Free Wi-Fi (that comes at a price)


Name: Hongming Liang

Nationality: Chinese

Institution / Company: McGill University




Public space has experienced a chronic but unmistakable decay. The ongoing covid-19 pandemic, besides everything else, exacerbates the death sentence of public space. While the physical space still exists and being designed in cities. It no longer serves its most quintessential role, that is to invite, gather, and engage people into the public realm. The effective public sphere has largely shifted to virtual where spectacle, interaction, and argument take place. Public space today failed to redirect our spirit and attention away from the simulated environment, as we bodily reside in the private sphere constantly.

The project aims not to provide specific configurations for future public space, but to place an intrusive joint at the juncture of the public and private realm. Resembling the mass of a public statue, the device can be deployed in any existing sizable public space. The installation provides visitors with free wi-fi connection at a cost of broadcasting their personal screen. While it depicts a conflict in the “presentation image”, the installation can also be used collaboratively, for example, as a monitor for public speech or protest. By providing such a neutral backdrop, the design also questions the authorship and democracy of conventional urban planning.


 #Privacy, Data& Surveillance #Integration of diverse social groups #Education and Cultural exchange #Digital vs/and physical #Public ritual

You may also like

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Cookie Name Duration Purpose
woocommerce_cart_hash session Helps WooCommerce determine when cart contents/data changes.
woocommerce_items_in_cart session Helps WooCommerce determine when cart contents/data changes.
wp_woocommerce_session_ 2 days Contains a unique code for each customer so that it knows where to find the cart data in the database for each customer.
  • woocommerce_cart_hash
  • woocommerce_items_in_cart
  • wp_woocommerce_session_

Decline all Services
Accept all Services