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James Pockson

MA work


'Up ‘till 1900 no-one had any idea, even the faintest notion, of the phenomenon about to burst on the world. First came the motorcar; then the air-plane... And all the time the universal use of machinery continues to produce its consequences.'

- The City of Tomorrow, Le Corbusier

The space of the network, like public space in the city, is becoming increasingly marginalised, privatised, anonymous and controlled – a potential path of no return down which we run.

Cities: Game-Over? engages with the inevitable, but uncertain future of the networked city through attempting to create meaningful intersections between the real and the parallel world of the network. The project is not about big boxes, data centres, data rendered in form, or where the internet 'comes from', but how we might learn lessons from the network's (commonly exploited) potential as the most extraordinary form of collective human expression and apply this learning to the to the design of a new cyber-urban space.

The research manifests as a new urbanism for the digital age. A cyber-urban landscape masterplan for the 'most connected place in the UK' – Old Oak Common, NW10 – a nodal point at the end of a 200km linear mega city of 30 million citizens, of which only 10 million are human. It casts a critical eye on how the network and its interrelated concepts of connectivity and mobility are augmenting both our relationship to urban space and the morphology of the city itself. A future where the network suffuses all processes of public and private life. A world where computers mediate every experience and all encounters.

When the network and the city are one and the same, and the machines outnumber us by more than three to one, who is more important, us or the things? Will these cities, that some call 'smart', spell a new dawn for public life, or is it;

Cities : Game-Over?


  • HR
  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2014



  • My practice focusses upon the condition of public space in the contemporary city. I am fascinated by the space in between buildings and how architectures combine to create urbanism. Central to my work is an underlying perception of the city as a component of landscape and that nature and culture are extensions of each other.

    My thesis project, Cities: Game-Over? Is a critical reflection on the future of urban space in the digital age. It posits a near future where the city, network and landscape are perceived as one and the same. The network and public space in the city have become increasingly marginalised, privatised, anonymous and controlled – yet both have the potential to be the most incredible form of collective human expression. It is my ambition to contribute to the betterment of the inevitable, yet uncertain future of the connected future city, through developing a critical practice that embodies design, research and communication of these ideas to a wider public audience.

  • Degrees

  • MA Architecture (cantab), University of Cambridge, 2010
  • Experience

  • Architectural assistant, Herzog & de Meuron, London, 2011–present; Editorial assistant, The Architectural Review, London, 2010
  • Exhibitions

  • IDA Datamanifestation, Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, 2013
  • Awards

  • Wren Insurance Association Scholarship, 2013
  • Publications

  • Von Ompteda, K. ‘Critical Visualisation’, in C. Zhou and I. Long (eds), Information In Style: Information Visualisation in the UK, Beijing: Asian Design Publication Project (ADPP), 2013; Jewish Memorial, Frankfurt by OP, The Architectural Review, December 2010; 'O Outro, O Mesmo", Sao Paulo by Vazio S/A & "Packed', Shanghai by the students of ETHZ, The Architectural Review, January 2011; 'Marble Mural', Athens by Point Supreme, The Architectural Review, March 2011