Glass walls signify "transparency of communication" throughout science in what the Swiss government has dubbed its "digital consulate," opening 10 October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The new Swiss House for Advanced Research and Education (SHARE) is to be "a large-scale physical interface to a distributed virtual community of Swiss and other scientists," says Jeffrey Huang, professor of digital media at Harvard, who designed it with architect Muriel Waldvogel. Officials say it will also be a "privileged observatory" from which the Swiss will observe "the efficient American innovation and technology-transfer system."
The core of the building is a sunken "arena" (at right in picture) with up-to-the-minute technology including plasma displays, wireless microphones, video ports for laptops and Personal Digital Assistants, a "digital wall," and video cameras that will transmit goings-on in real time to the Internet. A Swiss bank footed the $2 million bill for the center, strategically located between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The country's U.S. science attaché, Xavier Comtesse, is moving up from Washington, D.C., to run it.
The Swiss House for Advanced Research and Education