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Mapping territories and re-appropriation in the Cannon Street Area. 1 LAWRENCE OLIVER RICHARDS | ANTISOCIAL



Images from my initial presentation based on my understanding of the Antisocial element in the area

RESEARCH My initials thoughts about the area mainly focused on the influence and serious impedance of construction that effectively blocks of certain whole areas. This asks certain questions of the users of the ares should people be stereotyped and asked to be expected to have to deal with consequence? “I think the dominance of construction material affects ones time in the space.You can’t help but notice the presence of bright red construction material.” Insidious nature of contractors leads to a aggressive statement. Could be seen as a forceful statement toward the people in the are, like they are forcibly taking the land from others? Cannon street is a financial area, but it is not as well known or illustrious as the other area’s such as St. Paul’s or Liverpool Street. However it does have important aspects to it such as the London Stone which is the centre of Roman rule in London during their reign. It is obsolete yet historically Vital, but impossible to see anymore, which I think is ironic considering it’s power and the notion of power control in the immediate area (power gained through financial acumen). The use of the stone in Roman times to garner power could be used as a contemporary metaphor to the control of public matters through police style state measures and security devices.

INITIAL RANT I want to bring to your attention the overwhelming presence of construction material and over presence in the cannon street area. Although this work may seem commonplace and necessary, it has become debilitating to the pedestrian. I’ve mapped the locations of these hotspots on this graphic, showing the dominance of their location, affected users of the stations from every angle. We see there is abundant presence of constructions signs add to feeling of being personally unwelcome. By reading “we apologise for any inconvenience caused during the progress of these works” as “please be aware of inconvenience caused” therefore promoting a sense of trespassing, as if the owners Laing O’Rouke are making sure you are aware and that you feel the need to be apologised to. Making you involved in the social situation and obliged to back down from any position you may have held. Cones in courtyard; so many cones are being planted to assimilate and quietly become part of the collective conscience, making you associate the area with either construction or danger or avoidance, rendering the area unwelcoming, dangerous or unappealing. Resulting in an area that is largely unoccupied. The contractors feel the need to fill the space with ‘placeholder’ material, so that the public cannot use it. They occupy spaces with material and rubble that symbolise an ownership in the space which subsequently intervenes with pedestrian traffic, causing disruption to someones route, a change in walking speed

and generally complicating someones journey. There is dumped construction material, boards, barriers, road cones, bollards all of these imply a sense of complacency and a general lack of regard for public image. The builders seen to encroach into public areas, narrowing pathways for pedestrians. On this map I have marked where construction sites have affected pedestrianised areas. Yet there is no alternate measure offered for the public neither a retaliation for users, they merely must put up with the new minimalised landscape. I think that this build up of intervening work is a cause for concern and it is likely the reason public users are discouraged to use the area outside formal hours and an introduction of shorter public opening times and a lack of interest outside of office times, leading to a empty feeling of non-community. In the news there is only talk of renovation and upgrading in this area, including the current redevelopment of cannon place. I would argue that before more large scale work is undertaken there is a need for a more local improvement before countless further development occurs. 2




I am quite impressed by the outcome of the intervention. Not only did it get people talking and talking to me, it created a place for anyone to go and feel not like they were in the centre of a traffic island. To create a place of reduced inhibitions is one thing but to do it in a location as much the opposite is another.

This intervention was about reusing urban space; introducing incongruous objects to create a new usage. I had seen a few people use the islands in the centre of road as places to walk. These areas all along the main road are almost rendered useless due to the large amount of cars but i wanted to re-appropriate the usage of the area.

I can also look at this as an exercise in garnering attention and a method for passive interaction. There are many times when one might need to interact but either lack the ability to be active or must remain subtle. I like to think this intervention is a subtle, passive intervention whilst garnering a solid active outcome. It proves quite a bit can be achieved without direct acquisition.

I put down a sun lounger which seemed the most incongruous device to attract the most attention. Using james a lure other people became interested and the isolated space in the middle of the road suddenly seemed an enviable place to be.



INTERVENTION B Improved signage, indicating service information. One of the primary problems with the area is the difficultly in get around when on foot. I investigated the use of service information signage for pedestrian usage. The sign mimicked the london underground livery, with the intention that the public would be used to seeing this design and readily use it.

The improved signage brought about a reasonable amount of interest, generally from tourists or non-business types that weren’t in a particular rush. It was designed to be subtle and fit in with the existing signage whilst working to underine the lack of pedestrian aid in the area (prosocial for the public antisocial to the council).

(above) Examples of sign usage in the area. I tried out various locations to note and record the impact and interest. The bast place was inside the station where it was better illuminated, however on the street the subtleness worked against the design and few stopped.




