Standing up to the Hackers.

“Can we redesign the way we make, designing buildings for a circular economy? The resource on our planet is finite. As practicing and future architects, we are facing a transition that should and will happen. A collaborative effort needs to make to acquire a circular economy in which waste and pollution are eliminated while ecosystems are nurtured rather than exploited”

These were questions posed by Duncan Baker Brown in a key lecture accompanied by an online panel discussion hosted by the Architects Association.

However about three quarters of the way into discussing how the circular economy applies to the built environment, the Zoom conference of 150 attendees was hacked with indecent images involving children.

“Some people were in tears” said Duncan “and I received text messages afterwards from people who clearly were very distraught. Basically, I lost control of the slides I was showing. My screen went blank and then the most disgusting film appeared. I closed my screen down immediately. The hosts phoned me and after 10 minutes they had resolved the issue so we could continue.”

Duncan is now urging colleagues and students to be on their guard when using Zoom for external lectures. As a school we have been reaching out to individual students who were present to offer both support and practical advice.

Student Support and Guidance Tutor, Justine Devenney said “BIAAS  our student society have been delivering a vibrant lecture series through the lockdown with external speakers. We don’t want them as organisers or participants to be scared. Nor deterred from hosting future lectures so we have been helping them find safe alternatives and offering them support.

The AA lecture saw half the attendees leave the web presentation after the incident but Duncan determined not to let hackers win said he would continue to give lectures by Zoom. But as all events move more and more online is calling for tighter controls and urging colleagues to be vigilant.