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DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014



IN PARIS, NEW YORK & LONDON My favourite collection of architectural images. I go here for representation inspiration, I especially love the use of mixed media techniques, present in most of the pieces displayed on the site. Visit the site yourself at drawingarchitecture. 25.09.13

Hidden in plain view, not everything is as it seems. Everyday facades, could be the front of much more than they let on in a neighbourhood near you. Turn to page 9 to learn how to recognise the signs of a townhouse turned hideout. 09.12.13


Kirsten Gibbs 12079877 Oxford Brookes University Final Year, MArchD, Applied Design in Architecture

Studio Unit DS5 Unit tutors: Ronnie MacLellan Toby Shew

ARCHITECTURE STUDENT KEEPS BLOG THROUGH FINAL YEAR OF MASTERS DEGREE TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF PROJECT RESEARCH AND SUPPORTING RATIONALE The content of this newspaper will be everything that I have posted on my blog for the past academic year. This includes research that has shaped my final year project, a Media House, Printworks and Archives, located in Mile End Park, London, as well as posts that investigate other tangents of architecture and design that I have encountered, assessed and taken on board or rejected along the way.


“Your blogs are as Antenna Tree Mast Safari

important to this studio

Browsing the Next Nature website I came across these antenna tree masts. Their use especially (relaying information) made me think about how spying and monitoring is becoming more and more inconspicuous. A crude metaphor, this tree antenna is disguising what it really is, changing the language and therefore expectations of what we associate with the word “antenna”, and some may even be deceived by this at a glance. Could I use this as a design method? Not mimicking in the way this antenna is, but changing expectations through form? 02.01.14

as sketchbooks. In most cases more so.”

- Toby Shew, DS5 Unit Tutor

PARK AS OFFICE SPACE, OFFICE SPACE AS PARK The overarching theme of Design Studio Unit Five (DS5) is the transition between nature and technology, and the place each of them have in an increasingly digitalised world. Where and how do they overlap? The human needs nature to survive, the human IS nature, but the human is using digital technologies to develop nature, fusing the two together and blurring the boundaries between them. How does this affect the ways we are living our lives?




Many people, myself included, long to be able to work outside on those sunny days, amongst the trees and on the grass, but currently with most types of “work”, especially where digital work is involved, you are stuck inside. Ironically, businesses portray themselves as successful through placing themselves in clean, sterile environments, whereas most people work better in nature!

After the Snowden Leaks were published by the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger (chief editor of the Guardian) was summoned to talk and give evidence about the Snowden stories in front of a parliamentary committee. It has been claimed by parliament and other governmental bodies that the leaking of these files and their publication has harmed national security. With this view, the government has tried to stop further publications of stories like this – a step towards interfering with the freedom of press. Questions such as “do you love your country” imply that government possibly sees Rusbridger as a traitor by printing this information. Freedom of speech is one of the most important points of democracy, and where are we and the press without it? If anything, monitoring the press is a step in the opposite direction of what Edward Snowden intended. 12.01.14

Alan Rusbridger appears before MP’s

“I love this country, do you love this country?”

- One MP’s question to Rusbridger


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


With “the Media” as a starting point for my project, I made a visual mind map, to lay out the different areas and aspects that I could include in my project. This mind map focuses on the way that information is stored, can be breached, has been leaked and who is in control of the information.

The concept of “knowledge is power” is very prominent in the recent revelations of mass surveillance programmes in place in both the UK and the USA.

It was this mind map that led me to begin my research into Edward

Snowden, and other whistle-blowers and hacktivists such as Bradleigh Manning (US military whistle-blower), Jeremy Hammond (hacked “Stratfor” intelligence systems, and leaking information and credit card details) and Aaron Swartz (hacked into JSTOR & leaked academic journals, claiming

knowledge should be free).

The information they leaked was lapped up hungrily by the media, which brings into question - at which point does the media cross the line, and become directly involved with the illegality of digital trespassing

and exposing top secret intelligence? The gap between journalist and spy has always been small, but has it just become smaller? Everyone has a digital footprint that can be found. What happened to privacy? 22.11.13


Point Supreme are architects that work with collage as a representation technique in their work. The collages

are quite concrete, but somehow bring the schemes to life, perhaps even adding more character than a

render would.



This collection of cabins, huts, hyttes, dachas, bachs and hideaways were what kept my motivation up during my dissertation last year; The Hytte: A Place in Nature. Whenever I design anything, large or small, urban or rural, I always have these types of structures and atmospheres at the back of my mind. Hopefully this means that when I design, elements of these places will work their way into my final product, and perhaps later in the use of the building. As the programme for work developed the hut worked its way into my design, providing a space for work. People like their own spaces to work in, to call their own, and to appropriate as they see fit. The writers in my scheme are placed in timber writing huts scattered throughout the park, blurring the threshold between park and hut. 29.09.13

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014

NATURE vs UNNATURE Biomimicry is becoming a popular phenomenon as the possibilities of digital interpretations of nature become more advanced. People are now more amazed by the mimicking of nature, than of nature itself, and are obsessed with trying to recreate that which already exists, but on their own terms. The images below show a rather literal example of this, but

biomimicry noun 1. the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes. this is spreading into our medicinal research, our food, our clothing, our nature retreats, and has already succeeded in significantly altering our perception of what is “natural”.












“Capture It: A Future Workspace for the MultiGenerational Knowledge Worker” A short synopsis and review of Capture It, a book that addresses the ever ageing work-force and how to design for it. Coleman, R. and Myerson, J. (2005) Capture it: A Future Workplace for the Multi-Generational Knowledge Worker. London: Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Royal College of Art.

where older, more experienced workers pass on their advice and knowledge, and younger workers can bring new approaches and efficient technological skills into the work place.

Capture It is a project, carried out over 2 years (2004-2005) by Harriett Harriss and Suzi Winstanley, that explores and researches the impact of the increasingly top-heavy work

With this in mind Harriss and Winstanley embark on some immersive research, interacting with workers, observing them, filming them, interviewing them and asking

“Capture It” front cover

identify the places in the city they work in that they would rather be doing their work-tasks, at different times of day. These types of interventions led onto a series of conclusions and findings about needs and behavioural differences amongst the various age groups, which they broke up into the following categories: Share, Connect, Reflect, Grow, Trade, and Focus. These behaviours all relate to space, and so it was based on these that the project could start gain spatial design and qualities. Capture It takes you through the various design responses to these categories, in a playful, collaged manner, and reflects on their own methods in the process of it.

“Natural” dragonfly at the Oxford Botanical Gardens

By breaking down the work force into behaviours and activities rather than age and abilities, Capture It is able to propose designs that facilitate the sharing of spaces, knowledge and time that across a transgenerational work force.

Interactive Tools, “Knowledge City Map”

Mechanical dragonfly, by Justin Gershenson-Gates

NNDB Mapper: Mapping the Entire World This amazing website allows you to map people, companies, bands, movies and see how they are connected to each other, through people they know, organisations they work for and projects they have worked on ( 10.10.13

force we are experiencing, and how to design transgenerational workspaces. The scenario is that by the year 2020, half the adult population of Europe will be over 50 years old, and young people are not entering the work force at a high enough rate to balance the age distribution. Capture It explains that in the past, public – specifically office – buildings have been designed based on the average age of 20-45 year old workers, and argues that this is no longer how workspaces should be arranged considering the range of ages of the employees. Designing for the elderly and disabled has often worked against their favour, in a way that has marginalised them from the mainstream; specialised units are a common way of adapting a work space to accommodate, however this outside the realm of the “normal”, and extra effort must be taken to arrange this, thus alienating them. What Capture It focuses on is finding a method to design a workspace for the young and the old, the ablebodied and the disabled, otherwise known as Inclusive Design. The focus of this research project is the group of workers that are referred to as “Choosers”, people that are rich in knowledge, highly qualified and is most likely to choose to stay at work after the average retirement age. Capture It recognises that trust and good relationships between colleagues is vital for high productivity and job-satisfaction levels. Different generations interacting with each other yields a more efficient and collaborative work environment,

them to engage with their own workspaces through a series of interactive installations which aim to reveal how workspace parameters, such as light and privacy, affect the activities that take place. These installations include a “Knowledge Blossom” (modelled on the Japanese tradition of attaching wishes on paper to trees), where people were encouraged to note down their ideas, hopes, wishes and fleeting thoughts that otherwise pass by unnoticed throughout the day, and attach it to a string of lights stationed in the office. Another exercise like this was the “Knowledge City Map” – a mapping tool that encouraged workers to

Harriss and Winstanley write that the workplace would ideally absorb the technological clutter of the spatial needs of traditional digital equipment, as well as designs for the elderly and disabled, so as to allow for flowing organic, tactile and soft design – spaces that are designed for people, not machines or apparatus. Although this sounds ideal, the project addresses the phenomenological aspect of the office space rather than the physical practicalities of how an organically flowing office can be achieved. It can be argued however, that the first step to revolutionising the office space certainly lies in understanding the phenomenological needs and requirements of the workers, before proceeding to make decisions on physical details. 06.10.13

Playful, Collaged Aesthetic. Behaviour: Share

This book is available for purchase on


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK




It is now possible to grow items out of mushrooms. The main ingredient in this material is mushroom roots, or MYCELIUM. These roots are successful in creating a durable substance due to the way the grow tightly intertwined, embracing and matting together anything that lies in it’s path. Together with other materials (such as cornstalks, or other agricultural by-products), the mushrooms are left to grow in moulds and then dried to harden. This is a material that is grown, not made.

