Zhan Wang. [Topic] Studio. Diploma 6 // System D Logistics

student: Zhan Wang

school: Architectural Association (AA)

location: London, UK

adviser(s): Kate Davies +  Liam Young

Diploma 6

title:  System D Logistics

05 zhanWang SD overall routesSystem D overall route //

As an artery of international trade and a crucial part of the global economy, sea born trade routes are heavily monitored by various technologies that enforce regulations and detect irregular activities. The types of economic activities in question are often described as “under the table” and “off the books” as they are not taxed or included in any Gross National Product. Collectively, this type of trade is the world’s second largest economy, worth $10 trillion a year and employs over half of the world’s population.



Print black market mapInternational trade and informal economy //Print
Pixel complexity //
Detection technologies //

Making an inventory of the illicit items that are contained within 1 pixel of google earth’s view of Mexico City, System D Logistics operates as a covert supply chain to smuggle these items to the US coastline. Deploying various tactics along the shipping route to evade detection, the logistics operation reveals the extraordinary lengths the authorities go to in order to tax an industry that employs the majority of the population. The technology of surveillance is not infallible, it is full of gaps, cracks and loopholes and is a infrastructural manifestation of the interests of those who profit from the regulation of goods.

01 portPort 0 NM //flotsam drifting interim
Territorial water 0-12 NM //
veracruz surrounding
Contagious zone 12-24 NM // 
Exclusive economic zone 24-200 NM //
zhanWang System D sound edited

S//A Interview: 


SA: What’s the most important aspect of this project that we should be aware of?

ZW: The spatial consequences of the heavily monitored sea born trade routes that brings us 90% of everything we consume. 

SA: What other fields outside of architecture interest you?

ZW: It’s natural for me to be in control of the graphic language for a specific project whereas the soundscape as another important element to engage the audience is something new to me and I’d like to explore more how to actively incorporate it into building a narrative. The animated and scored end-product is a fascinating and growing area of interest.

SA: Most important thing you learned in architecture school?

ZW: Because it’s impossible to make everything perfect, the real challenge comes to communicating the project at hand in the most fantastic, impressive, intriguing or subtle way.

SA: Describe your dream project?

ZW: Having explored time based media through the form of animation in the past year or so, I’d now like to investigate incorporating the physical space and objects into the narrative of a virtual project.



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