You don’t seem to get that same reading experience from a digitised book as you do from the actual book. The feeling that you’re ‘reducing speed’ when you read a book just cannot stand up to the competition from the ever increasing speed of consumption of the visually oriented, virtual world. Where can these worlds meet? What experiences does the virtual library have to offer in exchange? Up to now, technological possibilities, functionality and ease of reference are at the forefront of most digital library concepts. As such, technology is not the keynote of this library, the main aim is to create an environment in which the terms ‘structure’, ‘chaos’ and ‘collectivity’ are given new meaning.
A text written by the Italian author Italo Calvino was the focal point for the design: ‘It’s not true that I can’t remember anything; the memories are still there, hidden in the grey tangles of my brain, in the moist sandbanks deposited on the riverbed of my thoughts.’
If we want to recall a memory, we circle around an area of memory, guided by association and emotion. Together, we give the world a collective memory with our topical associations on the surface and deep down, dormant, the traces of the old Greeks as well. In so doing, the virtual library takes on the values of the classical library: we are the best archive of our time. In this concept the virtual library organises our memory, presenting it as a fractal spiral. The virtual library of the future is a design by MarcelWoutersOntwerpers, a firm from Eindhoven that won recognition by developing intriguing and progressive exhibition concepts.