Activism by Design An Examination of Urbanism and Civil Protest Daniel Fernando Avilan Medina
Daniel F Avilan Medina RC12 | Luke Pearson and Sandra Youkhana BENVGU22 | Design Thesis Report Student Number: 16086623
Many thanks to David J Roberts and Roberto Bottazzi for their supervision.
dedicated to designers who seek spatial justice...
Key Words: Protest, Spatial Justice, Narrative, Network, Boundary, Control, Semantics, Semiotics, Mobilize, Rhizome, Justice, Surveillance.
8 12 14
Narrative Semiotics and Semantics The London Cycling Campaign: Die In Protest (Case Study) Semiotic Strategy (Design Project)
16 18 20 22
Network Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and the Ring of Steel Rhizomatic Revolution Focus E15 (Case Study) Micro and Macro Networks (Design Project)
Boundary 23 Panopticism 25 Spatial Appropriation 29 British Nail House: Wickhamâ€™s Department Store (Case Study) 31 Spatializing Surveillance: Accessibility and Accountability (Design Project) 33
This report examines the relationship between urbanism and civil protest. Throughout the report, practitioners will understand and develop strategies on how to design for spatial justice through investigating relevant theories and practice. The writing acts as an embodiment of a protest piece by mobilizing designers as advocates for spatial justice. The report is made up of four chapters. In the first chapter, the theory of spatial justice is used as a framework for extending these ideals in terms of urban space. The second chapter frames revolutionary narratives from theoretical perspectives, a case study that exhibits these concepts, and the design as tactics of analyzing social space. The third chapter examines urban networks through inaccessible spaces of control, rhizomatic network theory, and a case study that displays itself as a node within a larger rhizome. The third chapter concludes with the design creating micro and macro socio-spatial networks. The fourth chapter demonstrates urban boundaries from a precedent on controlled urban space to theories on the issues and solutions of spatial injustices. The fourth chapter then illustrates an urban boundary symbolizing socio-political pressures and concludes with the design strategies that generate spatial justice. The conclusion establishes the groundwork for urban practitioners to use this report as a guide to spatial justice.
Preface The Relationship Between Design and Report
Activism by Design
Designers and architects have worked in ways that allow the city to reinforce social injustice. Both the design and report investigate how designers continue to be complicit with instances of control that reinforce power imbalance and inequality that exist in society. The report explores various ways in which urban practitioners have designed for spaces of control in the era of mass surveillance. As the report continues, theoreticians are drawn upon as links between designers and urban social movements that critique the way spatial injustice can be restructured through narratives, networks, and spatial form. The report provides the design with case studies of civil protest in London that are in turn used as methods of combating restrictions and restraints. It also assists the design in creating a series of urban spatial methods of resistance. The design proposes London as a game which appropriates these tactics for urban practitioners to implement in an authoritative super surveilled city. The urban proposal recreates some of Londonâ€™s high streets, transport hubs, boroughs, districts, and commercial spaces as an inevitable future state of mass surveillance. These sites include the Borough of Hackney, Kings Cross, Bank and Monument financial center, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, and the City of Westminster. Within each of these varying landscapes, the player of the game sets out to shape their world in order to thwart surveillance in the city. Using theories set out by the report, the player masters a plethora of strategies that guide other members of the city to follow. This is the key relationship between the design and the report. The dweller not only conceptualizes space but physicalizes how surveillance can be seen as a spatial entity. This becomes an environment of accessibility and accountability. As the player transverses the city, they intend to transform the environment through theories linked in the report.
[Fig 5] Previous page: Nike Headquarters,New York City, 2017
The report is as an assemblage of relevant theories, examples, and strategies that depict Londonâ€™s state of mass surveillance. This writing thus acts as an embodiment of a protest piece. It can be presented to designers who seek spatial justice. It can be read as a delirious report of frantic paranoia one feels while playing the game. It sets to offer alternatives to the misconception of designers and architectsâ€™ need to comply with the current state of control and surveillance. Navigating and mobilizing these relevant practices and theories set up the report to influence the design. By exploring the spatial relationships of socio-political urban movements and acts of opposition, theorists and protests have influenced the design to create a new paradigm of urbanism: one which reinvents psychological urban space. Parallels are drawn between the design and the report in terms of influence from urban social movements and theoreticians who similarly use revolution as a method of urban thinking.
Activism by Design
Thousands of surveillance cameras within urban, suburban, and even rural environments have been installed within the last several decades as a result of increased urban control. In November 2016, the Investigatory Powers Act passed in the United Kingdom giving the Parliament a plethora of new machines that could track and hack with security services more enhanced than any other country in the world (MacAskill, 2016). Today, England has around 6 million cameras — which is equivalent to the population of Lebanon (Barrett, 2013). Recently, the government’s surveillance camera commissioner, Tony Porter, spoke out about the risk of the privacy of the public. A massive data base without the consent of the nation is collecting information and becoming more invasive than ever before (Weaver, 2017). The metropolis is beginning to adapt to these changes. Designers have begun to integrate the rapid technological changes within their designs in order to create a controlled urban environment. For instance, the new roof of the Apple Store in Chicago looks like an enormous MacBook Pro (Maggio, 2017). However, this detail is only visible from an aerial perspective. The correlation between urban design and surveillance is appropriated to be viewed from the hyper-global simulacrum of Google Earth. Architecture and urbanism will begin to accommodate the mass surveillance state within their plans in order to adjust to forthcoming technologies. However, the problem remains that designers cannot continue to be complicit with these instances of control that reinforce power imbalance and inequality that exist in society. Designers and architects have worked in ways that allow the city to reinforce inequality due to surveillance regulation that exists (MacAskill, 2016). Social movements have found course of action that resists this structure in order to demonstrate alternative fashions of living in the urban environment. Theoreticians have learned from these social movement in order to develop a clear methodology for architects and urban practitioners to realize unfamiliar and unique city networks. This report aims to conceptualize how urban revolution have influenced theoreticians as a method of designing for power imbalance and spatial inequality. Three case studies — the London Cycling Campaign at Bow Roundabout, London’s Focus E15 campaign, and the Wickham’s Department Store in West London — introduce three themes that structure urban social movements. [Fig 6] Previous page: Churchix design tactic illustration
The report is comprised of four parts: spatial justice, narrative, network, and boundary. In the first chapter, the concept of urban spatial justice is introduced. The origins of the idea are displayed in terms of affordability, transport, and various freedoms in public spaces. The report interprets urban theorist Edward William Soja’s concept of spatial justice as a conceptual framing on how justice translates into space. Spatial justice is then extended through ideas of control and surveillance as an opening for design to work along within the theoretical underpinnings. The framework of the former analysis is translated into terms of time and space. The second chapter discusses urban theorists and their influence on revolutionary narratives, the London Cycling Campaign’s response to spatial injustice, and the designs translation into space through theory and semantics. The third chapter continues by describing the relationship between network, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, and London’s Ring of Steel. This is followed by theories of rhizomatic revolutions and Focus E15’s civil action as a consequence of networked organization. The third chapter concludes with the designs investigation of rhizomes to create spatial justice. The fourth chapter analyzes the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s infamous panoptic prison scheme as a structured boundary of surveillance. Theories are then used to define boundaries as both limitations and spatial opportunities through such concepts as the production of psychological space. In the latter half of the fourth chapter, Wickham’s Department Store extends boundary, void, and space proceeded by the designs spatial and conceptual boundaries. It is important to mark the influence of protest solely on the basis of spatial, social, and contextual issues, rather than the political agenda or the principles in which the protesters use to appropriate their movements. Also, the report aspires to raise questions and self reflection from urban practitioners, architects, designers, and theorists rather than solve the issues raised in these case studies. The way in which their actions appropriate urban space is key to understanding social and spatial injustices.
