Architecture beyond truth and falsity: Radicalising feminist interventions in the creation of spaces

Better to live in the provisional than in the definitive.

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

All dissidence, rebellion, revolution has a location, a place.  The relationship between the two has been the subject of an ongoing reflection on the politics of space and architecture, here, as elsewhere.  The essay that follows, preceded by an abstract in the form of aseries of theses, is authored by a friend of Autonomies, Carlos Jacques, and was originally presented at the III International Conference on Gender and Architecture “MORE: Expanding architecture from a gender-based perspective”, which took place at the School of arcitecture of the University of Florence, Italy, on the 26-28th of January 2017. 

  1. Architecture is a politically compromised ordering of space. As a technique it creates, along with others, through multiple apparatuses, the spatialities of social relations. All social relations are equally relations of power.
  2. Sex-gender-sexuality are socially constructed. Male/female, masculinity/femininity, heterosexuality/homosexuality-bisexuality-pansexuality are conceptual and political oppositions that possess no deep ontological truth, but are rather revelatory of the multiple ways of distributing differences that aim for control and exploitation.
  3. Social constructivism, in its most limited expression, assumes a subjectivity capable of self-consciousness and self-possession.  The two together are often understood as the condition for the possibility of freedom, a freedom that expresses itself and is the expression of the truth about oneself, embraced or made.
  4. There is however no true self. The truth about one’s self is what is made through ensembles of apparatuses of control necessary for social reproduction. The sexed-gendered-sexualised self is thus but one example among others of social constitution and reproduction.
  5. Modern architecture celebrated and embraced the ambition of shaping space to aspire simultaneously to liberate and reflect our true natures, however they might be understood. Yet if there are no true selves, then architecture is, and has been, the handmaiden of relations of power.
  6. Modern architecture has been an architecture of truth, of power, and if part of the truth that it has espoused and made has been the sex-gender-sexual identities of those that have been its users, then a feminist architecture cannot simply aspire to forms presumably sensitive to female/feminine truths. To so conceive of feminist architecture is to trap it in a politics of truth always susceptible to colonisation by relations of power.
  7. “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.”  The often cited statement by Simone de Beauvoir has frequently been interpreted as suggesting that woman’s liberation lies in the re-appropriation of female/feminine subjectivity by women against the patriarchal other.
  8. The thesis to be defended in this essay is that such a notion of subjectivity is without defence, that the transparent self-consciousness and self-possession that it assumes is impossible, and that therefore a feminist politics of female-feminine assertion, in whatever form, is condemned to assimilation by social relations of power that themselves presuppose relatively fixed identities.
  9. To the extent that architecture is a technique of spatially ordering/constituting identities, it is an instrument of power. And if a feminist architecture is nothing more than a moulding of space presumably consistent with a female-feminine “essence”, then feminist architecture fails as a radical challenge to the violence of sex-gender-sexuality identification.
  10. There are no true subjects/subject identities.  All is plastic, all is in flux, at a multiplicity of levels.  A radically feminist architecture cannot therefore seek to make space for female/feminine subjectivities.  It must rather be part of the multiplication and expansion of desires; a politics of freedom beyond truth and falsity.

 

Recollecting spaces

What criticism ought to ask about architecture is … in what way does it, as an organised institution, succeed or not in influencing the relations of production.

Manfredo Tafuri, L’Architecture dans le Boudoir

Henri Lefebvre taught that space has a history, a history inscribed in that of power.  But space does not speak with a univocal voice.  It is, as he wrote, ‘over inscribed’.  Everything ‘therein resembles a rough draft, jumbled and self-contradictory’.  And if space above all ‘prohibits’, as Lefebvre maintains, then its prescriptions do not command absolutely.[i]  Space is also ‘a stake, the locus of projects and actions deployed as part of specific strategies, and hence also the object of wagers on the future’.[ii]  Constraints, submission or aversion before them, are never fully articulated.  Between them and action lies another space, a space underdetermined, to be filled out by thought, decision, desire; a space that remains forever unstable and unpredictable.  In this space within space, agencies and subjectivities are created, contested, repressed, liberated.  It is this open space within the field of spatial imperatives that this reflection on architecture seeks to occupy, to recollect and enunciate a space occasionally thematised, often hidden, a space that is both invested by and escapes gestures of sovereignty.

