Glass, Vision and the [un]Intended Consequences of Transparency
Exploring the city, through walking and adopting the role of flâneur, this dissertation considers through word and photography the ‘glass culture’ of modernity and the unexpected and unintended experiential consequences of the large-scale use of glass. This study asks questions concerning boundaries, protection and exposure, as well as the suggested permeability and ambiguity of space and threshold. Drawing on Bentham’s theorising of the panopticon and Foucault’s study of social structures, this project argues that transparency, though widespread and commonplace, can also prompt feelings of discomfort and insecurity. In contemporary London, glass and transparency do not always indicate a Modern desire for light, air and openness; instead it can allude to illusion, entrapment and hypocrisy.