student: william gowland
school: Architectural Association (AA)
location: london, UK
diploma 6, RIBA II
professors: Liam Young and Kate Davies
project title: OFF GRID //

Holding a 90% monopoly on telecommunications in Mexico, Carlos Slim is the world’s richest man. Operating an ageing centralized system, his network is a symbol of corporate greed, that is now beginning to show its cracks. Borrowing from the cartels radio communication network, a self organizing decentralized infrastructure emerges around the streets and markets of the Barrios that undermines and subverts this monopoly. Exploring the city as an interactive installation at the scale of a room, an open source laser line of sight communication system is revealed that is local, ad hoc, resilient and most importantly, our own. As communications broadcasted live over the laser beams on one route break, a new connection is instantaneously made on another; creating a performative urban landscape.

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