The power of space

… great monuments rise up like dams, opposing a logic of majesty and authority to all unquiet elements.

Georges Bataille, Architecture

Between 1999 and 2014, a London based collective, through artistic-political intervention in the city’s public spaces, sought to subvert and sabotage the orders of and hierarchies of built space.  The sabotage was not literal, if by the term is understood physical destruction.  It was rather conceived of as semiotic disruption: the significance of spaces, through actions of appropriation, deviation and distortion, or to employ the situationist concept, détournement, was meant to be upset, decoded, thereby interrupting taken for granted descriptive and normative meanings, functional dispositions, and thus opening up other possible ways of reading and using space.  The ‘Space Hijackers’, as they called themselves, conceptualised their actions in a manifesto:

Architecture is like a written language, and just like the letters on this page, it requires a certain knowledge in order to be understood. As with any language system, the link between signifier and signified is an arbitrary one. It is only by social convention that we read language as we do, this applies to architecture as much as it does to English. Language is a construct of the society that uses it, it is a set of signs that are developed and used by that society in order to have a common understanding. Language only exists within the group of people that use it, it is not a physical but rather an abstract thing. … The potential flexibility of architectural language offers a weakness in the grip of architects and corporations over the users of space. It is through corrupting the language and signification of architecture that a real form of resistance can be found. Myths can be demystified and signs rewritten. The Space Hijackers operate here, working to corrupt the language of architecture. We attempt to create situations or place objects within architectural space that affect the way in which that space is then experienced. We create myths within space that then go on to become a part of that space. Therefore the authority of the owner’s text is unbalanced as another voice is now heard. … We work to confuse as opposed to replace the existing language of architecture. It is not a case of one belief replacing another, but rather a process of corruption takes place.[iii]

The importance of this text here is that it points to Lefebvre’s idea that space is always at stake (as is time, one might add), that spatial directions and directives are matters of struggle, with different ways of life in contest.  If we spoke of ‘gestures of sovereignty’ earlier, it is because power runs through space, seeking to control it.  Whether we think of it at the level of the State, or in its multiple incarnations in everyday life, power is inconceivable outside space; it gains flesh and blood within it.  And as space also ‘decides’, restricts what activity may occur, it is equally inseparable from regimes of power.[iv]  Yet a crack exists in the armoury, the crack of the Hijackers’ undecidability of spatial meaning, or of Lefebvre’s underdetermination of significance.  This also is a space, our space within space: the space where normative narratives weaken, when what appears natural shows itself up as fiction, when the necessary becomes contingent, but from where the natural and the necessary surge up.

Michel Foucault famously stated that where ‘there is power, there is resistance’.[v]  This was not meant to suggest that beyond the chains of power, or hidden between their links, that a rebellious subject remained always undefiled, only awaiting for the opportune moment of insurrection.  No such subject, whether working class, women, colonised, racialized, exists.  Foucault’s resistance does not surge up from a ‘position of exteriority in relation to power’.[vi]  On the contrary, once relations of power are conceived of, following Foucault, as ‘strategies by which individuals attempt to conduct, to determine the conduct of others’, any ‘outside’ to power is revealed as illusory.[vii]  The strategies of power that Foucault speaks of are plural, overlapping, manifest across the almost endless diversity of social relations; they are mutually sustaining, but also fragmented, and therefore always possibly dissonant, because the discontinuous changes to which they are subject and which they engender are never fully conscious or intended, their effects rarely susceptible to prediction or mastery.  Yet it is from this forever open, underdetermined flux of social relations that subjectivities gain form, that we become certain kinds of people, controlled and/or dissident.

