The latest instalment of our new series of AR Reading Lists: seven carefully chosen pieces from our archive, free for registered users
As Paul Davies wrote in our June 2018 issue on Power and Justice, ‘what architecture can do, within limits, is control’. From the Panopticon to Haussmann’s Paris, we have seen how architecture is both an instrument and an embodiment of power. With state investment, its influence can seem boundless.
As protests bloom in Minneapolis, Memphis and Los Angeles this week following the death of George Floyd, the latest in a long string of police violence against black people, and hundreds of arrests are made during pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, we look to the architecture of rebellion – the spaces that either support or are adopted by insurgent activities – and its deeply political capacity to exert dominance or to effect positive change.
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- Architecture is now a tool of capital, complicit in a purpose antithetical to its social mission, AR May 2015, Reinier De Graaf
‘If the 20th century really was an anomaly, then perhaps so were its ideals: an entire period characterised by an enlightened belief in progress, social emancipation and civil rights can be retroactively discarded’
- Spaces of rebellion: on architecture of control and perverse spectacle, AR June 2018, Paul Davies
‘There are no de facto spaces of rebellion. Rebellion involves a good deal of furtive scurrying about and the co-option (baths, bars and back stairs come to mind) of spaces designed for other purposes’
- Rebels with a cause: insurgent practices in São Paulo’s abandoned spaces, AR October 2019, Raquel Rolnik, Renato Abramowicz Santos, Aluizio Marino
‘The hegemonic paradigm of individual property has been one of the most powerful motivations and justifications for denying other forms of territorial ties the right to exist’
- Architecture is a weapon in the West Bank, AR May 2015, Eleanor Jolliffe
‘In this disputed homeland, the mundane act of home-making has itself become a military tactic and nationalistic statement, dragging the everyday into a violent struggle’
- Manplan: Frustration, AR September 1969, the editors
‘Why bother when we are told continually we’ve never had it so good? Because, though modern man is in some ways wealthy beyond dreams, in others he’s never had it so bad’
- Only resist: a feminist approach to critical spatial practice, AR March 2018, Jane Rendell
‘The modes of working characteristic to a feminist approach to critical spatial practice are highly appropriate for tackling the three-stranded collapse of ecology, energy and economy that faces us now’
- Come dine with me: the dinner party, art, and revolution, AR October 2018, Rahel Aima
‘Marinetti understood that revolution had to include the dinner party. That if artists wanted to truly transform society, they needed to pay attention to all facets of daily life, and reimagine the culinary arts as well’
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