Sophie Richards

THE FRENCH CONNECTION_MARSEILLE AND THE PHYSICAL INTERNET | Marseille, France | Unit 21 | 2016

Awarded Distinction for Design & Distinction for Thesis

 

Click to see 4th Year work
 Sophie Richards_Legal Case Dras Yahoo and Greenpeace vs EDF 2
The project proposes a new legal quarter for the city of Marseille. Alongside the continuing development of the internet, cyber crime is becoming increasingly prevalent. Current legal systems are territorial, and maintain jurisdiction only within physical boundaries. The internet by-passes these boundaries, and creates a climate whereby no one country can effectively enforce jurisdiction over crimes committed online. Using the International Court of Justice at the Hague as a precedent for an international system of law, the ICIJ (International Court of Internet Justice) proposed in this project is a global law court, which would review cases from all continents, using a new system specialised internet law.
The project began with an investigation into the inherent physicality of the internet, in contrast to the more commonly held interpretation of the internet as a ‘cloud’. Over 200 submarine cables, ranging in length from 10 kilometres to over 20,000 kilometres run along sea beds, creating connections across the globe. Marseille is the biggest port for submarine cables in Europe, and is essential as a gateway from Europe to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Having catalogued all of the cables currently in operation, it became apparent that their placement is not arbitrary, nor is it impartial. The network cables very clearly reveal and reflect political alliances, economic development and global influence.
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It became essential to develop a language of notation which would allow ideas of time based actions, world wide influence, and human interaction with a global network to be considered.
A series of three diagrams was created, which document three legal cases concerned with the internet. The first, “LICRA vs Yahoo!”, considers a dispute between a French antisemitism organisation, LICRA, and Yahoo!.com regarding the sale of Nazi memorabilia on their .fr domain. The second, “Law on Information”, investigates the amendment of online surveillance laws in France, following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The third, “Greenpeace vs EDF”, concentrates on accusations made by Greenpeace that EDF hacked emails and information regarding protests. These drawings were crucial to the project because they allowed the author to investigate and question existing systems of internet law enforcement, how existing legal systems are being adjusted to incorporate this new type of crime and, most significantly, to highlight and develop new ideas and connections.
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Historically, the internet has inhabited the “in between” spaces of our cities, adapting existing telecommunication cables, and attaching itself to infrastructure designed for other purposes. It is only in recent years that the internet has begun to become too big to blend into existing networks. In order to reference this idea, the project’s site was chosen for its “in between” nature. It occupies a territory which is relatively undefined, located between the historic and touristic areas of Marseille, such as Le Panier, and the more industrial areas of the city.
The project operates at two scales of intervention. The first is at a large scale, proposing a network of interventions, which fit into the existing fabric of the city. The second is at the scale of a courthouse. The courthouse, which is one of seven proposed in the network plan, accommodates one courtroom, and the necessary ancillary spaces, such as offices, waiting areas and deliberation rooms.
The marking out of time, a construct enforced upon us in much the same way as a system of law, is done using shadows. A system of plates were designed to cast very specific shadows, as a way to signify process, relationships and events, such as the giving of a verdict by a judge to a defendant. The network which has been designed to operate within the building is not made explicitly apparent to the user. Instead, they are able to interact with the network, but never to experience it as a whole.
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Click image to zoom ->Law_On Information Drawing
Sophie Richards_Legal Case Dras Yahoo and Greenpeace vs EDF 1
 Click to see booklet ->Law On Information
Click image to zoom -> Law_LICRAS vs Yahoo! Drawing
Sophie Richards_Legal Case Dras Yahoo and Greenpeace vs EDF 2_renamed
Click to see booklet -> Law_LICRAS vs Yahoo!
Click image to zoom ->Law_Greenpeace vs EDF
Click to see booklet -> Law_Greenpeace vs EDF 
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Sophie Richards_Final Views combined
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Final Legal case Drawing
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