Space, spatial order, with its commands and prohibitions, thus plays a central role in the constitution of individuals and communities.  And spatial regimes are in turn produced, as social relations are woven between individuals and within communities.  Social relations ‘have a social existence to the extent that they have a spatial existence, they project themselves into space, become inscribed there, and in the process producing that space itself’.[viii]

Yet even while spatial and social relations are mutually produced, that production passes through subjectivities – the weaving calls for weavers – and thus the need to constitute and control subjects so as to minimise the uncertainty of this production and the permanent possibility of dissidence.

The fantasy of sovereignty over space

Architecturally, to define space (to make space distinct) literally meant ‘to determine boundaries’.

Bernard Tschumi, The Architectural Paradox

What role is architecture’s in all of this?  She is a handmaiden, like so many others and contrary to what her etymology would suggest.  But however subservient she is, she does teach.

Lefebvre suggests that it is with modern architecture that we may date the emergence of an awareness of space and its production.[ix]  I would rather wish to push this awareness back further in time, to the appearance of what Foucault called disciplinary and bio-power in the 19th century, to the felt need to organise spatially the institutional domestication of individuals and the reproduction of social life.  In both instances, a politics of space materialises in prisons, schools, hospitals, factories and the like, and in broader issues of urbanism and territorial administration.  What Lefebvre then traces back to the Bauhaus, to Le Corbusier and others, is the assuming of this politics by modern architects.[x]

It was Walter Gropius who wrote that ‘architecture implies the mastery of space’.[xi] Such mastery requires not only rule, government; it demands equally the shaping and moulding of what is governed, in this instance, space.  It presumes in turn that space is not an absolute, fixed and indifferent reality, a mere container of agencies and events.  Space is rather conceived of as existing in and through events; events that are themselves composite, complex and plural.  Architecture, as a practice, is one such agency and its creations are its events.  Buildings and structures, urban space, are mobile, in that they generate effects that resonate in and fashion human relations.  Space in other words is produced, even if not entirely under conditions of our own choosing.  And for that production to be worthy of the architect’s mastery, then the art must produce spaces not only consistent with ‘human nature’, but liberating space for what is most noble within that nature.

The language of modern architectural theoretical reflection is heroic.  Architecture is to be freed of what is extraneous to it, of all that is in excess.[xii] It is called upon to strive for an essential objectivity of form,[xiii] to embody the spirit of the age,[xiv] through standardised, industrial manufacture, to recover or express universal meaning.[xv] Again, to cite Gropius, architecture is the ‘crystalline expression of man’s noblest thoughts, his ardour, his humanity, his faith, his religion!’[xvi] It must be ‘all-embracing, soul-giving’,[xvii] a complete or ‘unified work of art’,[xviii] with the architect as its lord, ‘who will build gardens out of deserts and pile up wonders to the sky’.[xix]

No longer would architects merely pander to crass and fleeting taste or sentiment.  Architecture must aspire to capture the necessary, its time, spirit and means: it must endeavour to harmonise the environment with man;[xx] its forms must reflect life,[xxi] the evolution of consciousness,[xxii] respond to fundamental human necessities,[xxiii] the design of its objects must be drawn from natural and universal functions and relationships.[xxiv] But for all of this, man, man’s being-in-the-world, must be thought, raised above instinct and vernacular habit; it is a task for the spirit, in the words of Le Corbusier[xxv] and Mies van der Rohe[xxvi], or as Buckminster Fuller expressed it: ‘intellect is the sole guide to “Universal Architecture”, which is humanity’s supreme survival gesture’.[xxvii] In 1926, Le Corbusier could write: ‘The age of the architects is coming’.[xxviii] Without it, humanity was condemned to revolution[xxix] and war.[xxx]

The sovereignty of space, architecture as ‘the will of the age conceived in spatial terms’,[xxxi] as so often heralded in the pronouncements of modern architecture, was nonetheless shadowed by the spectre of fragility, failure even, at the very heart of its promethean desires; a failure that paradoxically marks all sovereignty, but that perhaps is more dramatic or pathetic, here.  If it is for architectural form to reflect life, and if real, true ‘form presupposes life’,[xxxii] modern architecture was condemned to the aporia of the ‘infiniteness of life’ versus the ‘finiteness of mechanics’.[xxxiii] The universal ‘problem of architecture is to compass space’, in the words of Buckminster Fuller.  And given the impossibility of compassing all of space, the problem becomes ‘to control the compassed’,[xxxiv] something that architects were frightfully ill-equipped for, as it meant confronting realities that architecture did not and could not master (political, economic, social etc.) and that they were not in fact masters of space, even of a limited one and that architecture was impure, trapped and a part of the dirty world which compromised all that touched it.  Architects were forced to compromise, to submit, to be less than truthful.

