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Student Showcase Archive
Show RCA 2019

Jake Arnfield

Show RCA work

  • The Undercommons

    The Undercommons
    750 mm x 1250 mm

  • State of Surveillance

    State of Surveillance
    750 mm x 1250 mm

  • Leyton Road, E15

    Leyton Road, E15
    750 mm x 1250 mm

  • Immigration Enforcement

    Immigration Enforcement

Major project:

Hosting in a Hostile Environment

The project maps and challenges the 'Hostile Environment', a series of spatial and social border policies formalised in the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts. The Hostile Environment is instituted by the Home Office, utilising the acquisition, storage, transfer, and network of data sets to deny basic public and private services to people with 'no right to remain'. These data sets are crucial to enforce the national border, not just at the edges or entry points of a territory, but networked within it and extending far outside it. The U.K’s immigration policies are not new, and continue a long history of racialised social segregation, expropriation and dispossession.

In response, the design project proposes a decentralised internet infrastructure and governance model hosted within the domestic home. Decentralisation facilitates the creation of cyber and physical safe spaces and systems to enhance, strengthen and formalise existing relationships of support, mutual aid and solidarity. These safe-footings provide sanctuary for undocumented migrants, existing community groups and NGOs to challenge the State without risk of violent repercussions. The codified architecture of the new internet model engenders and incentivises pooling internet capacity and resources. To do so, requires sharing and commoning of previously private spaces. The slippage of private and shared allows for a possible reshaping of the social relationships within neighbourhoods instigating a new local political movement based on communalist principles.

The project doesn’t propose a direct 'solution' to the Hostile Environment policies but instead speculates on ways in which emerging technologies and existing infrastructures can be subverted and appropriated to enhance existing modes of resistance – structural change from the bottom up.


  • Previous degrees

  • BA Architecture, London Metropolitan University, 2015
Royal College of Art