â€œ...it is also just the beginning of a new stage in the struggle for spatial justice and regional democracy that is being made more urgent and necessary by the deepening world economic crisis.â€? â€• Edward Soja, Seeking Spatial Justice, 2010
Activism by Design
Spatial justice is a theory developed on the strong influence of the organization of space and social relationships within societies. This approach creates an integration between equality and the urban environment. During the 1960s through the 1970s, philosopher Henri Lefebvre demanded a new insight into urban life and quality (Lefebvre, Kofman and Lebas, 2008). He theorized a concept of ownership of the city, or the Rights to the City. This idea challenged the social class construct that continually mandated how cities are perceived and produced. A form of justice was called for by Lefebvre in order to promote new typologies of unprecedented spatial arrangements (Lefebvre, Kofman and Lebas, 2008). He continued to emphasize these linkages which influenced geographer David Harvey to write on a Marxist perspective of the city. Harvey makes a case for the Rights to the City by stating that: “The Right to the City is, therefore, far more than a right of individual or group access to the resources that the city embodies: it is a right to change and reinvent the city more after our hearts’ desire. It is, moreover, a collective rather than an individual right, since reinventing the city inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power over the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake ourselves and our cities is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights” (Harvey, 2013: 4). However, Harvey’s extensive research into the city tends to emphasize on the social aspects of Lefebvre’s theory. Urban theorist Edward William Soja hybridizes both the urban context of Lefebvre’s concept with the individual liberties described in Harvey’s conclusions (Soja, 2010). Soja identifies space as the fundamental dimension of human society; where justice is ingrained. Soja then specifies these interactions between space and societies as a necessity of understanding social injustices (Soja, 2010). A reflection is needed in order to design space and carry out any theory of social and spatial integrity. He refers to this theory as spatial justice, where space and justice are crossbred in order to deliver a new typology of urban program (Lefebvre, Kofman and Lebas, 2008).
[Fig 7] A everyday individual seeking spatial justice.
Activism by Design
According to Soja, “spatiality has traditionally been given particular attention in only a few disciplines, mainly geography, architecture, urban and regional planning, and urban sociology… [and] it has reached far beyond these spatial disciplines” (Soja, 2010: 14). These ideas of spatial integration into the thought far beyond the realm of the city design allows the local, urban, regional, national, and global scales to create inclusive public debates on human rights, social inclusion– exclusion, citizenship, democracy, poverty, racism, economic growth, and environmental policy. Urban equity can transform the way spatial production is invested (Soja, 2010). Soja considered the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union for a successful and inspirational model for spatial justice. After winning an unprecedented legal battle with the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, the buses were mandated to reroute in order to serve the poorest residents of Los Angeles. This victory for both the residents and for the future of urbanism is a key example for Soja on spatial justice (Soja, 2010). Soja continues by implying that the search for spatial justice is, for some, a pursuit for defending public spaces (2010). It is suggested that maintaining spaces completely public is quickly wearing away due to privatization, commodification, and state control. Various modes of communication, such as freedom of speech, can be at danger if spaces continue to transition toward semi-public or private spaces (Soja, 2010). However, seeking spatial justice must not solely focus on the struggles of public space, but the use of communication and exchange of information is central to urban spaces that pursue geographical freedoms.
[Fig 8] A protest taking place in Trafalgar Square, 1951.
“...a narrative, embodies an ambition, embodies intentions, and has an aim. I think that we use some of the conventions or laws or discipline of narrative to make sure that those are tight and work well.” ― Rem Koolhaas, Helvetica / Objectified / Urbanized: The Complete Interviews, 2015
This chapter ties the theories of desire production, ad hoc organization, and public space in order to understand semantics in the urban domain. Through language, image, symbols, and signs, social movements (such as the London Cycling Campaign) appropriate space with the reinforcement of semantics. The chapter then concludes with two cases within the game that allow designers and users to see the city throughout the established theoretical groundwork.
Semiotics and Semantics
Activism by Design
The study of signs, symbols, text, and language have largely influenced how architects, designers, and urban practitioners have developed the city. The public uses these tactics in a different manner by exchanging and broadcasting their visions within the city. Without such communication, the separation between strategy and action can break the movement started by the public. The narrative developed by civil action comes in a plethora of forms and materials. Spaces, slogans, signs, and action all are forms of expression formed in urban space. Theories that draw upon desire production, the use of language and signs, and public space as a site for urban experiences respectively are exhibited in this passage as a course for understanding revolutionary narratives. In the 1970s, a manifesto for synthesizing demonstrative direct action for social change was written by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychiatrist Felix Guattari. They referred to these theories adopted by social movements as desiring-production (1998). They believed that the only connections that could be established between these two productions would be secondary ones of adopting the attitudes of other unconscious methodologies whilst defending oneself via means of projection. Voice and narrative is a way to successfully invest oneself in the desire of social production (Deleuze and Guattari, 1998). Journalist Colin Irwin explains this mode of desire through what he believes to be the birth of modern British protest movement began (2008). In 1958, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament gathered in Londonâ€™s Trafalgar Square for a major outing; a fifty three mile march to Aldermaston, the center of Britainâ€™s nuclear weapons industry. The protest permitted young musicians to write new songs in order to arouse support along their lengthy expedition (Irwin, 2008). The people were aware that the desire for a new kind of politics could be constructed by the production of song and spatial choreography. This collective experience of chanting allowed for an authentic mode of desire similar to that of Deleuze and Guattariâ€™s (1998). Songs, anthems, and chants as an assemblage of urban action draws parallels within the domain of philology.
Narrative | Semiotics and Semantics
The architectural theorist Charles Jencks wrote about language as mode of production being applied outside the realm of linguistics (2008). It became apparent that the use of these connections could be implemented in the urban domain. Language allowed for the explanation of how spatial forms came alive and fell apart (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). As Jencks states, the conventional trio of semiology always has formality, a concept and a representation â€” simply a relationship between language, thought, and reality (2008). His theory of adhocism posed the morphing of limited resources at hand for the resolution of present needs. He left two proposals: revolutionary interests should be recognized rather than limited to one of class and the plurality of ad hoc organization should be preserved (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). Jencks also concludes the groups are the basic institutions of freedom and civil life and must be able to spring into existence to protect institutions and law (2008). Several sensibilities for such narratives entail a recognition for the old and personal familiarity with identification. Furthermore, he poses a hypothesis on the production of space through semiotics: if [architects] were trained as anthropologists, with an ability to comprehend the various codes which are employed by varying groups, then they could at least design space which communicated as they intended (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). By juxtaposing Deleuzo-Gauttarianâ€™s desire-production and the ad hoc organization of Jencks, social movements can create nonhierarchical hybrids of these theories in order to remain influential and classless actions. For instance, the infamous international activist network Anonymous features their trademark mask from the film V for Vendetta (2005). Their intention is to create a face for their organization while creating a faceless leader for the group; allowing everyone to take part in the idea of being innominate (Anonymous News, 2004). This method is crude but effective. The organizational structure of Anonymous can be seen as an ad hoc way of remaining largely influential to mass culture while strengthening the limitation of one class group. Jencksâ€™ proposals are seen here as a form of communication through a mask whilst the desire to project equality through the faceless campaign creates a Deleuzo-Gauttarian mode of production.
Activism by Design
[Fig 11] A cloak featuring stripes and patterns to confuse surveillance cameras.
Narrative | Semiotics and Semantics
Communication is used by protests as a mechanism for direction and management. Semiotics allows revolutions to organize social production and spatial limitations through modes of declaration. Lefebvre questions communication as a way to organize urban space (2014). It could be considered a virtuality or to some extent a presenceabsence. Lefebvre believes linguistics could contribute to an analysis of the urban phenomenon (2014). However, he suggests that this is not to say that the urban is a language or sign system, but that it can be considered to be a whole and an order, in the sense given to those terms by semantics (Lefebvre, 2014: 52). It can set up as a set of rules to enact an event, a situation, a desire, or a formal production in the sense of revolution. The definition of time and space must be refined in order to comprehend the urban construction â€” a deconstruction of voice and urban form (Lefebvre, 2014).