Hans Hollein’s 1962 apology for a pure, absolute architecture, grounded in contemporary man’s mastery over infinite space can then only appear today as, at best, naïvely utopian, or, at worse, blind and mad hubris.[xxxv]  A utopia of form ‘as a project for recuperating the human Totality …, as a way of mastering Disorder through Order’ is impossible to realise.[xxxvi]

Architecture after the fall of Man

No builder-developer in his right mind would announce: I am building for Man.

Denise Scott Brown, Learning from Pop

The failure of modern architecture’s utopia is today vulgar, common sense.  What is often left by the wayside, what is forgotten, is the nature of its project and the reasons for its fall, an ignorance that only serves to feed the vagaries and compromises of architecture’s present.  If it is exaggerated to so generalise about modern architecture, it is only in the intentional overlooking of detail, for what binds the many architects of the modern movement together is what I will call an architecture of truth, which is to say, an architecture that saw itself as expressing, and necessarily so, aesthetically, ethically and politically, a truth that lay beyond it, a transcendent truth, the truth namely of man.[xxxvii] Other analyses of modern architecture’s ground and failure can be found (perhaps no more powerful than that of Manfredo Tafuri),[xxxviii] but I wish to bring it back to the movement’s inability to grasp the intrinsic ambiguity of spatial production, or the irrepressible finitude of human being.

In the words of Foucault, architecture is not without effects, but it constitutes only one element of support – the handmaiden role – in the moulding of human space.  It ‘assumes a certain distribution of people in space, a channelling of their circulation, as well as a codification of the relations sustained between them’.[xxxix] It however effects these movements from within a larger field of social relations which it cannot radically change or contest by itself.  Stated differently, and in our own terms, modern architecture aimed to totally appropriate the space from which spatial creation emerges, for only then could it affirm the truthfulness of its designs and constructions, their correspondence to historically mediated human needs.  What was absent from the goal was the awareness that needs are not only constructed, but contested.  Between the built space and those who act within it, there is always as much dissonance as there is consonance.  And this something in-between, a something that is in excess, always escapes, filters through the cracks, of the most well laid out plans, architectural or otherwise.  If it is impossible to declare that ‘I am building for Man’, it is not because one builds for a market, with all of its diversity of conflicting demands (market analyses are as utopian as modern architecture was),[xl] but because there is no ‘Man’, as singular, consistent human subject for whom to build.  And to think otherwise, is to fantasise after the manner of totalitarianisms.

The sex of architecture

Abstract space is not homogeneous; it simply has homogeneity as its goal, its orientation, its ‘lens’.

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space

The modern movement in architecture pretended to a universal architecture, responsive to the human being as such.  But just as State sovereignty establishes a legal order by excluding those outside the law, and thus defining who are the legal subjects of the sovereign (while itself standing both inside and outside the law so as to be able to employ exceptional – i.e., normally illegal – measures to assure its authority, should the need arise), so too do modern architecture’s claims to sovereignty exclude while pretending to complete inclusion.[xli]

