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Research Project in Progress

The design collective The Ponies is researching the use of Mosquito boxes in Rotterdam.

The research project of The Ponies responds to the Mosquito boxes that are present in some public spaces in Rotterdam.  These Mosquito boxes use a high frequency that can only be heard by young people – under the age of twenty-five – to drive away loitering youths. The technology has been classified as 'contrary to human rights' in municipalities such as Amsterdam and Utrecht, but is in use in Rotterdam. The Mosquito is not illegal; there is no national law that says it is not allowed. In the UK these boxes are are used to combat armed street conflict. In fact, it's a sonic weapon.

As part of this research they have conducted a workshop with students of Artez. They invited Donald van der Laan – importer of the Mosquito boxes – to talk about his passion for battling crime in public space, conducted on site research, and dived into the understanding of sound waves with Andy Moor and Stefano Zucchini.

In order to gain insight into the situation, The Ponies research the legislation around the Mosquito boxes, its technology and the data-management. They also will research the making of an 'anti sound' that would neutralise or democratises the frequency used by the Mosquito boxes. This would enable to open a telephone number that can be used to stop the Mosquito, in the same way as now a Mosquito box can be turned on by dialing a specific telephone number.

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