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ADS12: Sight/Seeing

Guy Mills

My work is centred around problematic contemporary conditions exacerbated by technology. Recently this has manifest investigations into the simulation argument, climate crisis, and the role of protest in the 21st century, taking form in; writing, architecture, animation and demonstration. I hope to continue this research with critical design collective +44 in the turbulent, yet exciting, decade ahead. 



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Degree Details

School of Architecture

ADS12: Sight/Seeing

The WiLD Network is a living organism telecommunications system made to mitigate the negative ecological impact of data storage and transmission. 

Due to their vast energy consumption, global data centres have the same carbon emissions as the whole aviation industry. This is unsurprising when a 30 minute zoom conversation will emit 303 grams of carbon dioxide into the biosphere, every selfie uploaded to instagram - 5 grams, and the average email - 0.2 grams. The information that is party to every aspect of our lives is driving global temperature rise. As Moore's Law remains true, and the internet become higher fidelity, our information becomes more costly and destructive.

Using trees as antenna, plants for data storage and seeds for archiving and backups, The WiLD Network, shapes technology - which we now cannot live without - to be dependant on nature, and pursues an ontological shift to the maintenance of foliage as we do our beloved machines.

The WiLD Network is applicable anywhere, and anyone is allowed to join. The cosmic-scaled system decentralises and democratises data storage and transmission. A realm of personal power is developing. The WiLD Network allows them to conduct their own education, find their own inspiration, shape their own environment, and share it with whoever is interested.

Subject to both the lowest internet speeds, and the youngest demographic in the Capital, a new planting bed of The WiLD Network is in the Tower Hamlets. Residents water, plant, prune and collect the seeds of the network to fulfil their social obligation and in return, the Wireless Long Distance network offers extremely high internet speeds, unachievable by artificial transmission and storage. 

Nature is requisite lens to understand technology. Clouds, streams, web, mice, roots, trees and viruses allow us to explore the intricate landscapes of cyberspace. By exploring the pre-existing relationship between nature and technology the project posits paradigm shifts technology must make to form its strategic dependancy on the living world.

The symbiotic relationship cultivates an information organisation system centred around its climatic context to abolish taxonomical bias, increased encryption of networks through the fragmented mesh network of trees, and hyper-specific resolutions of nature to both record and manifest architectural form and landscape to satisfy our nature-deficit disorder.  

By drawing technology back to nature's fragility and timescale, The WiLD Network enacts a self-saving custodianship upon the living world, as we all know; a gardeners work is never done. 

The WiLD Network — .txt, .bin, ACGT, CMYK, .bin, Hz
Plantenna — Yellow Coast Draceana coupled with copper toroid coil. Proof of concept wi-fi hotspot for The WiLD Network
Taxus Baccata • 8,146,372, Juglans Nigra • 7,235,923, Quercus Palustris • 6,841,104 Fagus Sylvatica • 8,176,297. — As nature facilitates technology's connectivity and information storage, technology must offer highly specific recording methods and resolutions to provide the most stable network for itself, and therefore, a thriving flora.

Modelling with Nature — When dealing with such intricate landscapes, we are past the orthographic toolset given to us on modelling software. 

These brushes sample fragments of nature, from a blade of grass, to the whole park, through high resolution point clouds, alpha channels and zmaps. 
 These tools have been employed to model spaces with the very nature that surrounds them.

People's Permaculture Park, Plan — In tandem with Tower Hamlets Energy initiatives, the borough has granted Victoria Park as a collective planting space for The WiLD Network in which residents can participate in the intergenerational social movement. The LivingData Index states; Information must be stored on a living organism with the ability to survive in the region of publishing. By aligning the physical information and inherently the virtual information too, the LivingData Index (using Koppen Geiger climatic classification) abolishes taxonomical bias, and new delineations between climatic cultures are certain to appear.

People's Permaculture Park, section — Colloquially known as the ‘People’s Park’, the grounds of Bonner’s Palace were deprivatised from the Royal Estate in 1841 following a petition written by the working class of East London. From its offset, the park has been a socialist space within the modern capitalist city. The digital brushes were used to carve a permacultural landscape to choreograph the forces of nature and cultivate a self-saving mechanism for the living foliage, the park as a socialist space, and by extension of those two premises, The WiLD Network’s connectivity and intergenerational information.

Juglas Nigra Table — There are numerous ways of using the brushes, much like a tangible one. You can; dot, drag, spray, smooth, invert, focal shift, intensify, flatten, stretch and blur them. Once applied, it can be determined how hard or soft, opaque or transparent, or open and closed they are.

Fagus Sylvatica Pillows — The brushes stimulate our biophilia and hold an intrinsic structure - streamlined by millennial of evolution - which can be applied to the built material to construct specific micro-environments.

The Exchange — The Exchange is the place where social obligation is fulfilled for the reward of high-speed internet connection. 
 Sculpted using the toolset of brushes to generate different porosities of mesh, each room is specific to produce the environment of its occupier, be it nature, machine or human.
 The Exchange is built to the longest 125mm wavelengths of the network to ensure only constructive superposition of signal. The functions of The WiLD Network are moulded around the scanned context and vegetation canopy and tied within a tensegrity structure which embodies the non-hierarchical structural belief of the network.

Tree Antenna — Rhythms of electromagnetic waves circulate through the copper-laced fabric to charge trunks, branches and leaves and maintain the conversation of The WiLD Network.

Translatory — The Translatory hosts the sensitive conversation between nature, human and machine. The rectilinear form is defined by anthropometric informed machinery, and interjected by the tree canopy to illustrate a space in which all constituent parts are considered equally.

Nursery — As The WiLD Network grows into fruition and information becomes completely synonymous with plants, we will have a new relationship and understanding of nature. It is imperative that we refrain from a monotonous flora and therefore culture, as global temperate creeps up.


Drawings, Animations, Renderings, Code, Copper Prototype
Climate CrisisDataDNAInformationInfrastructureInternetLandscapenatureNetworkPhotogrammetrysamplingsightseeing

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