André Sampaio Kong

Show RCA work

Major project:

Hack Circus

Hack Circus: A theatre for the post-tragic condition of subverted capitalist technologies

The Hack Circus is a post-tragic critique of current technologies, which are masking real climate change under the guise of a seamless, virtually augmented, continuum of trivial delights. Reacting to a digitally ‘media-ted’ surveillance society, Hack Circus proposes a radical, social-libertarian, self-sustainable community, leveraging itself off existing hardware, hacking ‘alternatives,’ unlocking their full potential and going beyond the narrow limitations of ecological design towards a wider ecological ontology.

Mashing the subversive model of Burning Man festival and the formative role of Hackspaces, together with the belief that escape is only possible through an offensive system reset, the ‘Ad-hackers’ (a group of tinkerers who redefine the possibilities of existing technology), leave London for the water. Here the first crowd-funded Hackfest (the annual hackathon event) is hosted in its germinal amphitheatre and from it THE CIRCUS IS BORN. As the alienated community grows and floats down the Thames, ties with power structures, ideology and the obsolete value system of the city are gradually severed until it sets itself free, beyond territorial waters and, in an act of ‘sousveillance,’ taps into a submarine Internet cable in the North Sea.

The Hack Circus is potentially the first node in a wider global network of linked hacker-maker communities. Set within a dialogue of bottom-up and top-down design, the architecture of the Circus is hackable, adaptive and augmentable; it is receptive, open-source, and resilient.


  • My architectural practice and research is set at the intersection of social behaviour and digital culture. I am interested in the interface between the fields of emerging technology and architecture. I am particularly attracted to exploring open-source design, social networks, augmentation, and digital ecologies. Throughout my work there is a concern for innovative sustainability – a bottom line I believe should be a common denominator in all design work today.

  • Previous degrees

  • MSc Construction Management, Cass Business Scool (City), 2012; MA (Hons) Architectural Design, University of Edinburgh, 2011
  • Experiences

  • Architectural assistant, Grimshaw, London, 2013; Architectural assistant, Aires Mateus, Lisbon, 2009, 2010; Architectural assistant, Opera Projects, Barcelona, 2010
  • Exhibitions

  • School of Architecture Work-in-progress Show, RCA, London, 2013; School of Architecture Work-in-progress Show, RCA, London, 2012; Dataspace, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2012; RIAS Awards, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, 2011; Degree Show, University of Edinburgh, 2011
  • Publications

  • Harold Linton, Portfolio Design (Fourth edition), 2012; Xinru Long and Jiangshan Zhou, The Art of Data Visualization: Decoding Visual Dialogues in Information Visualisation in the UK, due 2015
  • Awards

  • RIBA WLAS Award, First Year Work (RCA), 2013; Santander Award for Postgraduate Performance, 2012
Royal College of Art Royal College
of Art Graduate

18-29 June

Royal College
of Art Graduate

The Royal College of Art has a deserved reputation for excellence in research and innovation, and a remit – embodied in its Royal Charter – to take that innovation out into industry and engage with real-world issues. 2013/14 is notable for the number of graduating MPhil and PhD students – 25 in total – as well as groundbreaking student projects that seek to expand practice and policy within their disciplines, many of which are represented here in Show RCA 2014. 

Established in 2012 and showing here for the first time are the programmes of Information Experience Design, Interior Design and Service Design.

Show RCA 2014 is presented across the College’s two campuses: Battersea and Kensington. This year, some 575 Master’s, MPhil and PhD students graduate from the six Schools of the RCA. 

As ever, the breadth, quality and originality of projects at the RCA’s annual Show is inspiring and energising. On behalf of the staff and faculty of the Royal College of Art, we offer our sincere congratulations to the graduands of 2014.

Dr Paul Thompson