Devices of Observation: Diller Scofido & Renfro

Diller+Scofidio have several projects examining transparency and cameras that give good insight to the issues and applications to architecture. The Projects Below’ ‘Jump Cuts’ and ‘Facsimile’  both use transparency and cameras to defy expectations and change the apparent reality. The display of people and space are manipulated with the camera. While not as invasive as CCTV, the cameras in the project still objectify people, remove them from social contact with the viewers, and put them on display, submitting them to scrutiny from the people in the privileged position of watching.

This aspect of public and private boundaries and levels of transparency can be exploited in my project in terms of Reinventing the notion of privacy in the digital age and introducing public representatives as observers/hackers of information.



Tutorial Reflection

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Synergy of Structure: Parasitic elements to the existing tower

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Section through public analysis workspace, atrium and concealed hacker space

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Radial Automated Drone Production

From the images I have produced it is becoming clear that the government overlook device is a parasitic addition addition to the tower, an overt display of overlook and monitoring; while the resistance is a symbiotic in nature and should be more subtle, camouflaged and disguised in its approach. For instance, if I continue to use the park as a sanctuary space, the disconnected space should be visually hidden from the government system and not in plain view as I had previously thought. Perhaps this is a moment nested underground the park or inside an existing building.

– Although elements of my project are clear to me, the Narrative I am proposing has to make sense in terms of the intervention and my speculation on next nature and the duality in terms of workspace. The fun thing about my project should working with a well known existing structure and elements of the BT tower should be seen in my design.

– The relationship between the observer and the observed within the same workspace should be exploited and I should be more imaginative in terms of the public and camouflaged access to these spaces- It is afterall a university project! The internal aesthetic could be similar but fit to entirely different purposes but base it in reality.

– My drawings are currently too heavy and should focus on the lightness, transparency and density of structure (potentially look at aircraft technology)

– Vertical elements could be introduced to the tower in relation to it representing a vertical urban realm as a series of co-existing elements

Acceleration of current circumstances

Aesthetic is an outcome of Process

Co-veillance: A Transparent Society Surveilling the Surveillers

Futurist and scifi novelist David Brin suggested this one. It’s kind of a mash-up between Steve Mann’s sousveillance and Jamais Cascio’s Participatory Panopticon, and a furtherance of his own Transparent Society concept. Brin describes it as: “reciprocal vision and supervision, combining surveillance with aggressively effective sousveillance

Folks are rightfully worried about surveillance powers that expand every day. Cameras grow quicker, better, smaller, more numerous and mobile at a rate much faster than Moore’s Law (i.e. Brin’s corollary). Liberals foresee Big Brother arising from an oligarchy and faceless corporations, while conservatives fret that Orwellian masters will take over from academia and faceless bureaucrats. Which fear has some validity? All of the above. While millions take Orwell’s warning seriously, the normal reflex is to whine: “Stoplooking at us!” It cannot work. But what if, instead of whining, we all looked back? Countering surveillance with aggressively effective sousveillance — or scrutiny from below? Say by having citizen-access cameras in the camera control rooms, letting us watch the watchers?

A method for the resistance function:

Sous-veillance (Monitor from Below)

Sousveillance focuses on enhancing the ability of people to access and collect data about their surveillance and to neutralize surveillance. As a form of personal space protection, it resonates with Gary Marx’s (2003) proposal to resist surveillance through non-compliance and interference ‘moves’ that block, distort,mask, refuse, and counter-surveil the collection of information.

Sous-veillance and reflectionism seek to increase the equality between surveiller and the person being surveilled (surveillee), including enabling the surveillee to surveil the surveiller.

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know.

Acoustic Cloaking Device & Metamaterials

The acoustic cloaking device works in all three dimensions, no matter which direction the sound is coming from or where the observer is located. By placing this cloak around an object, the sound waves behave like there is nothing more than a flat surface in their path. 


Turning to Nature: METAMATERIALS

To achieve this new trick, Cummer and his colleagues turned to the developing field of metamaterialsthe combination of natural materials in repeating patterns to achieve unnatural properties. In the case of the new acoustic cloak, the materials manipulating the behavior of sound waves are simply plastic and air. Once constructed, the device looks like several plastic plates with a repeating pattern of holes poked through them stacked on top of one another to form a sort of pyramid.

To give the illusion that it isn’t there, the cloak must alter the waves’ trajectory to match what they would look like had they had reflected off a flat surface. Because the sound is not reaching the surface beneath, it is traveling a shorter distance and its speed must be slowed to compensate.

Acoustic cloaking device hides objects from sound — ScienceDaily.

Abandoned underground ‘Mail Rail’

I recently discovered that the Royal Mail have an underground Rail Mail system beneath the streets of London, a fact im sure many people had no idea existed.  It launched in 1927 and was used to transport tonnes of post from one side of London to another, with stops at large railway hubs such as Liverpool Street and Paddington Station. After closing in 2003 it has remained unused but there are plans in place to turn it into a public attraction as part of the National Postal Museum.

My thoughts are concerned with the hidden and concealed nature of this transportation network beneath London and providing access and a means of secret circulation for the operatives.

Ride London’s abandoned underground ‘Mail Rail’ (Wired UK).