Le Corbusier’s new architecture, for example, had as its central concern the house, a unit of built space that responds to natural human functions intuitively aspired to by all.[xlii] Le Corbusier’s house was ‘the ordinary and common house for normal and common men’.  It was to be rooted in the human: ‘the human scale, the typical need, the typical function, the typical emotion’.  No mere arbitrarily assembled shelter, the new architecture was to conceive and build houses on the foundation that all men have the same organism, an organism with common functions and needs, at the heart of which is the biological family.[xliii] However, Le Corbusier´s ‘normal and common men’ are not women, working class, lumpen-proletariat, blacks, gays and bisexuals, nomads and criminals, rebels: all of these kinds of people, and there are many more, are marginal to the production of the ‘normal’ family.  And if architecture does not have the power of a sovereign State authority, it nevertheless can and does, with other agencies, constitute spaces of inclusion and exclusion, part of what may be called the political practices of space.  If then, to quote Elizabeth Grosz, men ‘produce a universe built upon the erasure of the bodies and contributions of women/mothers’, in what way can architecture ‘include’ or ‘express’ female ways of being?[xliv] Is architecture for women, a feminist architecture, possible?

An answer perhaps lies in the need ‘to develop a new paradigm of the house, the neighbourhood, and the city; to begin to describe the physical, social, and economic design of a human settlement that would support, rather than restrict, the activities of employed women and their families’.[xlv] Or more substantially, as women’s ways of being in the world, of engaging with it and knowing it, differ from those of men, then a feminist architecture should be responsive to women’s experience, generating spaces allowing for greater connectedness, inclusiveness, care, sentiment, change, flexibility, and so on, all presumed female characteristics and/or desires.[xlvi] If historical examples, both recent and not so recent, can be cited of efforts to design and build female spaces, efforts which are in themselves praiseworthy,[xlvii] there is nevertheless a disturbing echo of modern architecture’s hubris in what some are tempted to call historical ‘feminist’ architecture, the hubris of thinking the modern movement’s failure to lie in not adequately representing the whole of the human population (in effect, excluding one half of it, at least) and that what is thus called for is either a supplement and/or corrective to modern architecture’s original ambition, or an exclusive architecture for women that captures women’s ways, in truth.

But ‘what is a woman’?[xlviii] The question was Simone de Beauvoir’s and she posed it not because she thought that the notions of ‘woman’, ‘female’, ‘feminine’ were without content, but rather to begin to demonstrate that what meaning these notions possess is constructed in and through the multiple social relations that characterise patriarchal societies.  To then refer to ‘woman’ as the object of patriarchal oppression and to appeal to ‘woman’ as the subject of liberation from sexism, in whatever form it takes and wherever it expresses itself, is to postulate a subjectivity that somehow lies outside and remains untouched by sexist power relations, when ‘woman’ is produced in those very relations.  There is no deep ontological truth to sex, gender or sexuality, which therefore problematizes any radical feminist political project predicated on such truth.

There is nothing about being ‘female’ that naturally binds women.  There is not even such a state as ‘being’ female, itself a highly complex category constructed in contested sexual scientific discourses and other social practices.  Gender, race or class consciousness is an achievement forced on us by the terrible historical experience of the contradictory social realities of patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism.[xlix]

Political opposition to sexism and patriarchy cannot arise therefore purely in the guise of ‘women’s’ liberation, but must rather act to subvert the norms, practices and institutions of oppressive sex-gender-sexuality paradigms.

To return to the concern with a woman’s or feminist architecture, it follows from what has been said that a more politically just or liberating architectural practice cannot be conceived of solely along the lines of particular kinds of buildings that are more attuned to the needs of women (even less as a simple demand for more women architects).  For what needs are these if they result from the very same relations of power that oppress women?  And are all women’s needs and oppressions the same?  Will not a feminist architecture inevitably exclude while it includes, some women’s standpoints, standpoints run through with identities or affiliations and affinities of class, race, ethnicity, age and the like?  Will not such an architecture come to grief on the same aporia as modern architecture, that is, the impossibility of giving fixed spatial form to human agency, whether it be that of women, or of anyone else?  To the extent that a feminist architecture assumes some kind of essential female nature for which it builds, then such an architecture cannot but re-enact the errors of past modern architecture; it may even contribute to perpetuating or reinforcing patriarchy.

We have to construct adventures

…perhaps the best thing was for architecture to be considered as an obsolete phase of human thinking.