Buenos Aires Court House, Andre Gharakhanian, 2012. Mixed Media.

mushroom bricks grown in molds

This way of growing has been employed both in small and large scale. A company called Ecovative Design produces sustainable Mushroom Materials, providing packaging methods to replace plastic pollutants, and also providing insulation solutions, acoustic panelling and product design. An artist-product designer called Phil Ross grows mushrooms into furniture, and has even set an aim to grow a whole building out of fungal material.

polystyrene packaging (left) vs mushroom grown (right) by Ecovative

The advantages of mushroom materials are that they are strong (“stronger than concrete, pound for pound”), aesthetically pleasing/inoffensive and durable. In addition to this, they are also cost-effective, compostable and renewable, making them a very promising material to experiment with. 07.10.13

artist Phil Ross hopes to grow a house from fungal material

What I admire in this drawing is the combination of different textured surfaces, along with the use of light, shade and colour tones. Because of the tactility of the drawing, it succeeds in giving the 2D drawing depth and atmosphere. An air of “work-inprogress” is achieved by annotations and construction lines, allowing the viewer to experience the drawing in what possibly is a similar way to

MY FAVOURITE DRAWING how Gharakhanian experienced it as he drew, and also gives it a human quality – this was thought out and conclusions were reached from mistakes made, the drawing has a history. Gharakhanian is a former student at Woodbury University School of Architecture, Burbank, California. From what I can tell, this drawing

is an imagined project, as part of a university assignment. Some of Gharakhanian’s other work can be seen at archives/2580 - all of his models and drawings have a similarly distinct tactile quality to them, which he manages to capture beautifully in his photographs. 07.10.13

A FAVOURITE WORK BUILDING One of my favourite work buildings at the moment is an architect studio in Barcelona. This studio is design by MAIO Architects FOR MAIO Architects. Originally a dingy 40 meter long laundrette space, MAIO have converted it into a series of studio, exhibition, outdoor and common spaces. The introduction of outdoor spaces has been a way to get natural daylight into the building.

What I find most interesting about the building are the thresholds, and the different atmospheres you experience in different spaces. This is something that I would welcome in a place of work, the chance to cross into varied spaces during the course of a work day. Here are some photos, and more can be read about the studios at 07.10.13

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014



Kate McLean is a graphic designer (obsessed with cartography) who spends a large amount her time walking around cities, mapping the senses she engages throughout her journeys. She has presented her results as a series of sensory maps, maps that identify smells, surface textures and tastes throughout cities as well as smaller areas. I am very interested in maps myself, and how one particular area can be perceived in many different ways, purely by how it is mapped; what is included? What is left out? How have you chosen to represent certain things? How does the map read, is it a map put against a time scale? Or a map of a moment in time? Is the map a prediction? Kate McLean’s work is an example of drawing the invisible – the senses that we so seldom rely on nowadays add so much to an experience of any one place. Anyone can “see” a place on google maps, from above or from street view, but I feel that it’s only when imagining the associated smells and textures alongside images that a place starts to come alive. Kate McLean’s maps and images can be seen at 10.10.13


Synthesis Design + Architecture designed the Chelsea Workspace in London, UK.

This is a small office by SDA in Chelsea, a workspace for one, that has been made on a CNC machine, out of birch plywood ribs. In order to reduce the bulkiness of boxy furniture and storage solutions, the workspace was designed to encompass storage spaces within the undulating volume of the structure. The design has been based on the use of the space, mapping how the client would move, work and engage with the room during the course of a day. Horizontal spacers have been arranged in formation of the world map across the face of the wall. This office has been ergonomically adapted the working habits and needs of a single person. He has tailored the room to fit around him, by monitoring his movements, and knowing how he works. I think this is a useful precedent to keep in mind when designing a work pavilion and when drawing work space processes and habits. I like the material, but I don’t like the design, as I feel that it works in theory, but in practice will be awkward to maintain. I also find it a shame that there is no option for the workspace to be amended after it has been built like this. Perhaps this means I should design something that has the flexibility for change and rearrangement? 10.10.13


So this isn’t necessarily a work-space… But it could be! A flexible work space, on wheels, meaning also flexible in location. It is becoming more common for people to work from home or remote places - wireless connections are facilitating this. This phenomenon is known as “shedworking”. Often we are advised to separate home life from work life, through a physical change (of place, building, journey etc), but what if this physical change can be moving the room around? Workers are always adapting their workspaces to suit their needs, this is no different. 10.10.13


The Redwoods Treehouse, Auckland, NZ, is a pod-like structure, inspired natural found forms, such as a chrysalis, and is also loosely comparable to a seashell, with its open entrance and outer layer suggesting a spiral inwards. Originally built for a marketing campaign, it now is available to rent as a private venue, seating up to 30 guests. The guest arrives at the tree house via a timber walkway, rising 10 meters off the ground to deliver you into the pod. The treehouse is held together by the structural ties at the top and bottom of the pod. The main structure consists of timber trusses, harvested from the forest around it, and the curved fins that form the outer shell are glue-laminated pine. High up in the trees, this structure is a beautiful, playful piece of architecture, in an inspiring location. The natural form that it has taken on matches its surroundings, and the choice of vertical rib-like construction materials mimics the surrounding redwood. The sense of seclusion, and it’s immersion in nature strikes me as a great place for a studio or workplace of some sort. 15.10.13


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


Last week my studio unit, DS5, met in the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, one of the most artificial natural environments around. Here are some images from the time I spent there. The images focus on nature vs “unnature” and intersections between technology and the living. Some of the pictures are included just because I like them. 15.10.13

Technology mixed with nature. A digital film of nature, projected from a computer, back onto nature.

The park as workspace. We had our tutorial in the Botanical Gardens, a working visit.

The garden is contained, and plants that are free to sprawl in nature are trimmed and kept within their “section”.

Plants are labelled, but are oblivious to this, continuing as they do. Much like the human body, plants self-heal when are hurt, as is evident by the resin oozing from this tree.

Nature, created in artificial environments, engineered and monitored by humans and technology.

A seemingly wild field of plants. The reality is that each plant species will have been carefully selected for their size, spread, colour and time of bloom and their hardiness, to create the illusion of a wild overgrown meadow.

Unplanned nature growing in the carefully sculpted gardenscape.

Planned and regimented nature growing in the sculpted gardenscape. “This is nature, this is path.”

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014



As part of my Design Studio we have been asked to design a pavilion that provides a workspace for two people. The brief stated to design in a way that “Function Follows Form”, rather than the more traditional approach of “Form Follows Function”. After a somewhat unsatisfactory day of using water-colour pencils to try and produce some drawings (that I could see in my minds-eye, but could not seem to get down on paper), I realised that the pile of pencil sharpenings on my desk, a by-product of my work, were actually much more interesting than the work I had produced. I therefore photographed these, studied their curves, the delicacy, their layered, textured effect and their paths and tried to come up with a form to inspire a pavilion in a similar way. Here are the results: 22.10.13


This is a short video by Jason Silva that I came across whilst looking for clips for my film scrapbook. I find it interesting because it is a take on how the more technologically efficient the man-made becomes, the more it starts to look like nature; “cities are like organisms, alleys look like capillaries”.

