Richard Pignataro [WIT M.Arch]

Hi, my name is Richard Pignataro, and I am currently in my last semester as a Master of Architecture student at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. As my thesis semesters approached last year, I knew I wanted to develop a relevant topic that had somewhat little prior groundwork within architecture. With a strong passion for surveillance and the associated current events, it became my thesis topic of interest. As I grew more specific within the broad field of surveillance, I started to focus on an end goal; interaction generated by surveillance and transparency. My initial studies looked at CVS and Walgreens. CVS has hidden overhead surveillance cameras, which neglect the occupier. Walgreens however, incorporates a television at the entrance to show what is being recorded. This simple move towards interaction with the user starts to generate play between camera and person; creating a possible point or even a wave. Since then my thesis has progressed into a full scale project that utilizes surveillance within cities to generate play and interaction facilitated by a central architectural form with limbs that extend into a cities public space. The main problem with surveillance is the 1% doing the watching vs the 99% being watched. The power struggle between the idea cannot be resolved without a compromise. To quote¬†Evgeny Morozov “Surveillance cameras might reduce crime – even though the evidence here is mixed – but no studies show that they result in greater happiness of everyone involved.”

To get involved within “The Day We Fight Back”, my first step was to add the banner to my WordPress Thesis Blog page. Since it is very relevant to the topic of the page, it seems to fit right in with the theme of the site.