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

D Fleming_Tutorial-March 18th-47

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.

Radio & Electromagentic Absorbent Materials


Further to my thoughts on using a Faraday Cage as part of the structure, the use of radar absorbing materials would improve the security of the structure and offer a wide variety of design options.

Radar absorbing materials and structures are designed to absorb radar waves and convert them to heat. Because these radar waves are not returned, radar absorbing materials (RAM) and radar absorbing structures (RAS) provide a reduced signature for detection. Typically, RAM and RAS are used in defense applications and in commercial communications activities that require the absorption of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

Materials & Structures

Radar absorbing materials and structures include iron ball paint, foam absorbers, and Jaumann absorbers. Iron ball paint consists of tiny iron particles that are coated with carbonyl iron or ferrite. These particles are similar to the ferrite grains and carbon black particles embedded in the neoprene polymer sheets used in some military applications. Foam absorbers also use carbon black, but in urethane foam. Pyramidal RAM is achieved via scattering and absorption. Jaumann absorbers or Jaumann layers are radar absorbing materials and structures that use wave-interfering techniques to cancel the reflected waves.


Radar absorbing materials and structures are probably best-know for their use in stealth technology, such as on the surfaces of the U.S. Air Force’s F-117 Nighthawk. In addition to their use on stealth bombers, however, RAS and RAM are used in commercial microwave communications applications. Examples include antennas, car radios, mobile phones, and telecommunications base stations



A lightweight core material that is constructed with hexagonal cells. It can tuned to operate at various frequencies over a broad spectrum. The electrical performance can be maximized for insertion / transmission or reflection loss.

  • Designed to enhance antenna performance
  • Ultra lightweight yet mechanically durable
  • Superior electrical performance
  • Machined to complex 3D configurations

Honeycomb structures can offer maximized performance from low to high frequencies, with the construction, configuration and cell structure it can also offer outstanding reflection, insertion / transmission loss.


Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes are used as conductive fillers in epoxy resins and to replace ferrites based fillers classically used in radar absorbent materials. Ferrites provide good absorption properties but present several drawbacks like: high density, sensibility toward corrosion.

Carbon nanotubes and polyaniline which is an electrically conducting polymer. which both have low density and good absorption properties. By combining  carbon nanotubes with polyaniline it dramatically enhances the EMI shielding properties of composites thanks to a synergistic effect.

carbon nanotube



Measuring Invisible Fields: Electromagentism

The survey materializes by drawing electromagnetic activity as water, where lines are engraved into the glass surface and appear when they are illuminated. The electromagnetic data gathered is processed in order to create meaning from it creating a sectional survey of the hallucinatory state that is produced when the body makes direct contact with electromagnetic activity.


Some quotes from the investigation which I found interesting and appropriate to my project:

2.     The environment and its inhabitants interact through energy transfers.

11.   Between bodies and electromagnetism immeasurable space is produced within measurable space.

 12.   Moving through the range of charged electromagnetic frequencies, one’s cognitive faculties are disturbed and the physical conditions of the place transform

19.   The architect adjusts the atmospheric charges to induce hallucinations and enhance perceptual cognition.

20.   In some sectors the architect creates gardens with different species of stimulating frequency waves. In other areas the city may have to regulate the flows

24.   Matter, body, and electromagnetic frequencies band together and form an interdependent environment hovering between the visible and invisible.


Find more here: SOTIRIOS KOTOULAS: Emission Architecture (updated) | LEBBEUS WOODS.