable demands of patron and site.
During business hours, the intervention is dormant in Underwood Street, a service road in Sydney’s CBD. It sits elevated on columns above the road, allowing vehicles to access the buildings. In the evening, it reclaims the ground level as its platforms deploy, with lights signalling the opening of the marketplace. Underwood Street becomes a hub of activity and pedestrian magnet that siphons people from George Street and Circular Quay.