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Basic data  
Project source Competition, 2nd prize
Project no. 121109
Client -
Site -
Date 2012, 2016
Project type -
Program Glass cube for observation of protests.
Size 3m x 3m x 3m
Architecture Tomaž Krištof
  Alja Mišigoj
  Špela Zore

Riot Isolation Cube

Riot Isolation Cube is a gift from us (the 99%) to the international financial elite (the 1%). It is a simple glass cube measuring 3x3x3 meters, fully isolated from the outside, bullet-proof, gas-proof, equipped with everything a small group of people need to survive for 7-10 days (oxygen, water, food, toilet, etc.).

Riot isolation cube is designed for members of the elite who want to observe the riots more closely than ever before. Using a very simple technical solution, a glass that is transparent from the inside but a mirror from the outside, Riot Isolation Cube enables them to stand in the middle of the protestors, observing while not being observed; feeling the energy of the crowd while being perfectly safe at the same time.

Riot Isolation Cube is based on a strange scene that occurred during the Occupy-Wall-Street protests a couple of years ago. While the streets were full of people protesting, the balconies of the stock-exchange offices and other financial company's buildings were full of brokers, drinking Champagne and taking photos of protests with their super-expensive cameras. The members of the elite were actually enjoying the protests against them! To them, the protestors were no more than a nameless and harmless crowd. They observed the protesters similarly to how we observe herds of wild animals on Discovery channel - as a low-life, very beautiful in its natural environment, a pure visual delight.

What a wide range of possibilities of enjoyment Mother Nature has given us! How wonderfully sick brains we have! This is not just a decadence of the elite. Anyone from the crowd would undoubtedly act exactly the same way if they suddenly joined the elite. None of us is immune to the malicious delight of voyeurism.

As architects, our interest must become a further exploration of possible ways to satisfy the voluptuous needs of the elite. At the balconies of Wall Street, they could observe the protest quite well, but there was still something missing: they couldn't really see desperate faces of the people, as they watched them from too far.

This is why the Riot-Isolation-Cube was created. It gives its users the possibility to stand in the middle of the riot, being perfectly safe, and yet to feel the raw energy of the crowd; feel the angriness of each protestor, and the harshness of their lives. It's similar to underwater cages created to swim safely with the sharks, or strong safari-vehicles that enable visitors of the park to stand safely face-to-face with lions.

Riot Isolation Cube is a perfect place to have a business meeting. Invite your partners to the Cube during the protests and you will make an impression they will never forget! Leaders of International Monetary Fund and similar organizations can have a meeting in the Cube with the local head of government at the exact moment when people are protesting against them! What a sight that would be. And what a place to cut workers' wages, to lower social security standards, to raise taxes for the poor!

Riot Isolation Cube can, however, be used also for much nicer occasions. One can celebrate family values with the loved ones for Thanksgiving: outside there is the hungry crowd, inside roasted turkey, stuffed potatoes, caviar and wine. It is a great place to have a romantic dinner or even to make a wedding proposal! No woman could possibly say no to a diamond ring inside a glass cube with breathtaking a view of the police forces beating desperate unemployed. And, of course, no sex can be better than the one in the middle of the street full of burning cars, shootings, explosions and tear-gas bombs.

After all, architecture cannot really change the world.
It can only make the world a little nicer.
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