Hostile Web Architecture

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We identify a general logic of control at the root of hostile design principles. To implement a program in this way means to coerce a particular behaviour. This violent form of property protection is a symptom of the capitalism prevention of lingering in public spaces, similar to how our behaviour is exploited online.

The type of governance private developers wish to see over public space is one of stasis, parcels to be enframed and value extracted. This rigidity suggests planning engages in the construction of a certain type of space that can be considered good or favourable by ensuring particular forms of engagement. However, anyone who occupies public space knows that space is relational and emerges through interactions. Just as the nation is not the base unit of social inquiry, space is a slippery, deformative, pluripotent mediator - not a container. It connects users and those holding power over its production. Eventually meaning appears and harmonizes as place.

Contemporary forms of control that champion the place-potent entrepreneurial self that have co-opted the vernacular of community emphasize potential as potential-to-grow, expand, further control oneself through participating in freedom through conspicuous consumption. Rather than disciplining the body by limiting and disabling particular behaviour, hostility online is found in the capitalization of all space. Hostile web architecture curates and coerces desires and satisfaction- often unaware of our role as a consumer of sensation and experience, in the official channels of activity we become the product. Here the production of desire is dangerous to the subject.