Cross Tutorial: Reflection

D Fleming_Cross Tutorial page 2 D Fleming_Cross Tutorial page 3

Reflection of where I’m at:

The general feedback I received from the cross tutorial was positive in respect to the presentation of my work, however my verbal presentation failed considerably on the day and i felt I did not explain my project to the best of my ability. Some key things I have taken away from the tutorial include:

  • How can the subversive nature of my scheme be introduced to the spaces in the tower in terms of hacker or hidden/secret spaces. There is an element of DUALITY and the relationship of co-existing elements that represent the way cities are that can be introduced to my project in order to add depth.
  •  The fractured elements of the tower and the skin of the building could have something more to do with the subversiveness or program of the tower. What is Innovative about this project?
  •  I should be more Critical in terms of what I am defining as the Next/Nature Workspace.

After a brief chat with Ronnie, the intention of my scheme should maybe not focus on a government surveillance infrastructure, but more to design for a group of people or company, to which I can attach a story or agenda in order to manifest a vision of the future. This would enable me to design for this company while also reserving space within the architecture for subversive or hidden elements. The task now is to put pen to paper and design these spaces.

Project Presentation 03-2014- A3 SheetAbove is an initial design for the interior of the analytics work module. The furniture and hardware is integrated into the structure, and is based on dual workstations. To develop this further I believe I should look at working on an image that shows the relationship of this space with the potential ‘secret covert’ space as part of the subversive nature of the building- A ‘Listening Post’ that does not appear on plans, is privately accessible and can access the information from the analysed and “decrypted” information.



Canton Tower: Protection & Structure

One of the primary reasons I am looking at lattice structures is two fold:

A conversation with Adrian Robinson, our structural engineer tutor, advised me that this would provide horizontal and vertical stability to extend the tower vertically in the form of a super-structure. My concern is that while this gives the project a structural element of believeablity, it takes away from the fractured elements of my previous images.

Another reason is developing my idea to use the structure of the tower as a Radar/Information absorbing device that assimilates information through radar absorbing materials as well as creating a Faraday Cage type structure that can protect the data core of the building against digital threats.


Canton Tower: Structure

The structure consist of a open lattice-structure that is twisted over it′s axis, therefore creating a tightening waist halfway up the building, something which I am lookijng to achieve with the BT tower to maintain its elegance

Columns rings and diagonals form together a web that varies over the section of the tower. The columns are all perfectly straight although the lean over to one direction, giving the tower a dynamic twist. They taper from bottom to top, so to further amplify the perspective view up along the tower. The diagonals are more or less everywhere the same at 800mm. they consist of straight tubes that run between columns fixing the web of nodes into a stiff web. The rings are placed on the inside and their diameter is fixed at 800mm, they are truly round, following the curvature of the facade that runs along the inside.

At the bottom of the tower the columns are 2m in diameter, constructed of 50mm thick plated steel 


Gormley constantly experiments with new formulas, breaking the body down into pixels or seeking to overcome the barrier of the skin itself. This has resulted in works like Feeling Material XXXIX, where steel spirals whirl out from a void, body-shaped nucleus, producing an energy field where the unbroken line creates a dance between the inner and outer space

Adrian also pointed me in the direction of Anthony Gormleys sculptures which were reminiscent of some of my previous sketches. What I find interesting about his sculptures is the dynamic fluidity in his representation of space between the void and man body or ‘nucleus’ of the scultprure, as he calls it, ‘an Energy Field’

-> Cross Tutorial update: Something which was said to my during the tutorial was my focus on the Fractured Elements of the BT tower, my parasitic/symbiotic additions to the tower and ultimately the ‘space between’ the workspace and skin/facade of the building could become an interesting area to look at in terms of the invisible connections and electro magnetic field.

sketch 1

Abandoned NSA Listening Post

While looking at the design for listening posts and surveillance architecture, I came across these abandoned NSA stations in Berlin. This NSA Listening Station of Radar Domes on “The Hill,” was rumored to be a part of the global ECHELON intelligence gathering network. Other rumors include tunnels beneath the spy complex and others suggesting that by 1954, 1,200 calls could be recorded simultaneously, filling up more than 50,000 reel tapes. After the station was closed following the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was left abandoned and the equipment removed, the derelict buildings and radar domes still remained.

The images are quite beautiful and resonate an archaic feeling of the bygone state of monitoring, power and control.

Abandoned NSA Listening Station on Devil’s Mountain, Berlin.& More Surveillance Architecture: An Old Listening Post From The Cold War – Architizer.

