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Architect Creates Tools For Surviving ‘Aware’ Cities & Avoiding Personal Surveillance

Mark Shepard's kit includes gadgets that help you navigate the city while avoiding monitoring technology.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on May 23, 2012.

Artist, architect and researcher Mark Shepard has designed the ‘Sentient City Survival Kit‘, a design research project that explores the social, cultural and political implications of ubiquitous computing for urban environments. It features a collection of artifacts for survival in the near-future sentient city.

The kit, which was on show last week at the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival in Rotterdam, allows the user to avoid constant observation and retain some mystery when faced with monitoring technology like CCTV cameras. Shepard’s ‘Ad-hoc Dark (roast) Network Travel Mug’ is designed for creating secret networks for communication on a morning commute in a subway car.

Artifacts For Surviving The Sentient City & Avoiding Surveillance

‘RFID under(a)ware’ are male and female undergarments, which sense hidden RFID tag readers and alert the wearer to them by activating small vibrators. ‘GPS Serendipitor’ is an alternative navigation app for mobile phones that generates a route to the user’s destination that they haven’t previously taken.

Artifacts For Surviving The Sentient City & Avoiding Surveillance

The ‘CCD-Me-Not Umbrella’ features infrared LEDs visible only to CCD surveillance cameras, which are designed to frustrate their object detection algorithms. You can learn more by watching the video guide to the survival kit below:

Sentient City Survival Kit

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