Reclaiming What Architecture Does: Toward an Ethology and Transformative Ethics of Material Arrangements

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    Abstract

    Learning to account for material formation as 'embodied and embedded, relational and affective' figurations amounts to nothing less than an ethical project. This paper speculates on the agentic status of material arrangements to address a certain impasse yet to be overcome in the productive understanding of the built environment. In its central parts, it respectively revisits two favorite clichés of architectural theory—the Foucauldian dispositif (apparatus) and the Deleuzo-Guattarian agencement (assemblage). Therein I will reclaim their different conceptions of arrangements with the aim to outline where architectural theory could advance a radically more productive understanding of the built environment. The paper here proposes a tactical alliance with the flat, monist, and process-ontological angles of new materialist perspectives. Proposing that there is a clear project waiting for post-critical theory, the paper concludes with some consideration on how architectural theory could affirm this new theoretical agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)188–209
    JournalArchitectural Theory Review (online)
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Architecture Theory
    • Arrangements
    • Dispositifs
    • Assemblages
    • Ethology
    • Material Milieus

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