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  • Domestic, production and debt: For a theory of the informal

Issaias, Platon, 2017, Book Section, Domestic, production and debt: For a theory of the informal In: Stoppani, Teresa, Ponzo, Giorgio and Themistokleous, George, (eds.) This Thing Called Theory. CRITIQUES: Critical Studies in Architectural Humanities, A project of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, 12 . Routledge, London, pp. 222-230. ISBN 978-1-138-22300-4

Abstract or Description:

In recent decades, the unprecedented concentration of people in cities around the world, coinciding with the collapse of any safety net welfare state policies used to provide, have provoked a series of staggering effects, a ‘housing crisis’ possibly similar to the one experienced in 19th century industrial centres. Decency and basic rights are ignored and social responsibility or even a philanthropic agenda are replaced by the rhetoric of ‘bottom-up’ and DIY. Unapologetic entrepreneurialism is disguised and sold as emancipation. Spaces and neighbourhoods of extreme poverty in Cairo, Rio, Tunis, Athens or Shenzhen are celebrated as cases of improvised urbanization and self-building ingenuity.

Yet, there is no cause and effect relationship between space, architecture, the economy or the political. There is no architecture as a ‘representation’ or a ‘diagram’ of a power relation external to its own production. The domestic is not a scale of design, a ‘response’ to a given, predetermined framework, but the construction of the problem itself. The most emblematic object from the discipline of architecture that is used to unpack the above is Le Corbusier’s Maison Don-ino. Yet, it remains rather ambiguous. From a pure diagram of power relations, to an object that is often reduced ‘stylistically’ to its abstract, formal qualities, it is still as enigmatic as in 1914.

As part of a broader research project on Athens and Mediterranean cities, the paper will discuss this relation between urban management and architectural form. What is the link between the domestic, production and debt? How forms of domestic ethos, habits and practices of domestic life could be related with administrative and managerial processes? How this could be used to developed a theoretical framework to confront the distinctions between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’, representation and machine, critique and practice?

Official URL: https://www.routledge.com/This-Thing-Called-Theory...
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K110 Architectural Design Theory
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2018 21:57
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 13:46
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3576

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