Protected moments within the Park: Precedents of style, aesthetic and interaction

Shadow Pavilion Informed by Biomimcry

 Ply Architecture – eVolo | Architecture Magazine.

BIO Coral Reef Pavilion- Interactive WIFI spy Pavilion

As a sophisticated biological network, coral reefs are natural spies. Reefs consist of hundreds (or even hundreds of thousands) of polyps, which gather information about their environments and use it to shape their growth patterns and, consequently, the form of the reef itself. In a way, their structures are a product of their surveillance of the environment.

San Francisco–based BIOS Design Collective wanted to render Silicon Valley’s invisible web of data—from overlapping wi-fi signals to the behavior trackers buried in web pages—as a physical expression they chose the coral reef as their ruling metaphor. This LED Pavilion “Spies” On Its Inhabitants – Architizer.


Russian Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale

Art & Design: The Russian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale | Blog | Stylesight.

Fabricated Pavilion, Stuttgart

Researching New Tectonic Possibilities In Architecture / Robotically Fabricated Pavilion In Stuttgart – eVolo | Architecture Magazine.

An interesting project using woven fibres and robotics to determine the structure and fabrication, I imagine this as a temporary woven structure over a protected space within the park where the fibres are able to deflect invasive radio waves, wifi signals and communications.

The pavilion is entirely robotically fabricated, from glass and carbonfiber composites and it investigates the eventual co-relation between bio-mimetic design strategies and new processes of robotic production. The new composite construction paradigm in architecture is rooted in morphological principles of arthropods’ exoskeletons. Typically, exoskeletons are a shell type structure that supports and protects an interior space such as an animals body. In the case of the park as a sanctuary, the exoskeltal structure would act as a protective device against invasive communications.

Sou Foujimoto, Serperntine Pavilion

Nature Listening Device.

Hacking nature as an eavesdropping device.

Potential to take the protected space in the park back to my initial exploration with foam as space for moments of contemplation.

Methods of Detection: Electro Active Polymers

Each has a size of 1 cm by 1 cm, and it can rise up by 3 mm when 3 Volts are supplied. The movement of these sheets is controlled by a processor that is connected with the iPhone through the phone’s connector. These EAP sheets only take a minimal amount of energy from the extra battery.

Essentially a visual and movement based alert system which could be adapted to detect invasive signals and let the user know when they are being monitored. This is a similar line of detection to the Electromagentic Field detector I created last year. My task now, is how do I scale this up into the ‘resistance’ archtiecture?

Faceted panel facade used to respond and react to invasive signals

Faceted panel facade used to respond and react to invasive signals

See RFID and Electrmagneticfield reader here:

RFID reader

Space Replay: Echoing listening device

Royal College of Art have created a mysterious floating spherical object that drifts through public spaces recording conversations and plays them back when there’s nobody around. the video is quite haunting in its nature as it meanders through public space, and the reactions of people are quite entertaining! Essentially, a form of hacking public space.

<p><a href=”″>Space Replay floats hauntingly through spaces echoing its surroundings</a> from <a href=””>Dezeen</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Initial Design Models

D Fleming_Model Photos 1D Fleming_Model Photos 2

Above are some of the initial model ideas I had for a structure that could potentially wrap around and extend the BT tower. The lattice work of the mesh could potentially be used as a faraday cage structure using radar absorbent materials to block and attenuate potential incursive radio waves. The other models symbolise module extensions to the top of the tower in the form of workspaces and protected environments and the ascension vertically around the tower.

D Fleming_Initial Model

Tower Structure models


D Fleming_Model 1

Initial Tower Model

I have begun to model digitally in 3D to help visualise my design ideas and how to either rationalise the geometry of the plan (whether it is a radial structure projecting from the tower or a cubic formation of assembled work modules as per my previous design idea [Reflection & Response | dt.fleming architecture.]
This week i have been learning/using 3Ds max to create a model that represents the collages I have been completing. The software has been difficult and frustrating to learn and the aesthetic isn’t quite there yet. Obviously this needs work and hopefully over the coming weeks will become more resolved.

One of the Key Feedback notes from this weeks tutorial with Ronnie is to fully define the program and intention of the tower in terms of its occupation. The elements of duality and subversiveness have got lost somewhere in my project. The Powerful Monitoring Force and it’s Anti-thesis. One of the drivers to justify the aesthetic could be the representation of the way that cities are; a collision and symbiosis of co-existing elements at the street level.

One of the things I am finding difficult is addressing the structure and circulation of the tower and a final decision in which direction to go.