Activism by Design
[Fig 12] An aerial view of Trafalgar during a massive protest, 2012.
Narrative | Semiotics and Semantics
Lefebvre refers to public space as a relic for this collective experience of desire (2014). For he claims that public space is the only conceivable site of social life. It brings people together â€” beauty and monumentality go hand in hand (Lefebvre, 2014). Lefebvre declares the very essence of, and sometimes at the very heart of a space in which the characteristics of a society are most recognizable and commonplace, cities embody a sense of transcendence, a sense of being elsewhere (2014). They have proclaimed duty, power, knowledge, joy, hope. The marches and symbolic displays of civil demonstrations are the narrative of the public opinion. Oral, visual, and kinesthetic means of exhibition are displayed as artwork on the streets. The urban space responds directly to these social dialogues as familiar cries of aesthetic power (Lefebvre, 2014). Trafalgar Square operates on this inclination mentioned by Lefebvre. This square has been the heart for community gatherings, and civil protests such as the climate change protest and as early as the Bloody Sunday protest in the late 19th century. It is ironic that Trafalgar, being built for the celebration of imperial power, has now become Londonâ€™s center for public meetings against imperialism, militarism, and capitalism (Forty, 1976). A complex structure like semantics deserves all the considerations and particular attentions of urban space in order to identify the presence in space. Urban practitioners can determine a manifold of ideals on how semiotics can influence and affect urban space. Through desire production, the use of language and signs, and an attention to public space would create hybridized city environments that could induce spatial justices. Language is spatialized as a result of civil protest by various methods such as gestures, chantings, signs, and symbols. Each, with its own consequence, allows for coordination and subsequent movements to transpire. In the digital age, the circulation of information becomes evident in its success when other groups are inspired and arise. The speed of these networks are driven in part by the operation of technology. The London Cycling Campaign as a result, uses digital media to influence and occupy a tube station to mobilize their movement.
The London Cycling Campaign: Die In Protest Case Study
Activism by Design
This case study uses narrative as a form of performance to appropriate urban space. In late 2013, the London Cycling Campaign organized a protest at the Bow Roundabout in east London. A cyclist was struck and killed by a large goods vehicle on the cycle route (Stuttle, 2013). Coordinated via the online social media platform Facebook, over one thousand of London’s cyclist joined in to what appeared to be the largest hit and run in British history (Stuttle, 2013). According to the daily British newspaper, the Guardian, the organizers created a photoshopped image of mass murdered cyclists being laid across the front of the Transport for London (TfL) Headquarters that was circulated to bikers around London (Stuttle, 2013). An online community was immediately formed and an event was set to take action. Over the next ten days, thousands of leaflets were distributed across London in order to spread ideas raised by the image. After the then mayor of London stated that the cyclists were to blame for the several accidents happening in the area, the campaign took physical action. The crowd of bikers scattered across the street, blocking traffic, and speaking on the behalf of the deceased. Finally, the cyclist gave a list of demands to the TfL (Stuttle, 2013). The movement turned into a realized version of the collaged protest. The rendering created by the protesters was acted out on the streetscape. As the protesters lay dead on the street — as if they had too been hit by a heavy goods vehicle themselves — they listened to the victims names from the past twenty years whose lives were also taken (Stuttle, 2013). Some protesters crossed their arms and held their body tight like a wake before a funeral. Others sat on the pavement with their bike lights blinking by their side (Stuttle, 2013). The enactment went on, each cyclist interpreting and reflecting on the victims final movements and poses that had occurred. As they rose up, the Guardian, and other media outlets surrounded the spectators as they recalled the violent acts that had transpired (2013).
[Fig 13] Previous page: Cyclists die in protest, Southwark Station, 2017.
Narrative | The London Cycling Campaign: Die In Protest
The campaign initially called for fifty participants. However, with the dynamic use of the digital collage, many people were inspired by the image to participate (Stuttle, 2013). The campaign overlaid their psychical bodies onto the street in order to represent the act taken shape on the urban block. The movement found that narrative is a way to successfully invest oneself in the desire of social production. They created a physical reenactment of the digital collage in order to display their frustrations within the urban space. Jencksâ€™ tripartite theorem on concept and representation combined the use of language, thought, and reality in order to serve the urban space as a canvas for the photoshopped image (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). As Edward Soja had emphasized, social justice is spatial justice. He accentuates the case that justice in the practice of the law acts by determining rights and assigning rewards or punishment based on this actions (Soja, 2010). Spatially, the word justice can interweave to create a geographical imprint on the environment. The Cycling Campaign appropriated the urban space by applying inequality as a method of power and hope for a better system of equality. By appropriating space, the campaign creates a block in the street through both a digital collage and a physical performance. Tactics like these can be formed by designers in order for the public to learn their own strategies and experiences with the environment.
Semiotic Strategy Design Project
In the design, the game uses a plethora of urban tactics in order for the user to subvert surveillance and systems of control. This passage utilizes these urban strategies in order to mobilize the theories set out formerly and educate the public about surveillance. The game allows for the player to traverse the city whilst evading the overwhelming amounts of surveillance that surround them. For instance, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras exist throughout London in an alarming quantity â€” around one for every eleven citizens of London (Barrett, 2013). The player can modify Londonâ€™s street lamps and adapt their beacon as disco light LEDâ€™s in order to blind the camera as they pass. This optic fashion of influencing the urban environment enables ad hoc methodologies of using limited resources at hand for the resolving present needs (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). Simultaneously, unconscious methodologies defends the player via means of projection similar to the desire production set out by Deleuze and Guattari (1998). This dichotomy acts as establishment of the semiotic strategy. Using symbols within the game gives the user and the designer an understanding of how surveillance works within the city and impromptu approaches of subverting the control. As an urban practitioner, one can see the spatial implications by envisioning disco lights placed throughout varying London streets. This comic transformation creates a enjoyable process of seeing the city in a new light while assessing the repercussions of such actions.
Narrative | Semiotic Strategy
[Fig 16] Lamp posts are changed into disco lights that blind surveillance cameras.
Activism by Design
The game reflects on public spaces like Trafalgar Square. Lefebvre depicts public space as the relic for this collective experience of desire production (Lefebvre, 2014). Appropriating ad hoc methods of design, the player in the game can use traditional methods of camouflage in order to mask themselves within the urban environment to avoid Googleâ€™s satellite imagery. By using this large collective space, the user in turn subverts surveillance and creates a new layer in the urban environment. This layer uses similar applications to the London Cycling Campaign by transforming a digital imprint to appropriate space (Stuttle, 2013). The layer animates the player to create a disguise against the macro mapping software of Google. Ad hoc methods of distortion and simulacrum can exhibit itself in public space as forms of suppressing the excessive modes of surveillance. Viewing the city from an aerial perspective, one may see the act transpire. However, from a street level, this method would seem counter-intuitive. Nonetheless, urban designers must reflect on this experience as way to deal with public space to conceal the public from control and surveillance. Through active learning and reconfiguration of urban space, spatial justice is formed. If this new layer could be reenacted throughout the entire city, a network of camouflage could begin to occur. These tactics can be an educational application for designers and users alike to create urban spaces that develop networks, strategies, and information on pressing issues that exist in the city.
Narrative | Semiotic Strategy
[Fig 17] Above: The player using camouflage to blend in with the environment. [Fig 18] Below: A protester using game tactics in Angel Islington.
