Monday, 30 November 2009

Public-Private space

In the image above I have broken down spaces in a security sense by allocating them with territorial titles. It shows the transition from Public to Private spaces and visualises the areas where there should be examples of territorial makers to emphasize the shift from one area to the next.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Symbolic Barriers

Symbolic Barriers are objects placed in the environment to create the perception that a person’s space is cared for and worthy of defence. Common symbolic barriers include picnic tables, swings, flowers, and lawn furniture-any symbol that conveys that the owner of the property is actively involved in using and maintaining the property. Note that when items that are atypical for a community are displayed, it can sometimes symbolize affluence and act as a lure rather than a barrier. Therefore, the appropriateness of various kinds of symbolic barriers must be considered within the context of a particular community/area.


Surveillance is the monitoring of the environment during normal daily activities. Common surveillance features include external lighting; well trafficked areas; and well-maintained courtyards, playgrounds, and walkways that increase pedestrian activity and casual surveillance. These features make it far more difficult for people to engage in unnoticed activities.


Territoriality is the establishment of clearly defined spaces of ownership. Common territorial features include community markers and gates to cultivate a community identity and mark the collective territory of residents; risible boundaries such as walls, hedges, and fences to create private yards; and privatisation of public services so that residents must take greater personal responsibility and ownership (e.g. private trash cans instead of public dumpsters). These territorial elements explicitly assign custodial responsibility of a space to residents, and communicate to outsiders that the space is owned and protected.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Defensible Space

Defensible space is another method of security which if used correctly can be used to deter crime, it is an area such as a neighbourhood, house, park, or office that has features that convey ownership and afford easy and frequent surveillance. These features allow people to establish control over their private or community property, and ultimately deter criminal activity. There are three key features of defensible space: territoriality, surveillance, and symbolic barriers.

Results of Business Survey

Business type?

100% of businesses use security.

50% of these businesses use security as a deterrent.
28% of them use their security as protection for their businesses.
11% of them use their security to stop crime.
11% of them are unsure what the role of security is.

44% of businesses have never had criminal activity on their premises.
56% of businesses have had some type of criminal activity on their premises.

Of the businesses that have had criminal activity on their premises
20% shoplifting
40% vandalism
50% theft
50% forced entry

78% of businesses believed their security had performed it job well.
22% of businesses believed their security had performed poorly.

Of those businesses that have had criminal activities on their premises
60% believed the security performed well
40% believed the security performed poor

94% of businesses are not aware of any other ways of securing their business other than using conventional security products
6% of businesses are aware of other ways of securing their business.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Trial and Error

The first draft questionnaire turned out to be too intrusive and the response was very poor. I believe this was due to the amount of questions I was asking and their relevance to the information I wanted. With this I mind I decided to focus it on the information I wanted.
Whether everyone uses security?
What they think the purpose of their security is?
Whether or not it is performing its job successfully?
If they are aware of other forms of security other than conventional security products?
The response from the revised questionnaire was interesting because it showed a trend in peoples reasoning behind the installation of security products.
People’s main reasons for installing the products were:
“To act as a deterrent”.
I am also reading into a rather interesting concept for 'defensible space' which looks at how a space is used as a tool to protect itself.
This could perhaps be an interesting avenue to explore further.

Questions ? ? ?

While I was talking to the police I was also working on a questionnaire which I would be using to extract information regarding security from businesses that are based in industrial sites across Aberdeen.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Facts and Figures

One of my first steps was to contact the Grampian Police and try to gather some information on commercial crime in and around Aberdeen.
The information I am currently waiting to receive is the amount of Businesses in Aberdeen affected by crime in the last year to date.
The areas where crimes are at their highest in Aberdeen.
The number of forced entry, theft, and vandalism incidents.
The Police response to a security related crime.
Interestingly some of the books I have been reading touch on security topics so should hopefully help to inform the project. Likewise I would like to revert back to the research map and use it again perhaps as a tool to compare different products and ideas in relation to security.

New direction

After struggling a little with a context on which to apply the thinking behind my original project proposal I have decided to focus it solely on one of my early ideas which is security. The inspiration for this has come about after a recent break in and theft at my father’s business. The incident made me wonder why it happened. It also made me ask what part the security systems in place had played in the event other than temporally slowing the ability to gain entry and then informing my father that the incident was taking place.

Using the Map as a tool, I made a small questionnaire which asked for examples of designers which people were interested in and their work. I used the information gained to map out the work on a mock-up of the design research map to visualise the difference in products in relation to the mind-set and approach.
The results can be seen above.

As I stated previously I wanted to look at objects that were designed using different design approaches, looking more so at the design-led half of the design research map because this is where I believe I work as a designer. I have said in my project brief that I like things which work and look good working. Taking into account the Map and my design principles I began reading a number of different books on designers or subjects relating to these areas.