Hot Stop

Hot Stop proposes rural roadside infrastructure for a community of Digital Nomads in 2030.

Increased time at home due to lockdowns has led people to reevaluate how domestic space is used and where work takes place. In the future, a fixed address will no longer be necessary since digital technologies have allowed people to remain productive and connected during quarantine. People will choose to live remotely (especially as self-driving cars become the norm) and seek closer relationships to nature in order to alleviate the stress caused by screen-based labor and leisure. Following this (and borrowing the words of prominent nomad Bob Wells), a new roving community will emerge that “gathers together to resist the tyranny of the dollar” by eliminating the largest expense for Americans: the single-family house.

This thesis investigates alternative proximities and modes of transience in an increasingly networked world by establishing a web of physical nodes where people can connect with each other, on and off the grid. Because the project is funded by timber companies under the Sustainable Forest Initiative, products and resources are uniquely intertwined. More specifically, the Hot Stops are located within the genetically modified forests of Weyerhaeuser Timber Company in Keweenaw County, Michigan. Three types of nodes—Cache, Hack, Refresh—are distributed across the site. Cache nodes are centrally located at repurposed log ponds next to employee housing. Operating like trading and gathering posts, they showcase and store company products. Hack nodes are work/live emergent structures installed at felling sites. To create these nodes, users collaboratively stage Weyerhaeuser BIM products (otherwise stored in Cache nodes) as social space. Refresh nodes contain sanitary lounges and, in their mediation of skid trails along water bodies, have a reciprocal relationship to the site. Together, the nodes define another nature, one that synthesizes material and immaterial networks.
Faculty Advisor:
Cyrus Peñarroyo