“TO UNDERSTAND IS TO PERCEIVE PATTERNS” “How is it possible that a man-made, artificial, technological system is behaving like a natural system, the more efficient it becomes, the more it starts to look like nature”. Find the video at www. 28.10.13


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


This video explains how a “web offset printing press” works, using filmed footage and animations. This video helped me understand the printing process, but also helped me re-confirm my choosing one of the themes I am working with to be linearity. From start to finish, the printing press works in a linear process. Here are some stills from the video, although I will be explaining how the printing press works in a later post. 26.11.13

View inside the plate maker, ultra violet light hardening a coating

One turn of the plate drum gives 8 pages (4 double-sided)


MASSAGE The “blanket” drum, highlighted in orange, is the “offset” part of the A view of the printing press, during printing process

The video is very useful because although I’ve been to various printing presses, it is sometimes difficult to get a full understanding of what is going on inside the machines, as views are restricted. This video however breaks the process down into sections and illustrates it using diagrammatic 3D views.


A result from my earlier mind map – drawing out the similarities between the journalist and the spy. I try and illustrate these similarities in this collage. I will now be looking at how

the spy works and how the journalist work, where they might overlap, and how they might share/not share a space. The concept is that they both work

alone, but are heavily reliant on good connections and sources, and are both part of a wider body. One is illegal, and the other is not, however the line between them is fine, and

The Medium is the Massage is a book by Marshall McLuhan, who was known for his philosophising on communication technologies, especially in the 1960′s. This is the guy who predicted the internet 20 years before it happened! After his book was released, a recording of some of his passages and quotes was recorded and complied as an audio track. I listened to this record, and found it interesting the way he talks about the physical and psychological effects of changes in the history of media and communications. The

there is precedent in the line being crossed by journalists, for example the phone hacking scandals that caused News of the World to be shut down. How would you design a workspace

quotes that I find the most interesting are the ones that have a suggestion of physical form and direction, such as: “Printing extended the emphasis upon lineality. It fostered and encouraged a fragmenting process, a process of specialism and of detachment. A habit of thinking in bits and parts, and step by step.” Lineality, fragmentation and detachment are all mentioned here, in conjunction with the printing press. Possibly interesting points to formulate into a design? 16.11.13

for these types of work? Essentially, both can work completely wirelessly, and so their workplace can become anywhere they stop for 5 minutes. 22.11.13

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


FAKE TOWNHOUSES I found an article talking about fake town-houses in Paris, New York and London. These are disguised by facades that match their surroundings, but they do not contain what the facade suggests. In most of the examples in the article it is possible to tell that the “houses” are at least empty, due to greyed out windows, but you could easily walk by them without noticing them. The purpose of these fake houses seem to be in most cases to cover-up services that are required to support the surroundings e.g. as chimneys for underground railways. However, this got me thinking about they way that these services etc have been covered up, hidden in plain view. The

only thing clever about the disguise is that it is giving people exactly what they expect, and therefore no reason to second guess… until they look upclose.

I could follow this tactic of hiding my spy-pods around London, these could be hidden in plain view, disguised as something else, where really they act as a portal to an underground spyworld. Alternatively, I could employ the idea of a double facade to change the way people perceive a building. This technique is relying on the humans tendencies to accept what they see, and trusting their sense of vision whole heartedly. The images here show two examples of fake townhouses. The two images to the right show the a fake townhouse in Bayswater, London. The facade appears to be the front of a large town house, and the missing back as the town house is revealed to be an entrance to the London Underground network. The images above and to the left show another fake townhouse, this time in Manhattan, but rather than being a facade with no back, it uses the space within the house as a subway entrance and exit. This can be seen when spying through the cracks in the windows, as pictured above. This article, also showing more examples of deceptive facades, can be found at: 09.12.13



The concept is: having a living organism, 3D printed to match your feet specifically, protect your feet when you run, and repair itself again overnight (after being cared for like a plant). This is done using Protocell Technology, and made out of a synthetic biological material.

CATALOGUE This catalogue is full of different types of materials, interesting to flick through to see what is available when wanting to achieve a specific effect, or to just be used as inspiration.

I don’t really know what my reaction is to this yet, apart from finding it pretty amazing/inconceivable. Will we be able to wear this like a skin at length to protect our whole bodies? And shed it like a snake when we need a new one? Self healing and self cleaning seems to be in the spotlight in architectural materials at the moment as well – self healing concrete & self cleaning glazing. The interesting new thing used to be materials that changed over time, weathering, responding to something else. Now they have gone beyond that and are responding animatedly to weather/wear & tear.

Some of the materials included are translucent timbers, flexible wood, graphic concrete, translucent insulation and shape memory textiles. Some of the materials you didn’t even know you needed! 13.12.13

All of this suggests longevity, so perhaps these materials will allow us to construct buildings that will keep on repairing themselves, therefore lasting forever. But one this that is very apparent is the worldly appetite for change. Everything seems disposable and replaceable at the moment, and whilst we are working towards sustainable futures, we are not slowing down our consumerist attitudes. 17.12.13



This is an interesting and highly informative interactive summary, by the Guardian, about the files leaked by Edward Snowden, and the effect they can potentially have on us. I am currently researching “the media” and the role it plays/how it is utilised by different groups of people, and this page was very effecting in bringing me up to speed on the Snowden case. The Guardian’s involvement with Edward Snowden makes it an interesting case-study newspaper to observe the toeing of the spy/ journalist line This summary can be found at www. 16.11.13

The catalogue can be accessed and flicked through at www. materialworld


that may or may not have received high media coverage at the time, but that have now been buried by layers of time. 10.12.13


This website is a collection of stories written by Paul Slade, a journalist who has written for many papers, including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, The Sunday Times, Mojo, Fortean Times, The Idler, Time Out and a host of other publications. This is his website, and he writes mainly about what he wants, but a selection of stories are under the subheading “Secret London”. These stories re-tell forgotten events of London, incidents

The Weekly Dispatch Prize Medallion, as shown in the paper’s January 17, 1904 edition.

These stories can be found at


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


Some awesome robots that Google/Boston Dynamics have been developing. It’s amazing how as soon as something moves (seemingly) of its own accord (no visible means for reasoning otherwise) you have a reaction to it that tells you it’s “alive”. I think this is one of the major changes

that we will have to get used to as humans in this evolving world of technology. Intelligent machines will become a greater part of our lives, including our work places. There are already machines (and robots?) at work in the media –

focusing especially on printworks. I looked up the difference between a robot and a machine and received all sorts of results; Robots work on their own, Machines need to be operated…. Yet both are pre-programmed and left to execute their assigned tasks? Other search results go as far as to say that this is a philosophical question. It seems that the lines between “what is what” are continuously becoming more and more blurred in many fields. This is can be applied to the government overstepping boundaries in surveillance as well, and the media being used for transparency, but what about privacy? None of these cases reached a point where right and wrong were a clearly defined line to cross – and all of this is also a result of technology evolving. 16.12.13



When the extent of government surveillance came to light this summer, people were beginning to lose trust in the internet. In response, many of the larger US technology companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo etc have put out a demand (which included an open letter to Washington) on the reviewing and reforming of US law around surveillance. Their call for transparency shows how seriously the world is taking the protection of the right to live a private life (whether it be for personal or corporate reasons) – layers of privacy and transparency vs opacity are both themes I am exploring in my project, and this call for reform proves that these qualities are valued highly and taken seriously. I have included below, the list of principles and their explanations that the undersigned companies wish the governments to put into action through the reforms. They are majorly aimed at protecting the individual from unnecessary exposure and investigation.


Limiting Governments’ Authority to Collect Users’ Information

Governments should codify sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data that balance their need for the data in limited circumstances, users’ reasonable privacy interests, and the impact on trust in the Internet. In addition, governments should limit surveillance to specific, known users for lawful purposes, and should not undertake bulk data collection of Internet communications.

2 Oversight and Accountability

Intelligence agencies seeking to collect or compel the production of information should do so under a clear legal framework in which executive powers are subject to strong checks and balances. Reviewing courts should be independent and include an adversarial process, and governments should allow important rulings of law to be made public in a timely manner so that the courts are accountable to an informed citizenry.

3 Transparency About Government Demands

Transparency is essential to a debate over governments’ surveillance powers and the scope of programs that are administered under those powers. Governments should allow companies to publish the number and nature of government demands for user information. In addition, governments should also promptly disclose this data publicly.

Formatting a newspaper is essential to attract readers, especially for newspapers that are newly established. As with most “standard sizes” in fields of commerce, formats vary from country to country. Here is a diagram showing a comparison of tabloid and newspaper sizes found in different countries. Newspapers today do not stick to their own country’s standards – they borrow formats from other countries, for example The Guardian and The Observer have both adopted the Berliner format since 2005 & 2006 respectively. 15.12.13


Ron Arad is a UK based architect and product designer, and I came across his work purely by accident (randomly bashing the keyboard to check if google search worked). I find his work inspiring because almost every piece or project has clearly been driven by concept – there is nothing “logical” about them, yet many of them endorse and display the use of natural forms - some have an air of biomimicry to them. I am hoping to be able to approach my project like this – concept driven design.

