MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Euan Clarke



This thesis questions the accessibility and ownership of personal information looking towards a future in which people’s personal data is decentralised and nationalised. Over recent years, data has become the world’s largest commodity own by tech companies who have transformed people private information into data point which can then be used to inform political decisions and shape the growth of our cities.

This shift has altered the dynamics of personal privacy as people are no longer owners of their own information, and completely unaware of the surveillance and manipulation that is conducted by these cooperations daily.

Peoples understanding of data as an invisible, complex entity floating around is incorrect. Data is stored in physical servers and what these companies have succeeded at is hiding these servers within ‘black boxes’ located in extremely isolated locations inaccessible to the public.

If governance is no longer possible without the exploitation of people’s private information, then this thesis looks to reconceptualise a place in which data centres are relocated back into the public realm, combining them with a futuristic parliamentary typology that makes the incomprehensible data realm that profoundly shape our lives both visible and understandable.

It will be a place of political activation, a symbol of civil liberty uncovering new forms of public life that would have been impossible if left in the hands of the big tech companies.