How The 'Information Dominance Center' Was Made To Look Like The Starship Enterprise Bridge
from the whooooosh dept
Last week, in discussing Foreign Policy magazine's giant profile on NSA boss Keith Alexander, we noted the wackiness of his decision, in an earlier job,
When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a "whoosh" sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather "captain's chair" in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.A few stories had popped up focusing on this tidbit, but now photos of the setup have been revealed, as the architect firm who designed it, DBI Architects, apparently at one point published a PDF about the project, complete with a bunch of pictures.
"Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard," says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.
The futuristic, yet distinctly military, setting is further reinforced by the Commander’s console, which gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship.While some have reported this is the NSA's headquarters, that's not true. As noted, it was back when Alexander was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, and the room was built back in 1999 (prior to Alexander taking on the job). Still, it does give you a sense of how Alexander "charms" politicians. And, how can we not call out the fact that this place was called the "Information Dominance Center." So aggressive.