For all the talk about "privacy by design" online, it takes a quixotic student project to show us what a place built on the principle of defeating surveillance could actually look like. "Shura City" by Asher Kohn, posted at Chapati Mystery, is a kind of anti-Panopticon: every facet of it is built to (theoretically) disrupt cameras, heat sensors, or flying intruders with things like radio-equipped minarets or color-changing LEDs backlighting windows, inspired by the Arc En Ciel seen above. It's weird, fascinating, and possibly completely untenable, but Kohn puts it forward as a jumping-off point for discussion about how to build privacy into everyday systems in the absence of real legal recourse. "Architecture," he writes, "is a way to protect people when law chooses not to."
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