Nanotourist Social Infrastructure


Nanotourist Social Infrastructure
Traincity aspires for an expansion of the architectural discourse into the design of trains, envisioning it as a new type of social infrastructure.
File under
  • # Technology
  • # Social
  • # Infrastructure

Traincity investigates the possibility of a bottom-up approach towards design of trains. In parallel, the project revisits the concept of nanotourism, a bottom-up alternative and creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of mainstream tourism.

Through the implementation of nanotourist strategies, Traincity aims at the development of both a method and a framework for the design of trains as a new type of social infrastructure, operating as a route-specific manifestation of the processes that are inherent within the context through which it it is travelling.
The project rigorously investigates three inter-related qualities of place, user and material, taking the Bohinj Railway route of the Slovenian Railway network as an example.

As a result, the new network of trains becomes a system of highly differentiated and highly specific sets of experiences, thus re-defining the train as a pure mode of transportation to becoming a destination in itself.

place: The project particularly investigates and extracts aspects of the context surrounding the railway between Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, distilling local specificities of sports, culture and industry.

user: The project accommodates for specific permanent and seasonal users that are particular to the immediate vicinity of the railway.

material: The project takes into account specificities of locally available materials only, utilises its properties and the present as well as future potential of existing craftsmanship and industrial manufacturing.

generic train: introverted system of universal principles (enclosed model)

specific train: extroverted system of highly specific principles (highly permeable model)

generic train: generic interface between user and provider (train as a mode of transport)

specific train: highly specific interface between specific users and and specific provider(s) (train as an experience module)

Idea by

Jakob Travnik
Jakob is currently in the process of concluding his studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna at Studio Kazuyo Sejima (former Studio Zaha Hadid). He is also active as an assistant and co-mentor at the AA Visiting School Slovenia, focusing on the research, design and making of nanotourist strategies.

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