Franco La Cecla, Against Architecture

The tragedy of modern architecture was its inevitable capture by the State and the Market.  And while theoretically, contemporary architects have retreated from utopian heroism to the boudoir,[l] in the name of aesthetic autonomy,[li] their designs and structures continue to serve economically driven social engineering, in the form of mass urbanism, gentrification and tourism, perhaps as unlike ever before.  Cities today flamboyantly celebrate architect’s buildings like so many brand names in the unrestrained competition to ensnare flows of capital.  In the society of the spectacle, what remains possible for a feminist architecture?

The once London based Matrix Feminist Design Cooperative, set up in the 1980s, defended and put into practice participatory design methods.

Matrix started from the premise that the building belonged to the client/users and not to the architect.  In order to make this a felt experience, it was recognised that strategies had to be developed to enable the client group to be involved in and have control over the design. … In the process of women acquiring a voice in and control over this vital part of their lives from which they have been traditionally excluded, the divide between the profession and the public would also be narrowed if not overcome.[lii]

What the Matrix collective challenged, and this is unquestionably central, was the process of design and construction, or stated differently, the rule of the arkhi/master-tekton/builder.  If they criticised the androcentric nature of architecture’s built spaces, they more fundamentally put into question the relations of power that gave rise to such spaces.  A ‘feminist approach to the design of buildings and space, one that aims at re-shaping power relationships between the “expert” and the “layperson”, necessarily allows women as clients to be involved at every stage of the design process and devises the means to do so’.[liii] The architect’s creativity is hereby supplanted by a collective desire.

The Matrix collective’s ‘architecture without architects’ resonated with earlier anarchist and radical socialist engagements with architecture and urbanism (e.g. Paul and Percival Goodman, Colin Ward, the Situationists).  But what also needs to be advocated, and this is less commonly done, are ‘architects without architecture’.  If the figure of the master builder needs to be defied, architecture as master buildings is no less problematic.  While Foucault reminds us that no architectural ‘project can, simply due to its nature, guarantee that people will be automatically free’,[liv] Lefebvre teaches us that space ‘commands bodies, prescribing or proscribing gestures, routes and distances to be covered’; that it ‘is produced with this purpose in mind; this is its raison d’être’.[lv] And built space generates effects not only consciously (‘the “reading” of space … is merely a secondary and practically irrelevant upshot’)[lvi], but more fundamentally, somatically.  It is thus the imperative texture of architectural and urban space that must be transgressed, for it is in part through it that patriarchal norms are rendered ‘true’.  What then has to be thought through is not so much a woman’s feminist architecture (an architecture that can always be turned against those it ostensibly seeks to liberate), but strategies for the profaning of space, for the de-naturalising and de-normativising of built space; strategies for an anarchitecture, that is beyond truth and falsity.

 

[i] Henri Lefebvre, “From The Production of Space,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000), 183.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Space Hijackers, “Second Manifesto,” spacehijackers.org, https://spacehijackers.org/html/manifesto.html [accessed December 12, 2016].

[iv] Henri Lefebvre, “From The Production of Space,” 183.

[v] Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), 95.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Michel, Foucault, “L’éthique du souci de soi comme pratique de la liberté”, in Dits et Ecrits II : 1976-1988, (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), 1546.

[viii] Henri Lefebvre, “From The Production of Space,” 181.

[ix] Ibid., 178.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Walter Gropius, The New Architecture and the Bauhaus, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1965), 24.

[xii] Henry van de Velde, “Programme,” in Programs and manifestos on 20th-century architecture, ed. Ulrich Conrads, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1971), 13; Adolf Loos, “Ornament and crime,” in Ibid., 19.

[xiii] Hans Poelzig, “Fermentation in architecture,” in Ibid., 17.

[xiv] Hermann Muthesius, “Aims of the Werkbund,” in Ibid., 27; Antonio Sant’Elia and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, “Futurist architecture,” in Ibid., 38; Werner Graeff, “The new engineer is coming,”, in Ibid., 71; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “Working theses,” in Ibid., 74; Kasimir Malevich, “Suprematist manifesto Unovis,” in Ibid., 87.