4 Respecting the Free Flow of Information

The ability of data to flow or be accessed across borders is essential to a robust 21st century global economy. Governments should permit the transfer of data and should not inhibit access by companies or individuals to lawfully available information that is stored outside of the country. Governments should not require service providers to locate infrastructure within a country’s borders or operate locally.

5 Avoiding Conflicts Among Governments

In order to avoid conflicting laws, there should be a robust, principled, and transparent framework to govern lawful requests for data across jurisdictions, such as improved mutual legal assistance treaty — or “MLAT” — processes. Where the laws of one jurisdiction conflict with the laws of another, it is incumbent upon governments to work together to resolve the conflict.

More of Ron Arad’s work can be found at Design Museum Holon

37km of platinum cured silicon cords, technology projecting nature

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


FACEBOOK TRACKING OUR “SELF-CENSORING” PROCESS I came across an article that shows how Facebook have been collecting information on un-posted comments/ statues/messages etc. Albeit for an exploratory study, and for improving “well-being” factor within Facebook, they are looking at information that is meant to be private until the user clicks the “post” button. In addition to being able to monitor the information we choose to send/ download/upload, this article shows that it is also possible for internet companies to surveil the things we are typing BEFORE we self-assess them. As everyone who has ever spoken to any other human being knows, we often say things that come our wrong, or that we wish we could take back. One of the merits of

facebook or other such social media, or even the Internet in general, is that we supposedly have the possibility to edit our thoughts before they reach the outside world. The act of typing something out suggests that some thought has gone into the words on the page. Therefore, if what we type before we have self-censored it is being monitored, our thoughts are essentially being checked (and possibly judged) before they are fully formed – the data equivalent of mind reading, or speaking without thinking. This could have severe consequences for both users and data-collectors, and I’m not sure if this at all beneficial to authorities. Rash thoughts often need censoring and self-assessing, and often if people

have a reaction to something, they need a while to process it to come to a logical, balanced decision. Alarm bells may start ringing if someone starts to type something when under emotional stress, whether it be anger or desperation etc. If everyone’s first reactions get analysed as factual information, then the “terrorist count” may jump up massively – diluting the government’s attention from the real terrorists. Above everything else – what is happening to our right to privacy? We can’t even be alone in a room with our own (written) thoughts before WE make the decision to make them known? More information can be found at 18.12.13

TRANSLUCENT LIBRARY NAM JUNE PAIL LIBRARY / NHDM This library in Korea uses translucency as a feature in its design. It sparked my interest because one of my themes in my work is transparency in the media and government actions – this is an example of transparency and translucency used in an information centre, where the nature of the library is to spread information. This is quite a literal translation of translucency, but an interesting one none-the-less. This cube holds the whole library for the arts centre – much of it being stored digitally (another reference to the future of print). It is adjustable, with extra seating and table space available to add to the “Library Machine” as it has been dubbed. 21.12.13

OPTICAL GLASS HOUSE This is another example of translucent/transparent design, in the form of glass bricks. The Optical Glass House by Horishi Nakamura & NAP uses over 6000 glass bricks to allow light to filter into the building. This effect allows the users inside to experience the times of day, but also provides acoustic protection from the road outside. This is something to perhaps take note of when designing a printing press, as this can be a noisy operation (protecting the outside from the noise of the printing press). This will also allow translucency but give the feeling of “secrecy” at the same time. 22.12.13

OFFICE GARDEN - NEXT NATURE I have found a “theme” on the Next Nature website that is named: Office Garden. This is a collection of articles that look at the human workspace in relation to what is natural and how humans and their work patterns have evolved over the years. One concept that I agree with very strongly is that in a world where technology is changing so quickly and radically, we are being swept away with it all and losing touch with what it is to be human. I think that the theme of office as park, and park as office is one way that we will be able to keep in touch with ourselves, through nature. 28.12.13

“We need technology

that resonates with our senses, rather than

numbing them, that

empowers the human condition, rather than undermining it.”




Since “everything Snowden” has gone from something I hear about on TV, but don’t really know much about – to – my main point of research for my final year project, I have become a big fan of articles summarising the affair. Albeit a bit late (this article was published in September) this “ten things” summary allows you to get an overview of how Snowdens leaks have changed our perspective on the NSA. Find the article at 24.12.13

My project addresses the printed word versus the digital word. It also looks at the future of the printing press. In an article I read today I came across an interesting notion of how newspapers could adjust themselves for the specific individual reader, in a similar way that the internet does. Rather than having one newspaper to suit every reader, hundreds, or thousands, of copies of the same newspaper can be made, tailored to each subscriber. A retired couple would receive a newspaper with different advertisements to a young family, however the content might stay the same. This can be done by dividing the subscribers into demographics, and in the case of non-specific subscribers (newsagents etc), different areas of a city will receive different prints. This type of print is referred to as digital print. Thinking then of how the printing press would still survive, pooling together with other newspapers is the key. Newspapers that can run back

Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK



to back on the same printing press, and packaged together for delivery, will save on environmental costs. This also includes proximity to the cities; printing presses could serve a host of papers, in different towns. Papers would then be printed close to where they will be distributed, saving on delivery. This results in a newspaper that contributes to sustainability, and is tailored to the individual subscribers needs, playing a big part in bringing it level with the advantages of internet newspapers. 26.12.13

Kodak Versamark 500W Digital Printing System


Back to transparency, apparent transparency and also disguise – this Dutch Glass Farm by MVRDV in Schijndel, Netherlands, is an application of all of these things. Based on a traditional Dutch farm house, the glass house takes on this disguise and is made up of a series of transparent, translucent and opaque glimpses of varying intensity. I think the building has its greatest effect from the inside, when you expect interior walls and finishes, but you see the exterior brickwork images. Seeing the external envelope from the inside – a different way of looking at things. This is another take on the fake town houses, but out in the open. This glass farm house is the polar opposite to an actual farm house, breaking the conformity of a vernacular and reinventing it, adapting it for a modern use. 31.12.13



E-ink is already being used in devices such as e-readers, and has proven very successful in these areas. The great thing about e-ink is that it means we can use the same display item (i.e. page of a newspaper) over and over again, by using minimal energy and without waste. In a news media scenario, instead of buying the newspaper every morning, we could own an e-ink display item (such as the flexible one above) and have it updated with news as it develops. This could change the way that people read newspapers, as they may be a developing collection

of stories, much like they are posted on the internet. The brilliance of a newspaper is that it is physically there (no battery required, no loss of information if the internet is cut off etc), and an e-ink newspaper is closer to this than a laptop or tablet is. Through running a positive or negative electric charge through different areas on an e-ink display, you change what is seen on the screen (see diagram below). This is what would allow news stories to be updated (if connected to the internet) and through sending a looped sequence of negative or positive charges, we are pretty close to the moving images from the magical world of Harry Potter! (Sorry. It had to be referenced). 27.12.13

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014














We Steal Secrets is an unauthorised documentary on the story of WikiLeaks, and the site’s founder, Julian Assange. Whereas it focuses a great deal on Assange as a person, it also provides a backstory of what WikiLeaks has accomplished, and how it has impacted the world. This is helpful to my project as the documentary talks about the role the media plays in the leaking of the documents, and how newspapers and journalists can be caught in a pushand-pull situation between reporting the truth and the consequences they face from governmental bodies who want to keep the documents classified. 06.01.14



Pauline van Dongen, Christiaan Holland and Gert Jan Jongerden worked together to create clothing that has solar panels in it. This can charge your mobile phone, and is an example of how boundaries of the “normal” are being re-written through technology. The creator says that this is about the integration of fashion and technology, but I think something like this would be better placed in perhaps outdoor clothing, for hiking, where there truly is no place to plug in and charge. Also, people wearing these types of clothes are more likely to be inside than outside. Anyway, it’s a cool concept! And is a good example of how we are re-inventing the world we live in. 01.01.14



The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is another organisation that is aiming to inform the public of what goes on behind the facades of various institutions and organisations, allowing us to become informed citizens that can make educated decisions. This is another fight for information, and shows that WikiLeaks and high profile individual leakers are not the only ones who are trying to achieve transparency. The surfacing of websites and organisations such as this points to the fact that this is obviously a strong motivation amongst the general public to question the way things are, and not just newspapers looking to sell a story.