MASKING With Google Maps, real-time data is tracking for route planning
“The prevalence of networks in organizing social practice redefines social structure in our societies.” ― Manuel Castells, Toward a Sociology of the Network Society, 2000
This chapter begins with the linkage between two socio-spatial concepts: The Ring of Steel and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). These act as defense networks that deny urban accessibility. Then, philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychiatrist Felix Guattari’s theory of rhizomes sets into motion sociologist Manuel Castells’ theory of rhizomatic revolutionary networks. As a result, London’s Focus E15 campaign makes use of rooted networks to take action against London’s ongoing housing crisis. Finally, the game uses macro and micro scaled urban networks to generate spatial justice.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and The Ring of Steel
Activism by Design
London has used the Ring of Steel and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design as networks of civic control. These two interweaving networks have established London as a city of mass surveillance and restraint. These social structures have excluded the public from having full access to their city. In the early 1970s, surveillance networks were continually being introduced at a rapid rate with the growing use of technology and urban organization. A United States criminologist C. Ray Jeffery coined the term Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) as a foundation for urban surveillance (Draper and Cadzow, 2004). The framing of this work was based on Jeffery’s suggestions that physical and social environments provided opportunities for crime to occur, while proving that their were also opportunities to reduce the alternating city environment (Draper and Cadzow, 2004). Architect Oscar Newman was influenced by the principles set out by Jeffery and approached the concept through the term defensible space (Draper and Cadzow, 2004). This gave way to a new conceptual network of organizing space to prevent crime. CPTED has three overlapping doctrines: access control, surveillance, and territorial reinforcement. According to the CPTED program, these core concepts “offer a framework for the effective design and use of space to minimize undesired behavior” (Draper and Cadzow, 2004: 9). However, it does not characterize the personality of the alleged undesired behavior (Draper and Cadzow, 2004).
[Fig 20] Previous page: Map of the Ring of Steel, London 2017
Network | Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and The Ring of Steel
London created a response to this behavior by producing a new “ring of steel” to prevent further terrorist attacks on the city. Wrought iron security gates began to enclose certain spaces within the city, sealing off from public access (Coaffee, 2004). Urban geographer Jon Coaffee wrote on The Times newspaper suggesting “the City should be turned into a medieval-style walled enclave to prevent terrorist attacks” while other papers went as far to suggest “a national identity card scheme” for London (Coaffee, 2004: 203). All entrances to the central financial zone were activated through this new ring. The city thresholds were reduced from over thirty to seven road-checked entrances guarded by armed police (Coaffee, 2004). Coaffee questioned the balance that many cities would face as the threats of terrorism continue (2004). The urban network will be at threat and blur the boundaries between public and private space. The most alarming claim was that this response of authorities, public, and private security agencies will produce serious consequences for urbanity and the civic realm, and in particular for social control and freedom of movement (Coaffee, 2004). These new rings of exclusion evidently changed the urban network. But the public continues to reframe themselves to adjust to the new contextual change. With these adjustments, urban social networks can once again produce social and spatial justices within the metropolis. A new form of network is needed in order to make the urban domain more accessible.
Activism by Design
The rhizome as a network derives from philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychiatrist Felix Guattari who believe that this botanical theory can influence how metropolitan networks are formed. Within the urban realm, social movements create modes of commutation, structure, interconnections, and systems that coordinate to exchange and interact within the city network. In 1980, philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychiatrist Felix Guattari’s writings posed biological theory in relationship to the urban network: a rhizome (2014). Similarly to plants with their arbitrary roots are rhizomorphic in other respects altogether. They call the rhizome a very diverse form from which creates extensions in space in all directions to concreted nodes of importance. They suggest that the beauty of the rhizome is the ambiguousness of the change in nature and connection (Deleuze and Guattari, 2014). The cartographic nature of the rhizome is not susceptible to any generative generic production; “the rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing” (Deleuze and Guattari, 2014: 12). For the map is a network in all of its levels; detachable, reversible, susceptible and consistently modified by individuals, groups, and social movements (Deleuze and Guattari, 2014: 2).
[Fig 21] Previous page: GPS tactic illustration.
Network | Rhizomatic Revolution
[Fig 22] Anti-Oedipus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia cover illustration, 2009.
Activism by Design
The urban relationship with the rhizome is what sociologist Manuel Castells refers to as a â€œseed [that] grows every day following the rhizomatic logic which characterizes social movementsâ€? (2015: 242). In urban space, the rise of a common pattern in social mobilization within the metropolis has taken shape through rhizomatic networks. Social movements have been a lever for social change and mobilization, according to Castells (2015). The idea of networks guides individuals by overcoming fear of social injustice and transform into a conscious and collective actor for spatial justice. The network society lives as a new construct for social movements toward making a difference with sociopolitical action (Castells, 2015). The Internet, mobile communication, social networks online and offline, preexisting and preceding networks are some of the plentiful forms of rhizomatic networks (Castells, 2015). UK Uncut, a grassroots civil action group, allows the public to create their own action and organize their own event (2017). They assist by advertising, having knowledge of legal rights, and giving supportive feedback to there organization and those who desire to join. Furthermore, they created an event map that lets the public notice when the next action takes place and how to attend (UK Uncut, 2017). This type of rhizomatic networks builds and overlaps with other institutions within the same matrix. The complex system that creates the urban environment acts as the structural roots that Deleuze and Guattari suggest as alternatives to organizing and activating urban space (2014). Lefebvre finds that understanding and learning laws governing the realities of the city need to add concepts such as systems, divisions, arrangements and more specific concepts like network (Lefebvre, 2014). These juxtapositions and superimpositions should be defined, according to Lefebvre (2014). The challenge remains that seeking spatial justice confronts with the necessity to build diverse associations and networked social movements in order to extend the mobilization of urban space. Greater ties within the local communities along with expansive and widened networks of social activism strengthen an equal geographical context for the public (Soja, 2010). As social rhizomes start at a local scale, such as the Focus E15 in London, they have the potential to unfold into extensive networks throughout the city.
Network | Rhizomatic Revolution
[Fig 23] UK Uncut web page, 2017.
Focus E15 Case Study
Activism by Design
[Fig 25] Mums of E15 after social housing protest, 2014.
Network | Focus E15
The London Focus E15 campaign adopts Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of rhizomes as a way to build their network from the micro to macro urban scale. This local and small scaled urban activist campaign formed in 2013 in East London. The Focus E15 housing campaign started as a group of mothers living in a housing unit E15 in the borough of Newham (Watt, 2016). This area, along with most of London, has been affected by the ongoing housing crisis that leaves many low-income Londoners living in absurdly small units or even being evicted from their homes. The crisis produces class polarization and class politics that many cities have had to face (Watt, 2016). Urban practitioner Paul Watt explains that a large amount of campaign groups have begun to combat the current struggle that exist (2016). He also explains that in uber-gentrifying areas with rising rents and housing prices, the Londoners’ Right to the City is vanishing (2016: 302). Watt’s continues by adding that this social cleansing is being driven by a combination of economic austerity and the demolition of councilbuilt estates under the guise of gentrification (2016). As the mothers from Newham were threatened with eviction, they campaigned for housing and urban rights in London and successfully prevented the initial threat. They then changed the original movements name from “Focus E15 Mothers” to the “Focus E15 campaign” in order to widen their network to other groups with similar matters (Watt, 2016). The group began by collecting signatures for a devised petition whilst meeting other groups, such as the Revolutionary Communist Group, who came together to forge something new together (Watt, 2016). The new campaign began to shift to estates that were in motion to be bulldozed or vacated in order to evict tenants even though the development lacked leadership (Watt, 2016). They hung portraits of local estate residents with the help of those locally to the neighborhood. With the help of the main stream media, the local group received citywide attention and the campaign estimated over one hundred media interviews in two weeks. The group now holds several social media networks with over 30,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, and their own web page (Watt, 2016).
