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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Bambakias Hotel  
  A hotel that wants to exist! It just needs a little help.  

This is a remarkable concept that really derives from the idea of smart tape. Imagine a building that sits in pieces, waiting to be built. Now imagine that the construction materials can not only talk, but will cajole passersby into bringing the building into existence.

This Texan hotel, for instance, was an entirely virtual construction, ones and zeros embedded in a set of chips. And yet, the hotel direly wanted to exist. It would become very beautiful, and it was already very smart. It could sweet-talk itself into physical existence from random piles of raw materials.

Oscar lugged the self-declared cornerstone to the corner of the southern wall. "I belong here," the cornerstone declared. "Put mortar on me."

Oscar picked up a trowel. "I'm the tool for the mortar," the little trowel squeaked cheerfully.

From Distraction, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Bantam Spectra in 1998
Additional resources -

Although I am not aware of any "hotel kits" there are a number of house or cottage kits that you can buy. They are literally a "house in a box!" You get construction blueprints and all the components required to build the structure of the home. This includes exterior and interior doors, windows, siding, flooring, roofing, and walls, all delivered to the plot of land you've chosen. Unfortunately, it requires a certain amount of expertise in actually putting the package together. A neighbor of mine did this with his summer cottage; he and ten guys put the whole thing together in about a week.

Naturally, it would have gone faster if all of the components knew where to go, and would instruct you on what to do. To see how everything talks on the Bambakias Hotel job site, take a look at the entry on Talking Tape.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Distraction
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Distraction
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Bambakias Hotel-related news articles:
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