Hostile Architecture


Borders, spikes, monitored spaces. Monumental water fountains, sculptures adorned with memory. Holes erupting from tarmacked walkways exposing the city’s raw underbelly. Ancient trackways adorned with newly erected monuments; piles of trash, mulch, a deep growling from below.

Sound and text installation installed into the ‘inbetween spaces of The Barbican foyers; the thresholds.

This work was a response to Theresa May’s Hostile Environment policy, as well as the implementation of ‘Hostile architecture’ in the planning of cities. Architecture that is literally designed to stop people from being in public space, to stop homeless people from sleeping under shelter, to stop young people from ‘lingering’. This kind of design that almost goes un-noticed, as it tends to target those who are ‘Othered’, but it is a hidden kind of violence. In this work field recordings using contact mics connected to the architecture of The Barbican were amplified back within the space to create a temporary architecture of sound. Sound recordings taken from my time volunteering in calais with refugees weer also played back into the space. The idea behind this is to elevate unheard voices. The architectural sounds which ring through into the space are in themselves ‘hostile’, creaking metal pipes give voice to the underbelly of the city. In this work I am attempting to draw attention to the invisible.  



Photo Credit: Dani Harvey


Photo Credit: Dani Harvey 


Photo Credit: Dani Harvey