[xv] Muthesius and Van de Velde, “Werkbund theses and antitheses,”, in Ibid., 28; ‘De Stijl’, “Manifesto I,”, in Ibid., 39.

[xvi] Gropius, Taut, Behne, “New ideas on architecture”, in Ibid., 46.

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] Walter Gropius, “Programme of the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar,” in Ibid., 50.

[xix] Gropius, Taut, Behne, “New ideas on architecture,” in Ibid., 47.

[xx] Antonio Sant’Elia and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, “Futurist architecture,” in Ibid., 38.

[xxi] Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “On form in architecture,” in Ibid., 102.

[xxii] Kasimir Malevich, “Suprematist manifesto Unovis,” in Ibid., 87.

[xxiii] Le Corbusier, “Towards a new architecture: guiding principles,” in Ibid., 62.

[xxiv] Walter Gropius, “Principles of Bauhaus production,” in Ibid., 95.

[xxv] Le Corbusier, “Towards a new architecture: guiding principles,” in Ibid., 59.

[xxvi] Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “The New Era,” in Ibid., 123.

[xxvii] R. Buckminster Fuller, “Universal architecture,” in Ibid., 129.

[xxviii] Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, “Five points towards a new architecture,” in Ibid., 101.

[xxix] Le Corbusier, “Towards a new architecture: guiding principles,” in Ibid., 62.

[xxx] R. Buckminster Fuller, “Universal architecture,” in Ibid., 129.

[xxxi] Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “Working theses,” in Ibid., 74.

[xxxii] Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “On form in architecture,” in Ibid., 102.

[xxxiii] Erich Mendelsohn, “Synthesis,” in Ibid., 106.

[xxxiv] R. Buckminster Fuller, “Universal architecture,” in Ibid., 130.

[xxxv] Hans Hollein, “Absolute architecture,” in Ibid., 182.

[xxxvi] Manfredo Tafuri, “Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000), 15.

[xxxvii] Peter Eisenman could serve here as a reference for a similar reading of modern architecture.  He speaks of this architecture as under the influence of three ‘fictions’: representation, reason and history.  We summarise all three by the fiction of truth, that is, the fiction that architecture represented the truth of ‘man’, had for its reason to give form to human nature, as manifest in history.  Where we part company with Eisenman’s diagnosis, aside from differences of chronology, and his subsequent response to the crisis of modern architecture, is that he limits its effects to consciousness, and thus limits the ‘cure’ to interpretation.  In other words, if architecture is to redeem itself, it must find its salvation in a purely architectural aesthetic, something which here is argued as insufficient.  See: Peter Eisenman, “The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000).

[xxxviii] Manfredo Tafuri, “Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000).

[xxxix] Michel Foucault, “Espace, savoir et pouvoir,” in Dits et Ecrits II : 1976-1988, (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), 1102.

[xl] Denise Scott Brown, “Learning from Pop,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000).  ‘One could interpret the public use of the city as the daily story of a collective resistance to the disembodiment of the city itself, to the humiliation of its body by a band of madmen from Casino Capitalism’.  (Franco La Cecla, Against Architecture (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2012)).

[xli] Carl Schmitt, Political Theology (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985).

[xlii] Le Corbusier, Toward an Architecture (London: Frances Lincoln, 2008), 83.

[xliii] Ibid., 84.

[xliv] Elizabeth Grosz, “Woman, Chora, Dwelling,” in Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, ed. Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner and Iain Borden, (London: Routledge, 2000), 218.

[xlv] Dolores Hayden, “What Would a Non-sexist City Be Like? Speculations on Housing, Urban Design and Human Work,” in Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, 266.

[xlvi] Karen A. Frank, “A Feminist Approach to Architecture: Acknowledging Women’s Ways of Knowing,” in Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, 297.

[xlvii] One can cite the early 20th century work of women architects, such as that by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Lilly Reich, Eileen Gray, Truus Schröder-Schräder, as well as early examples of collective housing in the Soviet Union, the Scandinavian countries and the United States.

[xlviii] Simone de Beauvoir, Le deuxième sex I (Paris: Gallimard, 1976), 11.

