The socio-pol-ethical confluence of the architect: the idiot, the activist, and the dreamer

Mejias Villatoro, Paco and Shafique, Tanzil (2018) The socio-pol-ethical confluence of the architect: the idiot, the activist, and the dreamer. sITA (Studii de Istoria si Teoria Architecturii / Studies in History and Theory of Architecture), 6. pp. 15-26. ISSN 2344-6544

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The political indetermination of architecture that seems to be normative today is perhaps related to our incapacity to differentiate clearly the diverse aspects that converge in architectural thinking. The architect’s role is intrinsically connected with three ways of actions guided by different principles and hence are substantially contradictory. As Daniel Bell explained in the 1970s, society cannot be easily explained due to the contradictory forces coming from the techno-economic, the political and the cultural spheres (Bell 1976). Following this logic of contradiction, architecture became inconsistent in its statements and weak in its positions by the necessity of keeping multiple perspectives. Against this impasse, where neoliberal capitalism forces the political role of the architect to be forsaken, we wish to bring forth three characters—the idiot, the activist and the dreamer—to reconstitute the confluence. We claim that only by employing a dramaturgical consciousness (Rifkin 2009)—that is to say, role-playing judiciously in each of these—can the architect reclaim his socio-pol-ethical stance by means of three tasks. As an idiot, the architect resists the social status quo posing naive unanswerable questions (Stengers 2005). The architect, acting as an activist, reclaims his political agency and his competence for acting on behalf of the community (McGuirk 2015). Finally, the architect speculates as a dreamer assuming his ethical role of engaging the imagination and desires of a community in a tantalizing common future (Haraway 2016).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: architect, politics, ethics, social, aesthetic
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Paco Mejias villatoro
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2021 14:45
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 14:45

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