In the last two decades, Amazon, Inc. has expanded from a small innovative online bookstore to the largest e-commerce retailer in the U.S. economy. Controlling the production, collection and distribution of both physical products and digital information, Amazon has gained a prominent position in our socio-politico-economic landscape. Making its way into our everyday activities, Amazon acquires massive amounts of customer data and uses it to significantly drive consumption patterns. By controlling the customer’s exposure to merchandise with the notorious “Customers who bought this item also bought…” algorithm, Amazon orients consumer decisions toward Amazon-produced items while simultaneously tracking vendor sales performance. In doing so, Amazon is constantly tracking consumer behavior and product reception.
With Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Inc. for $13.7 billion (USD), in conjunction with its long list of subsidiaries, the event signals the reality of Amazon’s ever expanding business plan; in short, to be the operating system and platform for everyday life. Therefore, it is not a question of if Amazon will expand into the territory of the home and lifestyles, but when. Expanding on this line of thought, this project speculates on the potential hybrid condition in which the Amazon distribution center is combined with the residential program, effectively bridging the spatio-temporal gap between what we understand now as user-click and product delivery -- The product comes as close as possible to the consumer. In proposing so, we are forced to reflect on our contemporary condition and possible futures; Who lives in the Amazon Habitat? Why do they live there? How do they live there? It is precisely the tension of Amazon’s algorithm as a passive and active agent that develops and identifies patterns, which in turn produces the particular subject. This explicit audience commodification is exemplified through the Amazon Habitat.
Location Brooklyn, NY
Type Architecture, Research
Status Completed (Concept Design)
Team Sou Fang, Katharina Korber
Advisors Nicole McIntosh, Daniele Profeta, Junho Chun (SE Consultant)