Activism by Design
[Fig 26] Public meetings for spatial justice, 2014.
Network | Focus E15
A once small group of young mothers transpired into a network larger than they had possibly expected. The relentless fight of Focus E15 led to the high profile rhizomatic rise of the group. The campaign was able to create a fruitful growth of spatial justice by demonstrating the political, economic, and social contradictions underpinning London’s housing crisis (Watt, 2016). As a network, they allowed for an indefinable center and ensured coordination by having multiple nodes (Castells, 2015). Castells stresses the fact that these networks become a movement by occupying the urban space (2015: 250). Focus E15 has continued to grow it’s rhizomatic network by traveling to Serbia to join the European Action Coalition For the Right to Housing and to the City (Focus E15, 2017). Movements, like the Focus E15 campaign, must work at the micro and macro scales to build their networks and seek spatial justice as a collective group.
Micro and Macro Networks Design Project
Activism by Design
The game engages with both micro and macro networks through the urban tactics. These strategies establish a matrix for which the player can grow their own network with Deleuzo-Gauttarian rhizomatic manipulations. According to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, smart phone apps collect extensive amounts of data on usersâ€™ locations as much as every three minutes (Sifferlin, 2015). As the player traverses the game, they encounter this dilemma. The player adapts; repurposing Londonâ€™s red telephone box as a Faraday cage which aids them in depositing their cell phone every three minutes in order to evade the location network. In this instance, the player paradoxically defeats the macro location collection of smart phones with the micro network of neglected red telephone boxes. At the root of the issue, the player strategizes actions that will subvert surveillance of their location. The systemic issues of being tracked without the desire or sometimes the knowledge of the public is fearsome. The player dramatizes this issue by creating a physical urban network that assists the public in fending off surveillance. The rapid paths the player must take in order to successfully cross through the game gives the user and the design a sense of urgency on the issue. Thus the game mobilizes the importance of this problem in our society today. As a society, large amounts of data are collected into major networks that are stored without our knowledge and sometimes consent (Solon, 2016). This is troublesome for those who wish to conceal their private lives from the public. By using the networks at hand, a rhizomatic revolution can occur. In the game, decrepit and forgotten pieces of architecture are reused in the interest of the network. Transposed in the real world, these methodologies seem improbable. However the network itself can be studied as a way of organizing this system in terms of control. As in the case of Focus E15, it takes the stem of one node to begin its root and connect to other nodes within the urban realm (Watt, 2016). The red telephone Faraday cage acts a didactic rhizome for designers who aspire to create spatial networks in the metropolis. These networked boundaries create a collective system of spatial organization.
[Fig 27] Previous page: Scaled model of red telephone Faraday cage.
Network | Micro and Macro Networks
[Fig 28] Faraday cages distributed throughout the game.
CELL PHONE CAGE Architectural practice Coop Himmelb(l)au created a surveillance jacket made of conductive metal in the fabric creating a Faraday cage that disrupts
“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” ― Vladimir Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, 1901
This chapter introduces panoptic design as a way of enabling control by constructing boundaries of surveillance. Theoreticians are then drawn upon to reinvent these boundaries by reviving psychological urban space. Throughout the latter half of the chapter, the Wickhamâ€™s Department Store case study creates a physical boundary to evade real estate development followed by the gameâ€™s tactics that utilize spatial and conceptual boundaries.
[Fig 30] The Geometrical Ascent to the Galleries in the Colosseum, Regentâ€™s Park, 1829
Activism by Design
The panopticon design by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham created a system of boundaries that allowed for extreme levels of control and surveillance. Many urban practitioners and architects have been inspired by this design for itâ€™s fundamental principle of boundaries as a tool for supervision that empowers spatial injustice. Boundaries, both just and unjust, are associated with social, conceptual and spatial organization. Through means of control, boundaries have been used in varying approaches that either assist or dismiss spatial injustices that these constraints may evoke.
[Fig 31] De Koepel panoptic prison in Haarlem, the Netherlands, 2017.
English philosopher Jeremy Bentham speculated on the idea of the central inspection principle. Bentham came to realize his study for his proposed prison an “Inspection House” (The Panopticon, 2017). It entailed a circular building in which prison cells would be arranged around a central inspection tower. This node was able to inspect all cells at any time while speaking to inmates through an elaborate system of communication ducts. The inmates, however, would never be able to see the inspector within the tower itself. The idea created a constant mode of fear and absolute surveillance (The Panopticon, 2017). Although the prison that Bentham designed was never built, the designs influence was used to plan and build panoptic architecture that enables control and surveillance (The Panopticon, 2017). In 1975, philosopher Michel Foucault analyzed the theoretical components of Bentham’s panoptic architecture (1979). The prisoner of these cells became an object within the system of control. The inspector who is administering the inmates must assume their responsibility for the constraining power (Foucault, 1979). The controller in a sense has anonymity as well as dominance. The central inspector becomes part of the tower itself as a implicit object within the building (Foucault, 1979). This boundary creates an assured state of power even though the one asserting it may not be there at all. These subtle and concealed forms of surveillance have altered the way cities think about control of the public (Foucault, 1979). As Foucault states, “justice no longer takes public responsibility for the violence that is bound up with its practice” (1979: 9). Social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff makes a note that the behaviors felt whilst inside this physical panoptic boundary could be escaped once one exited that physical place (2015). She sees that the blurring boundaries of both the public and private surveilled realms as more of a concern following the leaks of former Central Intelligence Agency employee Edward Snowden (Zuboff, 2015). However suitable the building acted on the inmates during their prison sentence, the idea of massive separation, individualizing distributions, and an overhaul into the intensified control and the extension of total power were all consequences of the panoptic visions that Bentham set out in his designs (Foucault, 1979). This spatial boundary has influenced cities to construct and maintain control of the urban environment.
Activism by Design
Reinventing urban boundaries is a fundamental aspect of achieving spatial justice. Spatial boundaries in the city can create restraints or produce possibilities of spatial justices and injustices. The former, both narrative and network, have the capacity to challenge spatial, social, and conceptual boundaries. However, in the neoliberal era, urbanism has the tendency to base itself around control and order as a product of societal and political shifts. Since 1872, Speaker’s Corner had been deemed one of the most important sites in London for freedom of speech. George Orwell had described it as “‘one of the minor wonders of the world’” as he had listened to Communists, Trotskyists, the Socialist Party of Great Britain, Mormons, vegetarians, and many more (Coomes, 2015). This site was a place for religious, political, social preaching, and debate. The amount of people who attend the Sunday afternoon discussions has decreased, but the proportion of religious meetings has increased (Coomes, 2015). The debates critique and reflect on the demographical changes in London, especially being surrounded by high priced neighborhoods around Hyde Park. People come together face to face and discuss pressing issues on the corner of London’s largest public park (Coomes, 2015). Can spaces like Speaker’s Corner be replicated? The Speakers’ Corner Trust started a foundation setting up corner-style spaces where citizens can engage in face-to-face debate (O’Neill, 2008). These just spaces create spatial boundaries on the rights to the space and discussion. Soja encourages the active participation of producing more just spaces for freedom of speech in order to redefine what it means to be public (2010). The view is to gain greater control over the generators of urban space and reclaim democratic means of everyday democracy from those who have been using it as an economic, social, or political advantage. Seeking rights to city is a radical effect of re-appropriating space is a constant challenge for theorist such as Lefebvre (Soja, 2010).