“The Bureau was formed and is funded on the assumption that investigative journalism is indispensable to democracy in providing the public with the knowledge and facts about the way in which important institutions in our society operate, so that they can be fully informed citizens.” Find out more about the Bureau at www.the 06.01.14



RULED LEGAL THE DAY WE FIGHT BACK The Day We Fight Back is an attempt to rally people to take part in a digital protest against mass surveillance on one year anniversary of Aaron Schwarz’s death. Schwarz was an online activist (hacktivist), and was arrested in 2011 for hacking into MIT’s database and downloading academic journals, which he planned on sharing publicly. Schwarz was of the opinion that knowledge should be free, which is what motivated his actions. Click on the image below to be taken to the Day We Fight Back webpage. Although actions such as these will definitely be noticed, I don’t know how much of an effect they have. It seems that unless there is actual leverage, not much attention is paid. It’s a case of too many statements, and they begin to become diluted. This is something that I can perhaps apply to my architecture.

The leaked documents identifying phone surveillance collected by the NSA this summer caused an uproar, with people questioning their privacy and wondering how far governments and surveillance would go. The American government claimed that this data collection was to prevent 54 terrorist attacks, however many sources reported that there had been no evidence that the surveillance has done so. There has been speculation over whether this type of data collection breaches American’s rights as laid out in the 4th amendment of the Constitution, and this has been brought forth by various bodies to the Supreme Court in America. A few days ago, it was ruled that NSA’s data collection is in fact lawful, and that it will significantly help the NSA to catch terrorism. However, there still seems to be differences of opinions between even federal judges. This just goes to show what an ethic and moral dilemma this topic arises. Where can you draw the line between “invasion of privacy” and “keeping us safe”? And once you draw the line, won’t the terrorists etc then just operate within the domain that is deemed to be an invasion of privacy, meaning they are undetectable to the government? 04.01.14



Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK

Here is a collage made out of the various representational images I have found over the past few weeks. I took the parts I liked best out of the drawings I had and use them to create a new landscape. This has helped me begin to think about form and flow of the building. Before I carry on I need to take a few steps back and look at the site again in order to be able to respond to it properly. 05.01.14 The original drawings and images that I used in this collage are posted on my blog in their original form, and can be found under posts titled “Representation Pallette”, dated 04.01.14 and 05.01.14.


By taking the movements made by rowing, time-lapsing them, and tracing the time-lapses, Studio Gang Architects came up with a form for the Chicago Rowing Foundation’s new boathouse (see second image). This is an interesting way of designing, who knows if this is the best form for a boathouse, but it certainly connects the activity to the building. Perhaps this is a way that I can generate form, the flow of a newspaper through print could directly inform the design of the building; the linearity, the folding the cutting and packaging… Or the organisation of information into a presentable format – chaos to order… 11.01.14




After 7 months of pressure from the public following the Snowden leaks, Obama has yesterday addressed the situation, informing of plans to stop the existing meta data collection, as it exists now. This doesn’t say much, as this can be rewritten easily to exist under different terms. Although a step in the right direction, it is a small one, as Obama is vague on the details, and claims they still need the surveillance. He assures that the US government does take people privacy into consideration, after saying that it is not enough for the government to merely say “trust us”. 18.01.14

A slide show illustrating how the NSA and GCHQ goes about collecting data. It shows the data collection as a web, starting with one person, and spreading out from there. This spreading out and sweeping of information is an interesting concept – the core, its adjacent members, its adjacent members’ adjacent members… The spy network works in the same way as anything seems to spread; information, disease, trends etc. 16.01.14 Find the full slide show at www.wired. com - How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet

the meta data collection process

The NSA can review phone meta data 3 hops from a suspicious seed number. This means that by the third hop,125,000 people can be subject to review.

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


Having taken a step back to look at my site again, I’ve found two aspects that I will investigate further and continue to work with. BRIDGES, how they link the whole park together – without them the park would be much more fragmented and inaccessible. What are the bridges in the media? Information transfer points? People? The internet! WATER, how it is used as means of travel (by humans, fish, animals and birds) and how the flow of it transports inanimate objects, such as rubbish & leaves etc. The Great Union Canal runs the length of the site, and the canal’s movement made me think of information flow. The ponds and water features made me think of information in a holding tank, information that has rested, before it moves on again. 17.01.14

In line with the huge concerns of losing our privacy, Blackphone is a phone to be launched with an operating system called PrivatOS, designed to keep your calls and information flow private, and promises to erase your digital footprints.



It seems like a never ending game of cat and mouse. This phone may be able to throw of the scent for now, but surely the NSA, or anyone who wants to know, will eventually find a way of tracking them? Temporary Privacy. Visit the Blackphone website for more information at 16.01.14

BRIDGES AS A POINT FOR INFORMATION ALTERATION After noticing how bridges connect Mile End Park, and the analysis of how “information bridges” link the media together, I started to think of how a bridge could influence a transition. As it stands, the recipient of information is dependent on the information being unaltered in the transmission process, but what if a bridge could change it? Some information bridges, such as the dark web router TOR, sees the re-routing of information through so many bridges that the source is untraceable, but the

Highline Park, abandoned railway-turned-park, New York

goal is that information remains the same. A concern of digital information (as opposed to physical information) is that it can be altered, and so it’s authenticity can come into question. The user that relies on authenticity would take this into consideration, and therefore act on the basis that information will be altered (the bridges to be altering), and understand the need for a physical archive, or a digital archive that is physically cut off from the rest of the world.

In this light, a bridge is no longer expected to be limited to only a means of passage from one side to another, but it is understood that it may alter. This competition entry for a bridge, by bureau faceB, shows a bridge as a means of social interaction, the bridge as a place to pause, where influential occurrences may change your day. The New York High Line garden also shows a means of turning a means of transportation into an experience.

Competition entry for a bridge not only connecting two sides of the river, but providing a new space to socialise, by Bureau faceB, Paris.


A video that compares resources spent on primarily UK and US intelligence vs UK and US healthcare. Facts & figures like this help me put things into perspective, especially when arguing the significance of my project.



Charles Prestwich Scott, who was the editor of the guardian from 1872 – 1929 wrote an essay called “A Hundred Years” when the guardian turned 100. I have mentioned his essay here because of it’s manifesto-

like ideas of what a newspaper should and shouldn’t be. Online you will find this as an interactive comic that shows the guardian as a paper critical of

UK government since 1819. This is important to my project as the secretive, safe house element for whistle blowers provides a refuge for the informants that are the guardians sources, and possible on the run from the government. “A newspaper has two sides to it. It is a business (…) (and) an institution; it reflects and it influences the life of a whole community; it may affect even wider destinies. (…) It has, therefore, a moral as well as a material existence” (Scott, 1921) Find the comic, www.theguardian. com 21.01.14

The full video can be found at, under The Snowden Files: Facts and Figures - video animation 19.01.14



Speakers Corner, Hyde Park - Responsive Politics

Alan Rusbridger (editor of the guardian) talks about how the guardian adopts “open journalism”, and talks of being part of the web, not just being on the web. To be part of the web, means to create links and connections with the web’s users. The newspaper proposes to do this through allowing responses from readers, and being responsive to these readers. This affects how the employees of the guardian works, and the structure of their days. It could also affect their workspaces, if they hold response events, forums or meetings. This is a similar concept to Hyde Park’s “Speakers Corner”, where the public would congregate to listen to politicians speak and debate with them, but translated into a digital age.

Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


In order to make a decision based on what sort of newspaper the media house should run (digital, print, daily etc) I’ve tried to collect information that will help in this. I have tried to collect as much information on the Snowden leaks as well. I hope to update this post with other well represented information websites. Click on any of the images below to be linked to the sources of these statistics: Rolling data values of how many newspapers are circulated today, by Worldometer

Infographics that pick up on facts of printed and online newspapers in Britain:


BLACK HOLE Visual News is a website that reports information in a visual manner. This includes charts, photos, infographics, cartoons etc. This website gives me an idea of how to represent information in a visual, spatial way. More at 25.01.14

This image shows countries that come up as “internet black holes”, but rather than just not having internet, as I first thought, it shows which countries have restrictions on the content that is circulated on the internet. The image was taken from the Reporters Without Borders website, a very interesting website that reports world round news, and publishes what can’t be published in other countries. Visit their website at 26.01.14

A timeline covering all stories concerning Edward Snowden and his leaked documents:

Another timeline outlining US electronic surveillance in the since 9/11:

The two timelines above are available for viewing on the Guardian’s website, where they have a forum dedicated to all stories related to Edward Snowden, the NSA and GCHQ 21.01.14



The Intercept is Glenn Greenwald’s newest project, and is a digital magazine that covers a wide range of stories dealing with all sorts of issues “(…) from secrecy, criminal and civil justice abuses and civil liberties violations to media conduct, societal inequality and all forms of financial and political corruption.” This will be interesting to follow, as this is the kind of reporting that the secret newspaper in my project is modelled on, the only difference being that my reporters will do this in secret, rather than in an aggressive, out in the open manner. The Intercept homepage can be found at: 14.02.14

Glenn Greenwald, ex-guardian reporter who worked with Snowden and reported the stories

As our freedom of press has been challenged, I thought this story, spoof or not, is a good example of what could happen when the media is controlled by the government. So, lets keep our freedom of press at whatever cost.

