I mean, take this concept of privatised public space, that is an urban environment that appears to be public (and to a certain extent is) but that is actually owned and managed by a commercial enterprise. For the past 18 months, artist/photographer Max Colson has been working as artist-in-residence at the Urban Laboratory at University College London. The cumulation of this research is Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination, an exhibition of new work at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Through images, slogans and an interactive installation, we explore the covert signs and symbols of language in the modern-built environment. Think about this: surveillance technology is used to monitor these spaces incognito. Beyond this, these technologies can be used to manipulate the behaviour of people who use these notionally public spaces: security architecture, in one aspect. Other aspects involve looking at how these new urban environments are marketed to the public-at-large and idealised beyond mere gentrification.

This exhibition is a study of how the city can be stretched and skewed to maintain certain commercial interests. It's either food for the paranoiac or for anyone who wants to reclaim their streets.

Max Colson: Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination is at RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD until 25 August.