Boundary | Spatial Appropriation
[Fig 33] Speakerâ€™s Corner, Hyde Park, 2015
Activism by Design
The boundaries separating the specialized sciences of human reality are illuminated by the practical uses of those sciences on everydayness (Lefebvre, 2014: 140). The indication remains on the emergence and urgency of a new social practice no longer typical of “industrial” but of urban society (Lefebvre, 2014: 140). Lefebvre asserts that it cannot exist without utopia (2014). It must recognize that there are a multiplicity of situations. This plays in the largest cities becoming uncontrollable, ungovernable, and problematic proven difficult to resolve. It must combine the juxtaposing forces of revolt against a repressive society with social forces that are capable of resolving the problems of the megalopolis (Lefebvre, 2014). Castells argues that Lefebvre must also consider the way in which social boundaries produces social relationships (1980). It is the increase of action and communication, encouraging at one and the same time a free flowering, rhizomatic, pleasurable, the unexpected sociability and desire. Castells states that “‘social relations are revealed in the negation of distance’” (Castells, 1980: 90). As Castells describes, for instance, that class struggle appears to be regarded as the motive force of history (1980). Revolution and civil protest stretch the limits of urban boundaries (Castells, 1980).
Boundary | Spatial Appropriation
For instance, Trafalgar Square is infamous as a political space for protests against nuclear, war, apartheid, and tax to name a few. The poor design and inappropriate structures have inhibited not only people from walking, but organizing around the space for public demonstration (Escobar, 2014). When Ken Livingstone was the then Mayor of London, he seemed to make Trafalgar a more accessible place and a reflection of London as a world city. The ideas he set out, however, were deemed to continue the ongoing class polarization; changing the landscape to fit those with economic advantage (Escobar, 2014). Even though the redevelopment of Trafalgar Square led to spatial boundaries that limited the publics capacity to freely experience the openness that once existed in the square, it did not halt any political demonstrations from taking place (Escobar, 2014). According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, over 200,000 â€” although police put the number at 100,000 â€” gathered in Trafalgar in 2003 to protest the war in Iraq (2003). There were major city center disturbances early that day as a result of the occupation (BBC News, 2003). Lefebvrean modes of production take place in spaces of control (2014). The urban fabric grows and extends It borders in order to accommodate city life. The displacement of objects throughout the square unaffected the means of displacing information and inhabitants of the space. These are the features characterizing the space within the city; a landscape and appearance of city inhabitants seizing public space through modes of production.
Activism by Design
[Fig 34] Brexit protest, Trafalgar Square, 2016.
Boundary | Spatial Appropriation
Despite the need for production, an overall unease remains. Boundaries ergo the institutional public space — the space for the formulation of thought — is occupied by the dominant elites and their networks. Civil movements need to carve out a new public environment that is not limited to the Internet, but makes itself present in physical social life (Castells, 2015). A mechanism to overcome this unsettling emotion is social adjacencies that can confront and trespass. The contested borders are usually those of symbolic meaning and power. This entails a affirmation of the right to use this space and a reclaiming of speculative property (Castells, 2015). These movements are constructed through the hybridization of the social networks of the Internet and the formal urban space. The former is usually recognized as a free flowing platform used to gather social adjacencies while the latter is the stage on which the protest is played (Castells, 2015). Designers have to be responsible for constructing these hybridized spatial networks as part of their proposals. Designed spaced can house protest within the constraints and opportunities boundaries fabricate. Charles Jencks references architectural theorist Rem Koolhaas in his stance on the quintessential “new urbanism” (Jencks and Kropf, 2008: 306). Koolhaas claims that new urbanism must accelerate the expansion of concepts, negating boundaries, and refuting separations. It must discover unnameable hybrids and stop the obsession with the city and begin to manipulate infrastructure for endless intensifications and diversifications, shortcuts and redistributions — a reinvention of psychological space (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). Boundary crossing in the urban domain is part of human nature — a stage played by the everyday citizens (Lefebvre, 2014: 140). The paradox is both engaging and opposing the site in which they interact. Edges, lines, points, and planes become the interface in which network and narrative must appropriate space. Physical, social, and theoretical obstructions hinder the impact on the space. Hybridized means that Koolhaas sets out in his view could be a methodology used to develop the metropolis (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). In London’s East End, local real estate holdout creates a negotiated boundary between resistance and control.
British Nail House: Wickhamâ€™s Department Store Case Study
Activism by Design
Real estate development has changed the urban landscape through stringent boundaries. China has seen rapid urban growth and development with the last several decades (Parkinson, 2015). Within this real estate expansion, many housing estates and buildings are demolished and replaced with contemporary high rises and construction. However, some curious and surreal imagery of Chinese homes and properties that holdout real estate by not selling their homes to developers create a landscape of new and old coexisting within the same space. These sites are referred as nail houses due to their refusal to be hammered down by property development (Parkinson, 2015). The nail house phenomenon has led to some owners carrying on the fight for years while gaining widespread media coverage. It is said that some councils cut access to utilities to encourage owners to leave or even to demolish homes when they are out for the day (Parkinson, 2015). The early twentieth century in London was driven by an extreme heightened influence due to capital coming in from rapid industrialization. Large scale development was in full swing as London saw fundamental urban change. In the east end of Londonâ€™s Mile End Road, the industrialization created an unusual scene to a 1920s department store (Parkinson, 2015). The Spiegelhalters, a small local family business of clock makers and jewelers, was made an offer to buy out their property by a neighboring business the Wickhamâ€™s Department Store. The department store hoped to create a large colonnade and tower in order to attract clients away from their rival companies. After a prior displacement made to the Spiegelhaltersâ€™ family, they declared they would not be selling their property (Parkinson, 2015). This created an asymmetrical divide in what was to be a block long department store. The department store continued their construction leaving a void cutting through the facade of the storefront (Parkinson, 2015).
[Fig 36] Spiegelhalters hold out real estate, 1920.
Boundary | British Nail House: Wickham’s Department Store
Almost a century later, more than 2,700 people signed a petition to keep the façade of the Spiegelhalters as historic precedent of refusal. Architectural critic Ian Nairn described it as “a perennial triumph for the little man, the blokes who won’t conform… may he stay there till the bomb falls” (Parkinson, 2015: 1). Both the English Heritage, the Twentieth Century Society, and the Victorian Society have denied the need for renovation or removal of the façade (Parkinson, 2015). “Colonnadus Interruptus” was the term coined for the obscure facade that remained from the development (Moore, 2015: 1). A case of Lefebvre’s theory of abstract and concrete space (2014). Mile End Road’s nail house depicts an insertion of the concrete space in abstract space. A series of memories and symbols of small city ventures are struck through a fatuous neoclassical capitalist development. The boundary here seems all the more physical in its lasting appearance, but similarly to the everydayness that Lefebvre mentions, the boundary must be read on a multidimensional scale (Lefebvre, 2014: 140). The mechanism used here is of economical resistance. This idea of holding out or refusal to modify constitutes as a drawn boundary. Comparable to the Chinese neologism, the Spiegelhalters can deem themselves an actor for spatial boundary resistance — where the abstract is seen equal to or part of the whole of concrete space and construction (Moore, 2015). The two boundaries are often seen as different. The architect separates themselves from the physical boundary of concrete space in order to design. An architectural competition proposal to design a “sculptural shard…to create a bold, new public entrance” seems to create a tomb burying any recollection of the revolutionary creativity created by the Spiegelhalters’ hold out (Moore, 2015: 1). The social boundary broken down by the breaking of the colonnade created unexpected social interest in the action, allowing for its existence within the city (Parkinson, 2015). The conservationist aided the interruption to exist as an example of the city of London civil protest. “It would have been ironic if Spiegelhalters’, a building that Hitler couldn’t destroy during the Blitz, was removed forever now” (Parkinson, 2015: 1). This symbol of boundary as resistance spatialized urban real estate control. The space is in turn regenerated to induce a pattern of boundaries that are resolved through accountability.
Spatializing Surveillance: Accessibility and Accountability Design Project
GPS ROAD With Google Maps, real-time data is tracking for route planning and public transport. Customization and mobility allow for an accurate reading of the city. As the player traverses the city, they encounter the moment in which they can change the building architecture in order to adjust the Google Maps real-time data.
