Emancipatory horizons: The possibility of a revolutionary architectural practice

De Stefani Casanova, Patricio
Emancipatory horizons: The possibility of a revolutionary architectural practice. Master of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Architecture has always been tied to social change, but also to social reproduction. Architects have sought to challenge social structures before, but this tendency seems to be in utter decline, is an emancipatory practice of architecture still possible? What prevents architecture from engaging in radical social and spatial transformation? To find out if it can still have a progressive function within society, its material relation to capital must be unravelled. The active human body, abstract labour, abstract space, fixed capital, landed property, and rent are crucial concepts to understand the spatial logic of capitalism. This research examines these theoretical issues through the historical case of UNCTAD III building in Chile, one of the last attempts to challenge the capitalist production of space. Through this case the difficult questions concerning the role of architecture within capitalist society and what are the possibilities for an alternative practice in our current conditions can be addressed. A radical alternative through architecture must acknowledge both its autonomy and dependence from the cities produced by capitalism if it wishes to address concrete change. To examine the function of architecture within the capitalist mode of production in its general or abstracted form, and assess the possibility of an architectural practice which actively confronts such function, constitutes the main objective of this research. A secondary aim is to analyse a concrete historical example of an antagonist relation between architecture and capital, in order to test the feasibility of my theoretical hypotheses. The achievement of this research has been to examine (theoretically and historically) the relations between architecture and capitalism in order to realistically confront the question of its political role in the struggle for the transformation of this mode of production.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-02 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capitalism, Production of Architecture, Abstract Space, Practice, Utopia, Revolution, Emancipation
Subjects: ?? NA ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 10:56
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:18
DOI: 10.17638/00011237
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/11237