Wandering the city, freely and unobserved?

That’s what these shutter projects are aiming for!

22.04.22 Responsible Sensing Lab

Cities, companies and individuals increasingly collect all sorts of data. However, what sensors ‘see’ and how data of interactions are connected and analyzed is often unclear.

The Responsible Sensing Lab aims to create more transparency in city sensing systems and embed public values in them – such as autonomy and privacy – by designing sensors in a new way.

A few of their projects are now on display in the exhibition Private_Eye_Butler_Spy, including Shutterring and Shuttercam.


Shutterring – a design by the Incredible Machine – aims to make smart doorbells more privacy-friendly while keeping their main functionality intact. Comparable to a webcam cover, door callers slide up the Shutterring to ring the door, making themselves shortly visible. A filter blurs the background of the person in front of the camera, avoiding unnecessary filming of public space or passers-by.

You can download free DIY instructions from the Responsible Sensing Lab’s website to make your own Shutterring and enhance privacy in your neighbourhood. Go the DIY instructions

With Shutterring we tried to both criticize the unlawful filming of public space by data hungry tech companies, while on the other hand offer owners of a video doorbell a simple way to be compliant and retaining the primary function of their doorbell.
retaining the primary function of their doorbell” Marcel Schouwenaar - Designer and Creative director, The Incredible Machine

Secondly, the Shuttercam project originated based on the notion that people do not know if and when cameras in public space are recording or not.

In the Shuttercam experiment, three cameras on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam are outfitted with shutters to enhance transparency, control and privacy amongst passers-by.

In the city of Amsterdam there are 99 camera’s per square kilometer. The Rijksoverheid reports that of the estimated 1.5 million camera’s recording in public space in the Netherlands, only 2% are owned by the authorities, the rest are black boxes. As citizens and good neighbors, we ought to have an opinion on all this observation in the future.
Tom van Arman - Smart City Strategist & Future City Maker, Tapp and Arcam Architect in Residence
Watch a video of both shutter-projects. Video made by Design United for Up Close & Personal program during DDW 2021
Visit Private_Eye_Butler_Spy

The exhibition on the increasing impact of technology in and around our homes, including these two shutter projects, can be visited at Arcam until 26 June 2022.

Website by HOAX Amsterdam