Boundaries control urban space through modes of inaccessibility. By spatializing surveillance, urban practitioners, architects, designers, and users can occupy the urban environment within this context in order to confront spatial injustice. Cameras and other photographic electronics have become mobile with the development of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) as tools of control (Big Brother Watch, 2017). Within this relatively new technology come the spatial implications that are associated with this footage. Local authorities are able to view the public as they walk, shop, park, and interact with urban space. As a result of these spatial ramifications, people are no longer able to walk the city without concerns of being surveilled (Big Brother Watch, 2017). Within the context of the game, these technologies can be spatialized. The boundary that once was hidden from the view of the inspected is shown in order to guide the player around cones of vision. It may be that games ability to create virtual elements and make them real is clichĂŠ, but in a real urban environment, these cones illustrate the gravity of the situation. Boundaries that become real within the game grant the user strategies to avoid these modes of control. By carefully thinking through these boundaries, designers can intentionally produce spaces that meander, intersect, overlay, juxtapose, and at times even open up for the public to traverse the city in unconventional ways. Similar to Koolhaasâ€™ quintessential new urbanism, space must create unexpected boundaries within the urban realm to generate psychological space (Jencks and Kropf, 2008). Understanding pressures that control have on society must be brought to the forefront of boundary production.
[Fig 37] Previous page: GPS Road tactic for evading surveillance.
Boundary | Spatializing Surveillance: Accessibility and Accountability
[Fig 38] Body Worn Cameras are spatialized with view cones
BODY WORN CAMERAS Sony appears to be getting ideas from the cult satirical science-fiction show Black Mirror as itâ€™s revealed the company is working on a smart contact
Activism by Design
On a larger scale, Google Earth allows their users to develop their own boundaries as they take varying paths to work, school, or home. Despite the convenience of such technologies, these conventions track massive amounts of user data and personalize your life without the knowledge or consent of the consumer (Solon, 2016). The game creates physical boundaries between themselves and the satellite by creating false roads, parking lots, and parks on rooftops and between buildings to avoid tracking and hacking of information. Similar to the micro evasion of BWCâ€™s, the directional finder reacts with the players transformation of the urban environment. Not only is the player directly influencing the boundary but creating consequences to the city itself. In a similar manner to the Spiegelhalters, the physical imprint in the game creates a tangible footprint that remains for others who long for a relatable issue (Moore, 2015). These tactics serve the purpose of educating and spatializing surveillance. Designers who physicalize unseen elements of control have to opportunity to hold accountable those in control of urban space. By creating simple boundaries â€” whether geometric of conceptual â€” urban space becomes more accessible as a result.
Boundary | Spatializing Surveillance: Accessibility and Accountability
[Fig 39] Aerial tactics evading satellite tracking.
Activism by Design
As the United Kingdom and the rest of the world endure the age of mass surveillance and its foundations, the socio-spatial environment will continue to adapt with these advancements. Spatial justice will allow urban practitioners, architects, designers, and theorists to conceptualize space in order overcome being complicit to these challenges set by surveillance. By acting on spatial justice, designers will not be bound by the power imbalances and inequality that exist in society. This action will accommodate the public for which they design for. Through examining the relationship between urbanism and civil protest, these practitioners can study revolutionary action within the context of the city and control. Spatial justice contains the framework for designers to link urban spaces, peoplesâ€™ Right to the City, and socio-political equality in space. As they are extended for control and surveillance, the initial theory of spatial justice is taken further in order to translate into terms of time and space. Social movements emphasize spatial justice as meaning to their urban action. Narrative, networks, and boundaries reinforce ideals used by protest in order to mobilize relevant theory and practice. Ad hoc methods of organization, desiring-production, and the importance of public space develop the city through language and meaning. Communication and symbols inspired movements such as the London Cycling Campaign to organize a protest appropriating space in the urban domain. These theories and actions produced the games use of impromptu approaches to design. Whilst enabling signs, symbols and production as a driving force, the player evades surveillance and control. These tactics enable designers to receive immediate feedback on the relationship between the urban realm and surveillance. This didactic relationship between the tactics and the designer creates a shift in perspective in respect to urban and spatial theory. These nodal points within the game constantly interact with the user, giving them a experience of living spatial justices and injustices.
As these applications progress, the networks of strategies were formed as a result. By examining London’s Ring of Steel and the CPTED program, a framework was produced to demonstrate the dangerous effects of mass surveillance and the cities’ accessibility. Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Manuel Castells looked toward rhizomatic rooted networks as influence on social organizations. These revolutions established a system of non-hierarchical, dynamic, even anarchic networks. By viewing spatial justice in this manner, local scale campaign Focus E15 composes their network by joining with similar smaller scale nodes. These nodes were able to achieve ambitious large scale projects with concise rhizomatic planning. The game subsequently conceived cues from the rhizome as an opportunity to provide a framework for the player. These strategic urban tactics support the game’s rhizomatic networks by acknowledging networks of control. As the networks of surveillance are recognized, the player is able to evade these exterior forces. The designer can see this pattern as a method of subverting pressure whilst analyzing the potential for social change and movements with rhizomatic structure. The boundaries that make up the rhizome improve social conditions. Boundaries, such as the panoptic case study, limit architects and designers by enabling control and constructing boundaries of surveillance. These boundaries serve as tools of massive separation and individualism which creates social injustice. Places in London, like Speaker’s Corner and Trafalgar Square, are precedents for socio-spatial boundaries that allow public interaction and debate to transpire. Rem Koolhaas calls for a new typology of urbanism where psychological space and spatial justice is thought of firstly and foremost instead of an afterthought. This mechanism is reinforced by the Spiegelhalters’ hold out real estate that created a permanent physical boundary in the city as a living reminder of resistance and inspiration for similar events. The game takes these urban tactics and creates overlapping and intersecting boundaries as a framework for examining Koolhaas’ theorems. The layers that the game stimulates debate and designs that integrate spatial justice within city boundaries. These shifting theories, case studies, and strategies come together as a call to action. Navigating and mobilizing relevant theory and practice embody the shift in perspective for designers. This serves as an orientation device that organize these alternative views into a cohesive protest piece. We as designers can speculate on spatial justice, implement these social movements, spatial theories, and test them in order to produce spatial equality in the urban realm. Activism by design will mobilize urban practitioners to seek spatial justice.
Activism by Design MArch Urban Design 2016-17 University College London The Bartlett School of Architecture
Activism by Design
Notes 1. Developed by English scientist Michael Faraday in the 1830s, the Faraday cage or Faraday shield stops mobile phone reception, wifi radiation, and shield devices from electronic wiretapping through the use of conductive metals and meshes (Stinson, 2013).
