Paradigm of The Edge Node

Architecture & Research

For most people, the internet is an invisible infrastructure, providing the world access to information, communication and ever developing technologies. This project is about the hardware that’s behind this phenomenon. An amazing, widely spread network of different networks, technologies and features: the infrastructure of data.

With more and more people being connected to the internet, reaching 75% of the world population in 2025, the so-called Global Datasphere is growing rapidly. The total amount of data worldwide is expected to reach 175 Zettabytes (1,000,000,000 TB) by 2025, whereas today’s Datasphere is ‘only’ 33 ZB. The current infrastructure, no matter how fast the connection is, is unable to handle this huge amount of data that must be transported, processed, and stored. 

The project proposes the addition of a new component to the data-infrastructure: the edge node. This node reduces energy consumption by bringing computing power to the network’s edge (near the endpoints, avoiding unnecessary transport) and by reusing excess heat to heat dwellings and other buildings. Because of its computing power, the edge node can provide an additional feature: it can play an important role in the ‘energy smart grid’, exchanging and trading energy between local demand and supply. The node’s design is modular, allowing multiple components to be combined to serve various functions in the urban environment. Furthermore, a large number of nodes form the exact size of a shipping container, allowing the nodes to be transported, replaced, and shipped using existing infrastructure.

The final product of this research and design project is ‘The Edge Node X AMS‘. 

Year: 2020
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Project type: MSc design studio
Status: Concept