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014



I’m just showing this short video because I like the graphics and while I am struggling with designing now, it is interesting to see how some of the most well known buildings in the world are simplified into smaller parts that make the whole.


I’ve collected some images of “architectural moments” that could have a place in my project. These are moments that show either atmospheric or spatial qualities that I think would help me achieve the points I have set out for myself in my manifesto.

All these buildings relate to the sites that they have been placed on, which brings an awareness of the outside in, and vice versa. This is how I see myself bringing park into office, and office into park.





Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK



An attempt to fight back against the mass state surveillance that Edward Snowden exposed, Don’t Spy On Us is a collaboration between some highly influential organisations that defend privacy, free expression and digital rights in the UK. The site is running a petition to back their campaign for new laws that are in line with the six key principles they have adopted:

MOVING/RESPONSIVE Some of these principles are in line with my manifesto, posted on the final page of this newspaper, and are therefore relevant to my project. It backs the significance of my media house and printworks in the current environment, and confirms that my project is addressing a cultural and political issue of today. To visit the site and sign the petition or donate, visit 14.02.14


I have been thinking about how the building will address the street and the rest of the park, and as well as through form (which I will be looking at/sketching this coming week) a moving facade that responds to the surroundings could have the effect of tying the building to the site, creating a sense of place and belonging. This will also make the connection between office space and park space. A facade that moves in response to e.g. the wind also shows an “honest” response to its surroundings (relevant to the call for honesty, or transparency, in the media/government). Here are some examples of moving/responsive facades. For more videos of moving facades please visit my blog and view this post, dated 11.02.14


Plants produce an electric current! A Swiss Designer (Fabienne Felder) has worked with some Cambridge students (Paolo Bombelli and Ross Dennis) to find a way of using plants as biological solar panels. The essence of this is that when a plant photosynthesises it produces electrons, amongst other things. These electrons are then collected and channelled into an electric current, which powered a small radio. The first time the this worked, the radio gave them 1 minute and 20 seconds of music, volume changing and station searching. This is an amazing fusion of technology and nature, as is relevant to our studio unit. Something like this could result in park “power stations” in cities, giving the green areas an added layer of importance. The images here show the moss radio system and set-up. 10.02.14


The only way of publicly ridiculing, or making accusations at the government it seems is through satirical cartoons. These are relevant to my project as they are the kind of media that can be run in the newspaper to a small degree, then taken to a higher degree in the fanzines or by the secret press. Visit to view a collection of Edward Snowden/NSA based satirical cartoons. 13.03.14

Freedom of the Press Foundation is another organisation that exists in the spirit of press freedom, transparency, and protecting leak sources. This is another example of a cause similar to the one behind my secret press idea for my project. 18.02.14

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


TIMBER FINS As mentioned before, I am thinking of using a combination of timber and concrete in my building to highlight the difference between public and private. Timber will be used in the public parts of the building, and concrete in the private, secret parts.

Another aspect that I would like to achieve in my project is to successfully blur the lines between park and building – allowing the park into the building, and the building out into the park. So then looking at timber, as I am currently focusing on the media house, I have decided that a timber fin structure/cladding might be a way to successfully visually connect the two. This is also going back to my pavilion, and taking the translucency effect that I achieved there. Here are some images of timber fins and slats used in cladding and other spatial situations: 14.02.14 Vennesla Library, Norway, Helen Hard Architects

Tree Restaurant in Japan, Koichi Takada Architects

Mobile Living Unit in Italy, by Studio Aisslinger

Library in Rural China, by Li Xiaodong

When thinking of my secret spaces – the safequarters for the whistleblowers and the secret printing press – I cannot help but think of them as being located underground. It is either that, or hidden in plain view, occupying spaces that can be seen by all, but do not register as containing secret spaces, such as a double skin in a well known building, that cannot be accessed within the building, but perhaps through a secret passageway from another building. However, looking back to the underground part again, the natural reaction to a need for secrecy is hiding from the outside world, and blocking it out in doing so. This does not bode well for the occupant of these spaces however, as this suggests no natural daylight or fresh air, and living in gloom. So part of the challenge of this is to imagine ways of making this space more habitable. I could begin to find possible ways of accessing daylight, such as the sketches to the LEFT:


I have also found some examples of underground spaces being used in various interesting ways. It must be said however, that the ideas shown below are all based on the fact that they are not spaces intended for permanent occupation by the same inhabitants, but that the humans use the spaces temporarily, returning to the outside world after a few hours. The images below are from abandoned underground air raid shelters in London, where a team (Richard Ballard & Steven Dring) have started cultivating an underground hydroponic farm. The idea is to grow fresh herbs and vegetables that can be sold to London restaurants and at markets, minimising the carbon footprint of these goods by reducing the number of miles “from farm to floor”. Low energy LED lights provide the lighting that is needed to grow these plants, and they are grown in a mineral rich solution on specially constructed growing platforms.

continued overleaf...


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK

...continued from previous page Some other uses for abandoned underground spaces, this time in disused Paris Metro Stations. These are still just plans and have not been developed yet, but they show how these various recreational activities can all exist underground. 21.02.14


A decision to keep the media house and the printworks as two separate buildings on the site, I then started to think about how they would relate to one-another. The work that is completed in the media house is not possible without humans, and machines are present to aid humans in their jobs. Yet in the printworks, the roles are reversed – the machine does the work, and the humans are there to aid the machine in its job. It was fairly easy for me therefore to decide on the aesthetic of the Printworks – it would reflect the process that is going on inside, the building that houses the machine, would reflect the huge amounts of complicated technology that goes inside the building. As a precedent I looked at Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers’ Pompidou Centre – with all the services on the outside, the building displays a “truth”. I hope to do something similar with my printworks, to display the “truth” of what goes on inside. This also ties into the “transparency” point of my manifesto, and is especially applicable I find in a setting where you might not expect to find such a vast amount of technology. The media house on the other hand was a different issue. It would need

Technical Detail timber fins, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Renzo Piano

Exposed ductwork, Pompidou Centre, Paris, Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers,

to address human scale and senses, and I wanted to do this by tying the office spaces to the park as much as possible. Levels of privacy would have to be considered too however, which I have addressed by introducing a secret garden. Timber is the material of the main facade (ie that which is visible from the surrounding site) as this will blend boundaries between park and building, reminiscent of the trees that occupy the site. At first I wanted a low level building, so as not to disrupt the views too much, however after some reflection I have decided that taller, scattered buildings will allow for longer lines of sight, also blurring boundaries, and adhering to a human scale. After some sketching I realised that I was looking at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, also by Renzo Piano (proves that one mind can do both!). The timber fins allows views between the two, breaking the facade up from being one big block, and adds a texture that you might find in a park. 24.02.14

Front Elevation Pompidou Centre, Paris, Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers,

Front Elevation, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Renzo Piano


Filip Dujardin is an architectural photographer who collages his images to create imaginative, sometimes impossible versions of the architecture he photographs. Often his work is about layers, something that I am facing, especially when I’m thinking of buildings that exist underground and well as above ground, and clashing in unexpected ways. See more of his work at 02.03.14

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014



Built Dreams is an architecture blog that collects images documenting all sorts of mixed media representations of architecture projects, or of the finished projects themselves. It’s a blog I haven’t come across before, and its always inspirational to see new work. Visit the website at On the blog I found a link to a project which I found very interesting, especially with its likeness to my project in the form of providing a space for archive and levels of privacy. The project is titled “Belfast ‘Polis’ House”, by Catherine Blaney, and here is an extract from it’s description: “A new urban grain for Belfast would be a ‘Polis House’, a polemic for a Senate. It becomes place of independent research and inquiry, an archive of public records, where rhetoric can take place along with the recording of anonymous confessions. The Polis House becomes the inverse of Stormont, mending the cities fabric and creating a new urban grain. Its rooms are hidden below street level, it can be wandered in upon and walked through, it is there to serve rather than to be served.” Here is an image taken from the project, a drawing that demonstrates a creative approach to dealing with levels of privacy: 03.03.14


