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Architecture and Dissidence: Utopia as Method

Architecture and Dissidence: Utopia as Method Association of “architecture” with “dissidence” reveals an oxymoronic conceptual structure. The problem is not so much one of precedent - the paradox of looking to the past as a guide to nonconformist action in the present - as a logical impossibility. Architecture’s near total capture by whichever system prevails renders futile almost all attempts at escape from the given. Even Paper Architecture offers little relief from the near impossibility of doing anything beyond what is already possible. In fact, the visionary fantasies of Paper Architecture are escapist above all else. Although direct action offers up the possibility of acting upon the restrictions of the world, it usually takes an extra-architectural shape. Here I am thinking of the dissident Italian architect Danilo Dolci (1924-97), whose critical practice took the form of making community by resisting the government and mafia alike. In a more general way, this article considers utopia as method. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

Architecture and Dissidence: Utopia as Method

Architecture and Culture , Volume 2 (1): 15 – Mar 1, 2014

Architecture and Dissidence: Utopia as Method

Architecture and Culture , Volume 2 (1): 15 – Mar 1, 2014

Abstract

Association of “architecture” with “dissidence” reveals an oxymoronic conceptual structure. The problem is not so much one of precedent - the paradox of looking to the past as a guide to nonconformist action in the present - as a logical impossibility. Architecture’s near total capture by whichever system prevails renders futile almost all attempts at escape from the given. Even Paper Architecture offers little relief from the near impossibility of doing anything beyond what is already possible. In fact, the visionary fantasies of Paper Architecture are escapist above all else. Although direct action offers up the possibility of acting upon the restrictions of the world, it usually takes an extra-architectural shape. Here I am thinking of the dissident Italian architect Danilo Dolci (1924-97), whose critical practice took the form of making community by resisting the government and mafia alike. In a more general way, this article considers utopia as method.

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References (34)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.2752/175145214X13796096691481
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Association of “architecture” with “dissidence” reveals an oxymoronic conceptual structure. The problem is not so much one of precedent - the paradox of looking to the past as a guide to nonconformist action in the present - as a logical impossibility. Architecture’s near total capture by whichever system prevails renders futile almost all attempts at escape from the given. Even Paper Architecture offers little relief from the near impossibility of doing anything beyond what is already possible. In fact, the visionary fantasies of Paper Architecture are escapist above all else. Although direct action offers up the possibility of acting upon the restrictions of the world, it usually takes an extra-architectural shape. Here I am thinking of the dissident Italian architect Danilo Dolci (1924-97), whose critical practice took the form of making community by resisting the government and mafia alike. In a more general way, this article considers utopia as method.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 1, 2014

Keywords: utopia; method; utopia as method; Danilo Dolci; critical practice; architecture

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