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Giles Smith

MA work

Delivered With Care

Is there an alternative to the default of infrastructural privatisation?

In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher’s programme of privatisation stopped short of, in her words, 'privatising the Queen’s Head'(1). Her successor however has no such qualms. The Royal Mail will be in private hands within a year, but what if, instead, this extraordinarily comprehensive infrastructural network was turned over to the public? Could it be given as a resource for us to re-organise to make up for decreasing state welfare provision? What if the Royal Mail was run like Wikipedia, or Linux?

This project offers an optimistic vision for infrastructural re-use. Learning lessons from the ubiquitous logistics of companies like Amazon, it deploys these techniques in order to revive the radical visions of the early digital society. It facilitates an open-source system that can be continually reconfigured by local communities in order to cover the wants of their neighbors. The system acts as a continuous, robot-readable semiosphere deploying care within delivery offices, on street corners or through your letterbox.

(1) Guardian, 29 April 2013

Info

  • Giles Smith profile image
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Architecture

    Programme

    MA Architecture, 2013

    Specialism

    ADS1

  • Delivered With Care

    Is there an alternative to the default of infrastructural privatisation?

    In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher’s programme of privatisation stopped short of, in her words, 'privatising the Queen’s Head'(1). Her successor however has no such qualms. The Royal Mail will be in private hands within a year, but what if, instead, this extraordinarily comprehensive infrastructural network was turned over to the public? Could it be given as a resource for us to re-organise to make up for decreasing state welfare provision? What if the Royal Mail was run like Wikipedia, or Linux?

    This project offers an optimistic vision for infrastructural re-use. Learning lessons from the ubiquitous logistics of companies like Amazon, it deploys these techniques in order to revive the radical visions of the early digital society. It facilitates an open-source system that can be continually reconfigured by local communities in order to cover the wants of their neighbors. The system acts as a continuous, robot-readable semiosphere deploying care within delivery offices, on street corners or through your letterbox.

    (1) Guardian, 29 April 2013

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), Architecture, University of Cambridge, 2009
  • Experience

  • Founding member, Assemble, London, 2010–present; Architectural assistant, Tim Ronalds Architects, London, 2009–11
  • Awards

  • Commendation, Dissertation, RIBA President's Medals Student Award, 2009; Winner, David Roberts Dissertation Prize, University of Cambridge, 2009; Winner, A. Robins Prize, Clare College, 2009