Militant architecture: Destabilising architecture's disciplinarity

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... 17 The evidence suggests the problem is not about being critical but instead about how these 'alternatives' have been inscribed by limitations, imposed by the formal orthodoxies reproduced in the schools associated with 'critical architecture'. 18 The emerging engagement celebrated by 'post-crit- Before examining what a reflexive system looks like, we first elaborate on how the notion of reflexivity helps to draw a distinction between first and second modernity. The first process of modernisation operates radically to challenge, transform and ultimately displace the institutions and practices of pre-modern societies that history has documented from around the eighteenth century to the present. ...
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Since around 2002, the performance of critical theory in architecture and the humanities has itself undergone a critical re-evaluation. Authors representing divergent perspectives, from theory’s perennial naysayers to the standard bearers of critical theory themselves, have converged towards a similar conclusion: judged by outcomes, critical theory has proven ineffective at best, and arguably, corrosive to human progress. In architecture, the debate has revolved around the identification of a ‘critical architecture’ in education and production since the 1970s. In apparent rejection of the isolation and purity of critical architecture’s orthodoxy, Rem Koolhaas and others have chosen engagement with the forces (and commissions) of late capitalism to which the term ‘post-criticality’ has been applied.Beyond the confining dichotomies of the post-criticality debate is a perspective offered by sociologists Ulrich Beck, Scott Lash and Anthony Giddens on what they have called a ‘second modernity’ or ‘reflexive modernisation’. This literature re-contextualises the modern-postmodern pairing within the larger trajectory of modernity and identifies a characteristic distinction from former modernities in the term ‘reflexivity’. Where high modernism pursued utopian ideals of pure form and functional simplicity, reflexive modernisation acknowledges contingency in human systems establishing feedback loops that trigger course corrections in the process of modernisation itself. Operating against the ossifications of twentieth-century modernity, reflexivity opens prospects for a second modernisation characterised by a heightened capacity to deal with complexity and time. Speculative architectures of reflexive modernisation benefit from a re-engagement in real-world problems, particularly at the scale of the city. To what extent can considerations of political economy, culture, globalisation, and environmental crisis be translated into the explicit performance criteria and computational parameters? What role is there for tools forged in the fires of ‘critical architecture’ in the emerging architectural creativity increasingly characterised by complexity, provisional outcomes, and unpredictable form?
... Architectural pedagogy focuses on professional training that is based on technical skills and capacity building, but doubt has recently been cast on this reliance on the technical and scientific aspects of architecture, highlighting the need to rethink the social obligations of architects (Architecture for Humanity, 2006;Bandyopadhyay, et al., 2010;Bell and Wakeford, 2008;Cushing, et al., 2013;Dutton and Mann, 1996;Rubbo, 2001). Every project derives from specific social, political, and environmental conditions, and the role of the architect is to identify and respond to those conditions (Barber, 2005). This is especially relevant in areas of political conflict where, in the face of social injustices and inequalities, professional neutrality is virtually impossible. ...
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This paper explores the challenge of reflexive architectural pedagogy in the ethno-nationally contested city of Haifa, Israel. It follows the experience of three Arab-Israeli architecture students who worked with a group of older Arab-Israeli women to map the experiences and personal memories of the women in their urban environment. This educational process compelled the students to face their own ethno-national identities and rethink their professional agendas. The analysis of this process considers the potential that engaged practice offers for working with communities in ethno-nationally contested cities and the possible effects of a reflexive approach on the students' professional education. Copyright © 2015, Locke Science Publishing Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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This essay considers noise in architectural discourse as it might lend form to issues hitherto tabled in rather different terms. We ask what noise offers this discussion or, perhaps better put, what seeing architectural debates in terms of distinctions between noise and silence, random and structured sound, silence as absence and pregnant void might add to disciplinary debates within architectural theory and criticism. By treating these acoustic values analogously rather than literally we wish to suggest that reading the late postmodern moment through this filter opens out new possibilities for a critical assessment of this period and its present-day legacies.
Sensing the Virtual, Building the Insensible', Architectural Design (AD): Hypersurface Architecture
  • Brian Massumi
Brian Massumi, 'Sensing the Virtual, Building the Insensible', Architectural Design (AD): Hypersurface Architecture, 133 (1998), pp. 16 –24, p. 21. See Gilles Deleuze, Foucault (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 57.
What is Philosophy? They continue: 'the creation of concepts [such as the diagram] in itself calls for a future form
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Felix Guattari
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What is Philosophy? (New York, Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 108. They continue: 'the creation of concepts [such as the diagram] in itself calls for a future form, a new earth and a people that does not yet exist'.