Field-notes from the place of Law

20 June 2019 Architectural Association, London  

Digital and communication technologies are proliferating throughout the UK justice system, breaching, in the process, the physical boundaries of the court. Far from banal, the implementation of technology is effectively altering the pace of the trial, the interactions, the rituals, and the ways in which justice is enacted and experienced by its various actors.


In the context of the Ministry of Justice’s modernisation plan, “field notes from the place of Law” is an investigation into the increasing use of virtual links for defendant appearing remotely from spaces of incarceration. In immigration cases particularly, the dematerialisation of the court has become instrumental to the home office’s exercise of power by amplifying already existing forms of hierarchy, isolation and bias, further silencing the voices of those on the fringes of the judicial system.


Through fieldwork, re-enactment and the analysis of the media produced by the courts, the project operates as a report submitted to the parliament inquiry demanding the reinstatement of consent. As a kit of parts exploring the ways in which control over the production of the one’s own representation could be regained. And as a provocation revealing the absurdity embedded within the asylum-seeking process by challenging the need for soil claim all together.


As law moves into the realm of pixels and networks, the spaces used for the enactment of justice are conflated and collapsed. Their radical re-composition gives us an opportunity to extend the borders of our current “justice matrix” imagining a world in which where you are no longer signifies who you are in the legal arena and where mediation is no longer synonymous with dehumanisation. 


I feel immense gratitude. To my wonderful tutors over the past four years who have relentlessly helped me find my way and my voice. To the friends and peers with whom I have had the good fortune to share fascinating conversations, strange obsessions, laughs and more often than I would like to admit, tears. To the staff whose kind attentions and words have truly made this place a home for me.  A huge thank you, I am truly honoured to have had the chance to spend these few years with you all.

  For more information:

Diploma 3 – The Architectural Media Complex Unit Brief

Honours on AA Conversations