[xlix] Donna J. Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (London: Free Association Books, 1991), 155.

[l] Manfredo Tafuri, “L’Architecture dans le Boudoir: The Language of Criticism and and the Criticism of Language,” in Architecture Theory since 1968, ed. K. Michael Hays, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000).

[li] I am thinking of the kinds of theoretical elaborations developed by architectural theorists and architects such as Colin Rowe, Massimo Scolari and the Italian ‘Tendenza’ or ‘Rational Architecture’, Bernard Tschumi, Kenneth Frampton, Peter Eisenman and others.

[lii] Janie Grote, “Matrix: A Radical Approach to Architecture,” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, Special Issue: Women’s Voices in Architecture and Planning (Summer 1992), 160.

[liii] Ibid., 161.

[liv] Michel Foucault, “Espace, savoir et pouvoir,” 1094.

[lv] Henri Lefebvre, “From The Production of Space,” 183.

[lvi] Ibid.

 

Bibliography

Conrads, Ulrich ed. Programs and manifestos on 20th-century architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1971.

de Beauvoir, Simone. Le deuxième sex I, Paris: Gallimard, 1976.

Foucault, Michel. Dits et Ecrits II: 1976-1988, Paris: Gallimard, 2001.

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction, New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Gropius, Walter. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1965.

Grote, Janie. “Matrix: A Radical Approach to Architecture.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, Special Issue: Women’s Voices in Architecture and Planning (Summer 1992), 158-168.

Haraway, Donna J. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Free Association Books, 1991.

Hays, K. Michael ed. Architecture Theory since 1968, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000.

Jacques, Carlos. “Playing in Space: Profaning Architectural Practice.” Philosophy@Lisbon: International eJournal: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, No. 5, Special Number: Philosophy and Architecture (2016): 11-23.

Jacques, Carlos. “Queering straight space: Thinking towards a queer architecture.” Lusófona Journal of Architecture and Education: 2nd Congress on Architecture and Gender: Matrices, No. 12/13, Architectural Lab of the Universidade Lusófona (forthcoming).

La Cecla, Franco. Against Architecture, Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2012.

Le Corbusier. Toward an Architecture, London: Frances Lincoln, 2008.

Rendell, Jane, Penner, Barbara and Borden, Iain eds. Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, London: Routledge, 2000.

Schmitt, Carl. Political Theology, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985.

Space Hijackers. “Second Manifesto.” spacehijackers.org, http://www.spacehijackers.org/html/manifesto.html [accessed December 12, 2016].

 

Bibliography

Conrads, Ulrich ed. Programs and manifestos on 20th-century architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1971.

de Beauvoir, Simone. Le deuxième sex I, Paris: Gallimard, 1976.

Foucault, Michel. Dits et Ecrits II: 1976-1988, Paris: Gallimard, 2001.

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction, New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Gropius, Walter. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1965.

Grote, Janie. “Matrix: A Radical Approach to Architecture.” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, Special Issue: Women’s Voices in Architecture and Planning (Summer 1992), 158-168.

Haraway, Donna J. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Free Association Books, 1991.

Hays, K. Michael ed. Architecture Theory since 1968, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2000.

Jacques, Carlos. “Playing in Space: Profaning Architectural Practice.” Philosophy@Lisbon: International eJournal: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, No. 5, Special Number: Philosophy and Architecture (2016): 11-23.

Jacques, Carlos. “Queering straight space: Thinking towards a queer architecture.” Lusófona Journal of Architecture and Education: 2nd Congress on Architecture and Gender: Matrices, No. 12/13, Architectural Lab of the Universidade Lusófona (forthcoming).

La Cecla, Franco. Against Architecture, Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2012.

Le Corbusier. Toward an Architecture, London: Frances Lincoln, 2008.

Rendell, Jane, Penner, Barbara and Borden, Iain eds. Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, London: Routledge, 2000.

Schmitt, Carl. Political Theology, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985.

Space Hijackers. “Second Manifesto.” spacehijackers.org, http://www.spacehijackers.org/html/manifesto.html [accessed December 12, 2016].

 

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