The shield changed the perception of the pedestrian to the passing vehicle. Unsure as to what the reason for what it was in relation to the car caution had to be administered, effectively acting as a deterrent to speeding.

This intervention was based on my observation of construction impedance in the area around Upper Thames street. I had seen so many of the crossings (which were already in short supply) covered with building material and barricades, which completely impeded the crossing facility and caused users to actively find alternate routes across. Also there was a complete lack of concern for disabled users, with provided bridges being only viable for the physically fit.

I wanted to provide a metephorical solution using the idea of a shiled for protection. The protype worked as a placebo based on the notion of the proximity of the london stone (above) acting as a boost in confidence. It was not intended to be fully implemented as a defence mechanism, but as a social responce to the lack of protection given to pedestrians.




(left) Laser cut icons designed to further improve original idea of preordained routes planned in the area. In this instance smaller more personalised manner. It is just a concept so far but the proposal is that the user would join the group and choose an icon to have.

I had also seen tourists in the area, and as it’s mainly a business district this seemed strange for them to want to be in such a place. I decided to try and map out new routes they could take, accommodating the main historical areas and missing out the noisy areas of construction. Using the symbol i envisaged walking routes in the same style as london transport routes. these would act as an appropriated transport device for pedestrian/tourist usage.

Then they would attain a small ‘kit’ consisting of a set of coloured icons which they can choose and customise. Later they would plot the route on a map on the relevant website and then in the future a new user could use the combination of digital map and physical iconography to pursue a new and more stimulating walk in the area.






My first improvement was to render the maps in wood via laser cut engraving. I proposed to make them a more permenant fixture to the area, unlike the paper maps which were subtle inobstrusive and worked by not attracting attention I wanted to also have a solid more long term solution. I planned to place them at strategic points around the mapping zone to encourage usage and interest in other parts of the mapping system (i.e. posters and paper maps.

ANTI-GRAFITTI STICKERS The premise of these simple stickers was to allow the public, local business’ etc to mimic themselves as city of london objects. The reason for this was that during my research I found that objects, artifices’ etc were taken better care of and vandalised less when covered in City of London livery

Urban thinking was an early idea that I wanted to fully realise. Given the amount of runners I observed trying to make use of the little available space I thought the idea of reappropraiting such areas for the usage of thinking (possibly the perversity/ isolation of their locations would add to the appeal?) would benefit both thinker, runner and planner, reusing wasted spaces that have been buit around.

I made both versions of the logo to be used wherever permitted. LAWRENCE OLIVER RICHARDS | ANTISOCIAL

I wanted to also make a platform where anyone could contribute a pathway using existing maps, photography or their own methods. It could be used as a forum for the area, collecting data from all my interventions and other projects. As the intention was to make Cannon Street a better place (but it not yet was) the domain ‘ was selected, with the intention to be somewhat tongue in cheek and simple enough for people to spend at least some time using.




My initial proposal was to ‘take over’ a station in a clandestine manner to see the reactions of the unaware public to the new initiatives. For this stage I redesigned some media for the rebranding of cannon street station; pedestrian friendly tfl posters.

My First outcome was a physical map designed to incorperate all my previous interventions and experiences in the area into one device that could then be used back in space.

(above) My first mapped route indicating the course taken by tourists extending from the popular landmarks/tube stops of monument and st. pauls. It subverted the premise of the original tube map by replicating it in an aesthetic way yet instead of being a clinical rendition of the most direct destinations and routes took on a more personalised action, constructed from real life realities, from the arbitrary and counterintuitive actions that are present in us all. It served as an alternate map for the uninitiated, an intriguing remix of the existing system and a polemic at the banal nature of the current systems of transport in the area and antisocial problems inherent therein.



The map was designed to be subtle and blend into the iconic pattern of tfl livery.

After the first intervention I started handing out the maps to passers by to get their opinion on the map first hand. This method of direct distribution at least made sure the maps were regarded with sincerity, and had more chance of being purposeful. Reactions on the map were that it presented a new, more interesting plan of the area, but was confusing to use considering most involved were tourists. LAWRENCE OLIVER RICHARDS | ANTISOCIAL



CONCLUSION B Short concept film displaying potential usage and integration with existing schemes and institutions to provide an alternate mapping tool and pedestrian advantage. Quicktime of video provided seperately.

Stills from the final video showing the inclusion of my previous interventions; the tube signs used for pedestrian usage, service information for walkers signage and the subverted London Underground map for walking routes.


Antisocial final document  

Final exhibited document for second year Design project at Goldsmiths College

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