Following cross tutorials this week, I have decided to make an addition to the programme of my project. Currently the project exists as a media house, and a printworks, to accommodate the assembly and printing of a newspaper. As a response to recent governmental threats to British Press Freedom (GCHQ forcing the Guardian to destroy hard drives containing Snowden files) and to mass digital surveillance programs, I have proposed secret spaces within the building to serve the purpose of: hiding whistleblowers & informants, providing secret meeting spaces, providing alternative un-surveilled printing methods (hidden, non-digital, printing presses), providing secret archives for physical information, and off the grid archives for digital information. The addition to my program will be to include print workshops similar to the secret printing presses, but allow them to be used by the public, to be run alongside the secret printing presses. The reason for this is that it opens the media house to the public, allowing them to engage with the process, thereby adding another layer of privacy/public to the scheme. The workshops will be made available to be hired and used to run smaller prints of bespoke publications, fanzines, posters etc something for which there is a demand as everything is becoming increasingly digital. Furthermore it ties in with the theme of questioning the digital, as the demand for the physical is on the rise again. When I was in Melbourne I visited a fanzine shop & workshop called “Sticky Institution”, that offers equipment (photocopiers, typewriters, printers etc) & advice to help zine-makers publish their zines, and thereafter selling the zines in their shop, which consisted of all sorts of publications, from photocopied A4′s to printed and bound booklets. The topics covered ranged incredibly, from communist propaganda, to recipe collections, to feminist handbooks, to a child’s own hand-written and illustrated adventure stories, to zombie survival guides &

intricately illustrated comics; it catered for all sorts of cultural phenomenons. What all of the publications had in common however was that they were made on a very small scale, by people who wanted to share this information through the creation of something bespoke, with its own style, and as an item in its own right, and as a way of creative expression. Many of them did have websites connected to their cause, but more for advertising it the physical copies, rather than spreading the information on there.Visit the Sticky Institution website ( for one of their podcasts that follows the zine makers, and click on the image below for the Sticky Institution website & more podcasts. Visit for an article called “10 tips for publishing your own zine“. This article shows how the fanzines and bespoke publications are becoming more popular, and it also underlines how important it is to have somewhere for zine makers to produce & sell their work, and for networking with other creatives. The images to the right show shots from Sticky Institute in a subway in Melbourne.



Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK


Today I visited the GPC – a print centre a lot smaller than the Broxbourne (News International), located in the industrial part of central London (DLR – Abbey Road). This print centre is closer in size to the one I will be looking at for my project, as it is predominantly used for printing the Guardian. There are 2 Berliner Format printing presses, each made up of 10 print units and 2 folders. Each press is capable of printing 800, 000 newspapers, containing up to 80 sheets, per hour.

From Monday – Friday there are 170,000 copies of the Guardian printed at the London press (there is a press in Manchester too), on Saturdays 305,000 copies, and 220,000 copies of the Observer on Sundays. Printing starts at roughly 10.15 pm, and depending on how many editions there are of the paper, can keep printing until 2-3am. The GPC also lets out the presses for 3rd party printing, and in whatever time is left over routine cleaning and maintenance takes place.

Paper Reels of varying width’s & thicknesses (standard thickness is 42 grams per sq/m, also have 45, 48 & 52 gr/sq/m)

Paper Reels Stored before they are unwrapped and prepared to be loaded into the reel stands Right: Aluminum Press Plate making room. The plates are aluminum with a soft polymer coating. A laser is passed over the plates and “hardens” the coating in the required places in the Image Setter. The plates are then passed through a chemical bath, which washes away the coating that was not hardened, leaving the lasered pattern. The plate is heated to further set the image. The plate is then aligned and the edges are folded, ready to be fastened onto the roller in the printing press. There is low lighting in this room as the images are light sensitive. Below: One of the polymer coated aluminium plates with the information pritned on. This plate is for black ink (K).

The ink vats, each holding 10,000 kg of ink. Each ink colour has a small back-up ink store, the smaller cube-like containers.

Yellow ink trough

Rollers with the print plates attached and ready to go.

The bridge, where the printing presses are controlled from

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014

One of the print units, yellow ink above and black below

A worker cleaning out one of the print units, done weekly

Paper running through metal rollers

Paper running through the top of the machine, being directed by the rollers


Full height of the printing press, about 10-12meters

This visit to the Guardian Print Centre has been very useful to my project, along with the previous visit to the Broxbourne Printworks. They have given me an idea of how the printing process works, as well as what type of equipment will fill a printworks, as well as dimensions and layout order. After my visit to the printworks, my photos of the paper running through the machine on rollers provided inspiration for finding an architectural form for my project (see portfolio). Visitng both print centres, I was also able to ask the people working there specific questions on the work processes they went through every day. 18.03.14 The paper being cut and pages going into the folder

Paper transport racks and insertion machines



After visiting my site at Mile End Park again, and the two newspaper print-works (Guardian and News International), I made a short film from the footage I had taken on these occasions. The film alternates between clips from the park and from the print-works, enabling the viewer to begin to understand the relationship (contrast/similarities/movement/ noise/aesthetics etc) between the printing process and the park. The building up of this relationship contextualizes the the print-works in relation to the site. See the film on my blog, in the post dated 21.03.14.


A Faraday cage, invented in 1836 by Michael Faraday, is a metallic enclosure that prevents the entry or escape of an electromagnetic field. Heavy duty cages can even protect the contents from direct lighting strikes, conducting the electric forces directly into the ground. A signal block Faraday cage is a similar concept, but stops phone/internet/wireless signals from entering or leaving a cage (room) – see images below. For the secret spaces in my building, that are to be completely off the grid and impenetrable from the outside through digital means, such a Faraday cage is exactly what I would need to implement. 20.03.14

Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK




As part of my project is aimed at protecting whistle blowers and digital archives, I looked at protecting them using Faraday cages, protecting them from wireless connections. As there could be a time when digital media does need to be transferred (physically) from one place to another, and safely delivered without being breached en route, there should be a way of transferring the digital, protected physically. This is the kind of content I imagine to be printed in some of the zines that are produced in the zine workshops, in alignment with the hand-made, DIY, cut and paste spirit of the zine. This Faraday Wallet is a very simple method to protect say, a mobile device from being tracked, using aluminium foil, duct tape and clear scotch tape. Step 1 Make the Main Pocket Make the paper money pocket. Layer strips of duct tape to make two sheets, sticky side up, each roughly 7.5 inches by 6.3 inches.

Step 1

Step 4

Step 2 Add the Metal Shielding Cut two pieces of aluminum foil, each roughly 6.8 inches by 5.5 inches. The foil should be slightly smaller than your sheet of duct tape. Place each sheet of aluminum foil on each sheet of duct tape. Stick Scotch tape on each sheet of aluminum foil to secure it. Step 3 Make a Sandwich Stick the two sheets of duct tape together, with the foil on the inside. This makes sort of a tape-and-foil sandwich. Step 4 Construct the Billfold Fold the sheet in half, lengthwise, and tape the edges together.

Step 2

Step 5

Step 5 Make a Credit Card Pocket Cut two pieces of duct tape, each around 4 inches by 2.3 inches. Cut a piece of aluminum foil slightly smaller, and make another duct tape and aluminum foil sandwich. Use smaller pieces of duct tape to tape the credit card pocket on an inside flap. Step 6 Make an ID pocket Cut a piece of packing tape roughly 4 inches by 2.3 inches. Fold the sticky sides together to make a clear plastic window. Use smaller pieces of duct tape to secure the window to an inside flap.

Step 3

Step 6

Step 7 Test the Wallet Put your cell phone inside and close the mouth of the wallet. If it doesn’t ring when you call it, your wallet works! 05.04.14

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


On from there, I made a box to represent the print-works, which is linear and large in scale, and “crashed” it into the neatly arranged scattered media house boxes. I crashed the print-works into the media house from different angles to see which might be the most interesting effect.


