Liam Young at

29 Jun

Arc’s editor Simon Ings talks to the architect and urbanist Liam Young about his recent brush with Special Branch, and how a robotic ballet at Dublin’s Science Gallery led to him and his colleagues being recorded under the UK’s Terrorism Act.

Liam heads Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, a London-based think-tank exploring urbanism’s weirder side. He recently flooded a Dutch art gallery full of canaries with CO2, altering the air mixture to replicate the predicted atmospheric changes of the next 100 years. (The canaries’ song changed pitch.) Later this year he will be leading a team to a former military base just across from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to map the post-militarised Marin Headlands with  contemporary surveillance technology.

Ironically, it was technology you can pick up in any toy store for less than £200 that caught the attention of the security services. 

There’ll be more from Liam soon as Arc is his media partner for an forthcoming gallery show – see for details. Meanwhile, he tweets as @liam_young and maintains a website at

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