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Notes and References
Irwin, C. (2008) Aldermaston: The birth of the British protest song. the Guardian. https://www. theguardian.com/music/2008/aug/10/folk.politicsandthearts> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Jencks, C., Kropf, K. (2008) Theories and Manifestos of Contemporary Architecture. Chichester: Wiley. Lefebvre, H. (2014) The Urban Revolution. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Lefebvre, H., Kofman, E., Lebas, E. (2008) Writings on Cities. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. MacAskill, E. (2016) ‘Extreme surveillance’ becomes UK law with barely a whimper. the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/19/extreme-surveillance-becomes-uk-law-withbarely-a-whimper> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Maggio, E. (2017) The roof of the new Apple Store in downtown Chicago looks like a giant MacBook. Business Insider. http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-roof-of-the-new-apple-store-indowntown-chicago-looks-like-a-giant-macbook-2017-6> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Moore R (2015) When heaven was a drive-thru hamburger. the Guardian. https://www. theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/25/norms-when-heaven-was-a-drive-in-hamburgergoogie-architecture-spiegelhalters> Site accessed 14 July 2017. O’Neill, B. (2008) Can you replicate London’s Speakers’ Corner?. The Christian Science Monitor. https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2008/0611/p20s01-woeu.html> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Parkinson, J. (2015) Spiegelhalter’s: The ultimate symbol of holding out. BBC News. http://www. bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32900601> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Sifferlin, A. (2015) Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says. Time. http://time.com/3754626/apps-collect-location-data> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Soja, E. (2010) Seeking Spatial Justice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Solon, O. (2016) Google’s ad tracking is as creepy as Facebook’s. Here’s how to disable it. the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/21/how-to-disable-google-adtracking-gmail-youtube-browser-history> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Stinson, L. (2013) This signal-blocking Faraday cage might drive you crazy. WIRED UK. http://www. wired.co.uk/article/life-size-faraday-cage> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Stuttle, J. (2013) Over 1,000 cyclists stage die-in protest outside Transport for London HQ. the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2013/dec/01/stop-killingcyclists-die-in-tfl-protest> Site accessed 14 July 2017. The Panopticon (2017) UCL Bentham Project. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project/who/ panopticon> Site accessed 14 July 2017. UK Uncut (2017) Organise an action!. http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/organising-an-action> Site accessed 14 July 2017. V for Vendetta (2006) Directed by J. McTeigue. United Kingdom: Warner Bros. Pictures. Watt, P. (2016) A nomadic war machine in the metropolis. City, v.20, no.2: 297-320. Weaver, M. (2017) UK public faces mass invasion of privacy as big data and surveillance merge. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/14/public-faces-mass-invasion-of-privacy-asbig-data-and-surveillance-merge> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Zuboff S (2015) ‘Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization’. Journal of Information Technology, v.30, n.1: 75-89.
Activism by Design
Figures Activism by Design [Figure 1] Author’s own (2017) GPS Road — The Snooper’s Charter — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 2] Author’s own (2017) Mirror — The Snooper’s Charter — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 3] Author’s own (2017) Disco — The Snooper’s Charter — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 4] Author’s own (2017) Phone Cage — Six Collages — Design Project. [Illustration]. Preface [Figure 5] Nike (2017) Nike unveils New York headquarters topped with giant planted swoosh. https:// www.dezeen.com/2017/06/28/nike-nyhq-new-york-headquarters-giant-swoosh-usa> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Introduction [Figure 6] Author’s own (2017) Churchix — 20 Tactics — Design Project. [Illustration]. Spatial Justice [Figure 7] Author’s own (2017) We Want Spatial Justice — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 8] Rob Baker (1951) Another demonstration in Trafalgar Squre the following week. 19th Jan 1951. http://flashbak.com/100-years-of-protesting-at-trafalgar-square-part-2-19449> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Narrative [Figure 9] Author’s own (2017) Trafalgar Square — Snooper’s Charter — Design Project. [Illustration]. Semiotics and Semantics [Figure 10] LNP (2017) Organisers say 40,000 protesters are marching in central London to protest President Trump’s travel ban and planned state visit to the UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ article-4191186/Thousands-protest-Donald-Trump-s-travel-ban-London.html> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 11] Author’s own (2017) Facial Recognition Cloak — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 12] World Visits (2012) Trafalgar Square – Travel Guide, London Attraction Place. http://worldvisits.com/2012/11/trafalgar-square-travel-guide-london-attraction-place> Site accessed 14 July 2017. The London Cycling Campaign: Die In Protest [Figure 13] Getty Images (2017) Cyclists stage a “die-in” protest in London to raise awareness of road safety. http://uk.businessinsider.com/self-driving-cars-revolution-cycling-safety-audi-nutonomycities-2016-7> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 14] Cycling Weekly (2015) Stop Killing Cyclists have organised a die-in outside TfL’s headquarters on Friday evening to commemorate the 21 cyclists who have died since November 2013. http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/die-in-to-be-held-outside-tfl-hq-to-protest-cyclingdeaths-201722> Site accessed 14 July 2017.
Semiotic Strategy [Figure 15] Author’s own (2017) Facial Recognition Cloak— Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 16] Author’s own (2017) Disco — 20 Tactics— Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 17] Author’s own (2017) Masking — 20 Tactics— Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 18] Author’s own (2017) Survey-lance — Design Project. [Illustration]. Network [Figure 19] Author’s own (2017) Hackney — Six Sites — Design Project. [Illustration]. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design and the Ring of Steel [Figure 20] Harvard Design Magazine (2017) Map of the Ring of Steel, London. http://www. harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/42/fortress-london-the-new-us-embassy-and-the-rise-of-counterterror-urbanism> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Rhizomatic Revolution [Figure 21] Author’s own (2017) GPS Road — Six Collages — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 22] Penguin Classics (2009) Anti-Oedipus. http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/ books/305132/anti-oedipus-by-gilles-deleuze-and-felix-guattari/9780143105824> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 23] UK Uncut (2017) List your action. http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/list-your-action> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Focus E15 [Figure 24] Focus E15 (2015) Social Housing, Not Social Cleansing: Focus E15 Campaign’s Victories. https://rs21.org.uk/2015/07/30/social-housing-not-social-cleansing-focus-e15-campaigns-victories> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 25] Focus E15 (2014) Focus E15 go to Bow County Court and win. http://thelostbyway. com/2014/10/focus-e15-go-bow-county-court-win.html> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 26] Focus E15 (2014) Public meeting for focus E15 campaign on the Carpenters estate 20 October 2014. https://focuse15.org/events> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Micro and Macro Networks [Figure 27] Author’s own (2017) Cell Phone Cage — Six Models — Design Project. [Illustration]. [Figure 28] Author’s own (2017) Cell Phone Cage — 20 Tactics — Design Project. [Illustration]. Boundary [Figure 29] Author’s own (2017) Finance Bank — Six Sites — Design Project. [Illustration].
Activism by Design
Panopticism [Figure 30] Getty Images (2017) The Geometrical Ascent to the Galleries in the Colosseum, Regent’s Park, 1829. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/the-geometrical-ascent-to-the-galleriesin-the-colosseum-news-photo/463974135> Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 31] The New York Times (2017) De Koepel prison in Haarlem, the Netherlands, which recently housed migrants. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/world/europe/netherlands-prisonsshortage.html?mcubz=2> Site accessed 14 July 2017. Spatial Appropriation [Figure 32] Author’s own (2017) Mirror — Six Collages — Design Project [Illustration]. [Figure 33] Shoot the Street (2015) Speaker’s Corner, London. https://www.shootthestreet.co.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2016/07/Speakers-Corner-Photos-04-1.jpg. Site accessed 14 July 2017. [Figure 34] Margo Leach (2016) Thousands of people turned up at London’s Trafalgar Square for a proEU rally on Tuesday despite organisers calling the event off. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ pro-eu-rally-at-trafalgar-square-attracts-thousands-despite-event-being-cancelled-due-to-unprecedentedresponse_uk_5772b6c6e4b0220ef54faa0d> Site accessed 14 July 2017. British Nail House: Wickham’s Department Store (Case Study) [Figure 35] Author’s own (2017) Chinese Nail House — Collage — Design Project [Illustration]. [Figure 36] Author’s own (2017) British Nail House — Collage — Design Project [Illustration]. Spatializing Surveillance: Accessibility and Accountability (Design Project) [Figure 37] Author’s own (2017) GPS Road — 20 Tactics — Design Project [Illustration]. [Figure 38] Author’s own (2017) Body Worn Cameras — 20 Tactics — Design Project [Illustration]. [Figure 39] Author’s own (2017) GPS Park — Six Collages — Design Project [Illustration]. Conclusion [Figure 40] Author’s own (2017) Cookies — The Snooper’s Charter — Design Project [Illustration]. [Figure 41] Author’s own (2017) Masterplan — The Snooper’s Charter — Design Project [Illustration].