Now that I am looking at paper folding, (relating to the process the newspaper paper goes through), I have decided to look again at the architectural language of the media house. Through model making I will engage in form-finding, and come up with an aesthetic for the media house, that also relates to the printworks. Although the paper-folding can give the idea of being very “white

I prefer the instances where the print-works comes in at an angle (crashes 2 & 3), because I feel this creates a more interesting relationship between the media house boxes, which end up at skewed angles to one-another, which in practice would allow light into the buildings. It also

leaves a “less ordered” appearance, more in line with the organic movements of humans, vs the angular and prescribed movements of the machine. I don’t intend to leave the media house as a series of boxes, but this

and glazing” I still intend to have these structures be timber. Here are some precedents of other architectural models:


After my last tutorial I started to re-consider the layout of the media house. The intersection between print-works and media house was minimal – it’s not often that media house and print-works are found at the same location nowadays, and so interaction between the two could become an interesting relationship. I started to experiment with fragmentation (something that was a theme at the very early stages in the project – “linearity & fragmentation) and crashing the media house and print-works into each another. The image below shows the fragmentation of a 100x100mm block of foam board, which can be imagined as the media house; the smaller blocks are writing pods scattered around the park, and the larger blocks that are arranged together are the production rooms, fanzine workshops, editors offices, archives and meeting rooms. Looking now to the image below, the idea for the arrangement of these blocks is taken from a drawing I did earlier (left), where the curvy, organic-looking matter represents the media house and the organic way in which humans work, and the linear aspect is the heavily mechanised printing process. The work accomplished in the media house is scattered and spread out, and gradually this work gets refined (re-written, cut, arranged on page etc), and is eventually focussed in on a point, where it is ready to go to print.

experiment could help to inform the plan arrangement of the building, and especially to establish an interesting relationship between the print-works and media house. Materiality will also come into this, and has not been shown in the model (apart from slightly different shades of grey between

media house and print-works), but contrasting materials will also help strengthen the identity of both media house and print-works. The gifs as moving images can be seen on my blog in the post dated 22.03.14.


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK



Here are 3 quick clay renders I did showing a) the concept 3D model and b) the structural response to the concept. The concept is based on the images I took at the guardian print works of paper running through the printing press, their paths being changed by tubular rollers. I have already modelled the print works, and this is the beginning of what will be one of the buildings comprising the media house.

Financial Times Printworks, Grimshaw Architects, Docklands, London, 1988

The concept of paper strips creating spaces, thereby forming the architecture

MAJOR PRECEDENTS The project has changed quite bit over the course of the semester, but here are some major precedents that have influenced the design.

PRINTWORKS The main influence the FT printworks (above) has had on my project is the treatment of the printing press, giving it a sculptural presence. I wanted to allow this highly mechanised system to sit in the park as a piece of art might do. This night shot of the printing press is relevant as well, as the press runs mostly during the night. This will bring life to the park 24 hours/day. I have used the same principle of structural glazing in my design, although I have adapted it to suit the project.

The edges of the paper strips above drawn as I-Beams. These will be filled in, clad to look more like paper strips rather than like individual beams. As the spans are quite big, and the steel structure is to be supporting the entire building, the depth of them got to be quite big. This makes the more developed version look a bit clunky, but hopefully with some more work I will be able to recapture the flowing aesthetic of the folded paper. 17.04.14

Technical School Library, Herzog & de Meuron, Eberswalde, Germany, 1999.

ARCHIVES I had already decided on my form for the newspaper archives - a staggered tower to mimic a stack of newspapers, and was looking for ways to construct it when I cam across the Museum for Architectural Drawing (right). Nevertheless this is an inspirational example of an archives, and it was interesting to see that the museum also had a finish to the exterior. I had also previously decided on integrating a finish to the building that indicates to its use – in my case by using a photolithographic technique to apply images to the concrete, as Herzog & De Meuron have applied to their library in Eberswalde, Germany (below left). This, mixed with a finish that would mean the images are only visible when the concrete is wet.

Tchoban Foundation – Museum for Architectural Drawing, SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov, Berlin, Germany, 2013

Signal Box, Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland, 1994

FACADE The printworks and media house will have paper strips that fold and create the spaces within. To accentuate the idea of this paper strip, I have decided to clad the gap between two Ibeams (that make up the edges of the paper strip) with metal strips, similar to the Signal Box, but from recycled recycled aluminium, from used printing plates. The way that the copper strips on the Signal Box facade twist to allow light to filter in, and a view out is very intriguing way of allowing light in, limiting the view, and preventing direct glare. As the workers in the media houses will be working on computers, this is a highly practical and interesting detail to have as part of a facade. It also allows glimpses from the office into the park, and from the park into the office. 20.04.14

This Art Nouveau Railway Station in Canfranc, Spain, was commandeerd by the Nazis during the Second World War, and since then, has slowly fallen into disrepair. Yet far below ground level, in abandoned tunnels, scientists have set up movable astroparticle laboratories where they are attempting to research and unlock the mysteries of dark matter. This is another interesting use of a hidden space, hidden not to hide from, but to protect the public.


NSA REVELATIONS The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras (all Guardian) and Barton Gellman (Washington Post), the reporters who led the reporting on the NSA and Snowden leaks were honoured with a George Polk award on 11th April for their work.

The winners of the public service category at the Pulitzer prize receive a gold medal




This is a photograph of an engineers drawing of the web-offset Berliner format printing press at the Guardian Print Centre. The printing press has ten print units (that can be detached and re-configured, though this is not regularly done) and has two folders. My photograph is not as high quality as I would have liked, but nevertheless, it is an amazing drawing, and impressive to see how much detail goes into a machine like this.

DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK Friday 9th May 2014


Friday 9th May 2014 DIGITAL SKETCHBOOK

PROJECT MANIFESTO This manifesto was written over Christmas 2013, and has formed the backbone of my project ever since The Snowden leak in June 2013 revealed as much about what the government is doing behind our backs, as the lengths they would go to to prevent the truth coming out. For the first time since the Watergate scandal of 1962, freedom of press has been challenged by the American and British governments, acting under claims that exposing these documents would put national security at risk. These governments

have threatened to take action against the media, and in some cases have done, such as GCHQ demanding the physical demolition of the Guardian’s computers.

Focusing on the content of the leaked documents - they outlined how the NSA has been spying not only on their own citizens, but on a global scale. The collection of vast amounts of meta data proved that, without reason or rhyme, people were surrendering their privacy merely by using traceable technology such as mobile phones or wifi connections. These data footprints that we leave

can put us in a vulnerable position should the government ever lose control of this information.

Not only did we find out that the government is spying on us, but this, along with some of the Wikileaks documents, have shown us that the government is keeping secrets from the public, such as death tolls and military missions. Without whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond and Bradley Manning the public would be oblivious to much of this information. More often

than not, their choice to expose these documents are the result of a sense of moral obligation to the public, as are the newspaper’s intentions when they publish it. Traditionally it is the press that circulates this information, but newspapers are losing readers as people turn digital - what is then the future of print? Is it not an oxymoron that the public is turning digital as stories of spying hit the headlines? In light of everything just discussed, the difference between the physical and the virtual must







Provide a means of reporting, printing and circulating, regardless of the status of freedom of speech.

As long as the government keeps secrets, it is the media’s moral obligation to bring forward the truth. The media house must be secure and united enough to allow for this to continue.

Design choices that directly address business concerns improving the newspaper’s functionality as an institution.


Newspapers create history, and the authentic preservation of these are of the utmost importance, both digital and physical.

be recognised. As it is possible to hack into almost anything digital, the authenticity cannot be guaranteed, unless the virtual in question exists in a completely sealed network. Even then it is at risk of disappearing as the result of a glitch. The physical remains, original, until it is manually removed, and is easier to protect. And finally, in the interest of setting up any newspaper, it must function well; there must be a good balance between the business side of it and the content. The content cannot be driven by the business, but the business must compromise the content.

The design should allow for purposes that will need varying levels of privacy.

In line with point 3, sources, truth-tellers and whistleblowers must remain protected by the media.

Investigate where the future of the newspaper lies and make allowance for this, as well as ongoing investigations.

The result of this manifesto is that I have had guidelines to follow throughout my project, which have given me a framework to develop within. The manifesto is a broad one, so I did not feel it restricted me when researching and developing my project - if anything, it helped me be more confident in making decisions that could be backed up by my manifesto. The way I approached this project was that I had architectural responses to every point, and the points helped to direct my programme for the scheme. Freedom of speech meant that I had to design an architecture that could keep broadcasting channels open, and this is where the idea of a secret press came from. Safequarters was a more literal translation - my project started out to be about information flow and achieving transparency, and whistleblowers that facilitate this to happen were in need of a secure place to hide, should they end up being wanted for leaking information. Preservation of information means preservation of information in its original true form - this for me meant a means of preserving the physical, the printed, the unalterable. Levels of privacy came from having, what we thought was our privacy, breached by the government and their mass surveillance programmes. Techniques to combat that, such as the signal blocking Faraday cage, came about through research, and was in tune with the manifesto. I feel that through my manifesto, I have been successful at researching relevant topics and moving forward with these to create a programme and design in line with my aims.

Kirsten Gibbs Sketchbook.Blog.Newspaper  

This is a newspaper I created in the final year of my Masters in Architecture. The content is taken from a digital blog that I updated regul...