While some of these patents could be marked as routine publicity stunts, lurking beneath Amazon’s bravado is an obsession with organisation and productivity: oriented towards abstract users, measured in data, and governed by algorithms.
<img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/49/49145587fe1201e63822f4bb01d21234.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>Taken as whimsical follies by the design press and broader culture, Amazon's architectural and logistical patents are altogether more sinister, signalling new, automated urban ambitions. [...]
In his piece for Failed Architecture, designer and writer Matthew Stewart investigates the implications of the overwhelming flood of architectural and logistical patents filed by Big Tech, and Amazon in particular, on our cities and expectations of the world of the future. "We’ve been treated to an Archigram-esque world of walking cities, inflatable mega-structures and roaming blimps," Stewart writes. "This world has included proposals for multi-level drone fulfillment centers; mobile robotic warehouses; augmented reality furniture; inflatable data centers; underwater and flying warehouse facilities; infinitely expandable data on-demand clothing manufacturing, automated shopping with image recognition systems and the ever-present spectre of drone delivery."