Architectures of Security – The Visability of Insecurity

Architectures of security can be described as objects and structures that are used to separate public spaces into inside and outside spaces and protect people. In recent years, it has become increasingly common to protect public places and events, e.g. by using concrete cubes, without widespread social debate about the necessary architectures. The shape and form of these architectures are primarily a result of their utility and function, without themselves being part of a design effort – despite already having a strong impact on the aesthetic perception of the cityscape.

The objective of this research project is to gain insight into the influence of architectures of security on the perception of urban space, and on the change of safety perception due to the presence of these architectures in relation to the protection actually provided. To that end, existing architectures of security shall be categorized by means of visual field research and subsequently analyzed both artistically and scientifically from an engineering perspective. A typology/methodology shall be developed that supports actors in the development and planning of such architectures. This project is based on the interdisciplinary approach between art and technology and on the cooperation between the City of Essen, Technical University of Berlin, Berliner Hochschule für Technik (Berlin University of Applied Sciences and Technology) and adopters of architectures of security.

The project has been supported since August 1st, 2020 by the TU Berlin start-up funding in preparation for a third-party funded research project, and from February 1st, 2021 by a PhD project/employee at Beuth University.

Contact: Andreas Gürich, Research Associate,