With all the talk about drone warfare, this article posted at the Smithsonian.com, "Imaging a Drone-Proof City in an Age of Surveillance" by Jimmy Stamp, struck a note with me. Imagine having to plan a city so that it provides the best possible defense against drone attacks? This is a considerable step up in sophistication since the days when big thick walls with burning arrows raining down from on high provided sufficient deterrence and adequate defence.
What do you do to disguise your body's thermal heat signature? Your house among many? Your street in the grid? Well, for a start, forget the grid. Then install coloured glass block windows through which surveillance is made more difficult. Finally, you can purchase (for between $500 and $2300) a stealth cloak that combines a burqa-like style with fibres that reflect heat, thereby masking a person's heat signature. I kid you not. The fashion term is Stealth Wear and Adam Harvey creates it with designer Johanna Bloomfield.
But back to urban planning.
Asher Kohn is a law student who is investigating what is necessary, from a planning, design and architecture point of view, to counteract the surveillance techniques and strategies so prevalent these days. His ideas include spires and minarets that interrupt flight patterns and systems that create visual confusion for drone tracking systems.
A conceptual of map of his drone-proof city, Shura City, is below.
In the words of Kohn, "What this project proposes is a new way to think about space. Drone warfare proposes that every inch of land is (and all of its inhabitants are) part of the battle space.”
This is not to be confused with the architecture favoured by survivalists who, generally speaking, are anticipating the end of the world. In that alternative reality, homes are "...equipped with a generator, 2,500 gallon water tank, a composting toilet, a one year supply of food, two AR15-variant rifles with 1,000 rounds of ammunition each, and a safe room," outlines Stamp. Of course, any Bermudian can tell you that a 2,500 gallon water tank will not get you very far but that's another story for another time.
For now, I will rest easier knowing that someone out there is studying how to keep us safe from drones. Until that is perfected, for those who are engaging in activities that attract the attention of drones, I suggest you purchase an anti-drone burqa.