Liam Young, 27 09 16

Directed by speculative architect Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan, In the Robot Skies is the world’s first narrative shot entirely through autonomous pre programmed drones. In collaboration with the Embedded and Artificially intelligent Vision Lab in Belgium the film is captured by a specially developed flock of camera drones each with their own set of cinematic rules and behaviours.

The film explores the drone as a cultural object, not just as a new instrument of visual story telling but also as the catalyst for a new collection of urban sub cultures. In the way the New York subway car of the 80’s gave birth to a youth culture of wild style graffiti and hip hop the age of ubiquitous drones as smart city infrastructure will create a new network of surveillance activists and drone hackers. From the eyes of the drones we see two teenagers each held by police order within the digital confines of their own council estate tower block in London. A network of drones survey the council estates, as a roving flock off cctv cameras and our two characters are kept apart by this autonomous aerial infrastructure. We watch as they pass notes to each other via their own hacked and decorated drone, like kids in an old fashioned classroom, scribbling messages with biro on paper, balling it up and stowing it in their drones.. In this near future city drones form both agents of state surveillance but also become co-opted as the aerial vehicles through which two teens fall in love.



Liam Young, 21 07 08

view from river

Design competition for a residential / commercial tower, podium and U2’s new studio. The project was imagined as the centre piece of the Dublin docklands regeneration. With Jennifer Chen and Andy Chen.

view the project online at

It was proposed to fold the city streets, the public spaces and parklands of the docklands campshires, from an active engagement with the river, up through the height of the tower. The trajectory between the river and the stacked program of the tower is facilitated by a continuous ramping. The network of precast ramps provides circulation between the floor plates and is utilized to transfer loads to the structural skin. The spiralling public route, which facilitates programmatic exchange, forms the silhouette and image of the buildings as a new marker on the skyline. The vitality of the tower is seen through and across the buildings own ‘songlines’ and provides a fitting notation for the collision of future aspirations and industrial working heritage within the docklands regeneration. (more…)