MEET also oversees and safeguards digital culture in a bid to combat isolation and set up a connection between Milan, Italy and the world at large. Giovanni Fosti, President of the Fondazione Cariplo, had this to say: “Access to connection and the digital world has a crucial role to play, and now especially we must direct all our skills and creativity towards finding new approaches that will support connection between people, communities and social actors.”
The overall project was sparked by the American computer scientist Mark Weiser’s concept of ubiquitous computing, or “the era of calm technology, when technology recedes against the background of our lives.”
The challenge for MEET was to become a dual identity place and its centre, in the Spazio Oberdan, a building in the heart of the city that symbolises the cultural life of Milan, has achieved this in full. Previously extended in the late ‘90s by Gae Aulenti, the building has been redesigned by Carlo Ratti, founder of the CRA practice and Professor of Urban Technologies at MIT in Boston, to become a hybrid, dual aspect volume, capable of existing in both a physical and a virtual form.