Nøtel (Essen) 

Urbane Kunste Ruhr, Essen, Germany
4 May - 30 June 2019

The third iteration of the site-specific luxury hotel simulator.
Exhibition Link︎︎︎
Project Page︎︎︎

“Nøtel Corporation is proud to present our new marketing suite for the Nøtel, our flagship range of zerø-star™ hotels that embody the concept of fully-automated luxury. Designed by worldleading architects to accommodate today’s global nomads, you can rest assured that your anonymity and security is of the utmost importance. Why not indulge in the personalized, intelligent sound system at the piano bar, or bathe in the glow of our eco-friendly, thermo-nuclear spa?” – Nøtel CEO Statement

Multimedia artist and ‘speculative architect’ Lawrence Lek has designed the Nøtel to accommodate a highly-mobile future society, in which a luxury variant of the Airbnb sharing economy has replaced the traditional housing market. The fictitious Nøtel Corporation offers the appropriate architecture and services for this life of perpetual mobility. By reading personal data, the company is able to offer customised luxury accommodation at any time of the day or night. Artificial intelligence replaces human personnel in meeting guests’ every conceivable need. Surveillance via drones, facial recognition and a correspondingly comprehensive system of sensors ensure the greatest possible security and privacy. For the installation at Ruhrturm, which houses not only a hotel and restaurant but also numerous companies, Lek has developed the Nøtel concept into a site-specific, walk-in video installation. Lek uses digital architectural simulations in posing critical questions about technological developments in the urban context. By projecting a scenario where intelligent robots replace human workers within the hospitality industry, Nøtel plays with the tension between the desire for luxury and the spectre of artificial intelligence.

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