Kit of Patents

Terminal for the Digital Nomad

Team: Clare Lyster with Donovan Aranda & Alexandros Mpouga

The “digital nomad” is the new urban subject of the logistical era. A freelancer with no fixed abode that frequently travels to far flung locations, he or she lives flexibly in communal housing or shared accommodation, is typically employed in the tech industry or any job in the so called “gig” economy. A recent article in The Guardian, describes the digital nomad as ‘geographically dispersed subculture’ and that for these ‘citizens of the world’, the “office can be anything from a beach hut in Brisbane to a Starbucks in Seattle”. With just a backpack, the digital nomad chooses a location to live and work for a few days to a couple of months, depending on the speed of the WiFi or a visa limitation. But even nomads need infrastructure.A series of patents form Amazon’s repertoire are particularly useful in the service of a nomadic lifestyle and are hacked to produce a “terminal” and support system for the digital nomad. Technologies from the inflatable center; to climate controlled and automated workers transport to fiducial markers, among others are deployed and retrofitted to move, distribute and connect nomads together. Think of the terminal as a home away from home, where nomads put down anchor to live, work and play with other like-minded subjects. Terminals are located at all the popular traveler destinations from Singapore to Saigon to Wyoming. Welcome Home.

Exhibited in Patent at the Dutch Pavillion, Venice Biennale 2018. Curators: IoPI (Institute of Patent Infringement), Matthew Stewart, & Jane Chew. Also at the V&A, London, as part of London Design Festival from 15th – 23rd Sept 2018, and at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam from 16th – 29th Oct 2018.

Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture (CLUAA) 2023 — Chicago, Illinois