As a researcher of social issues, Kim Dovey, an architecture critic and professor, wrote Framing PLaces. He references several author’s opinions in this text, some of his favorite being Michael Weinstein, Steven Lukes, and Clifford Geertz. This author’s thesis rests upon the idea that the “notion of power as the human capacity to imagine and create a better built environment.” This piece explains the power an individual can exert through a built environment with or without the notice of the subjects. Dovey uses quotes and facts from a variety of authors to support his claim. I believe this evidence because he presents authors who have studied other subjects, not just architecture; therefore the claim becomes more well-rounded and unbiased. Rather than disproving or acknowledging competing explanations, Dovey chooses to instead bring light to facts that society completely ignores by giving thought to such matters. Explicit assumptions upon the belief that consciously or subconsciously all people are seeking some form of power over another person can be found in this piece.This work relates to architecture by giving categories to the different types of environments we build and showing the physiological implications of such. I feel this reading assignment teaches students that when we draw a line, we are also a drawing a wall, which will one day serve as a barrier that somehow oppresses the occupants of this space.
What type of power over do you find most prevalent in architecture today? (Force, coercion, manipulation, seduction, authority)
The author of The Edifice Complex is Deyan Sudjic, a design and architecture critic. In his piece, he included a story by Adolf Loos, an influential modern architect. Sudjic’s thesis is “Architecture is about power” as an answer to why we build. This piece explores an overdone subject by using modern examples to show that power in architecture is still relevant today. Sudjic uses examples of recently built structures like the Mother of All Battles Mosque as evidence to support his claim. He backs up these examples with relevant historical and social context, along with other examples of architecture. Sudjic acknowledges an opposing opinion that architecture cannot be design without political meanings. While it can be neutral, over time a building has the potential to acquire a political aspect. He makes an explicit assumption when he imagines Zaha Hadid designing Hussein’s mosque. This assumption supports a broader assumption that architects are defined by their clients’ political beliefs and can be affected by them. This piece matters in the field of architecture because it shows that the reason behind building hasn’t changed, but makes that old idea relevant once more. I think this reading was assigned to make us aware that architect’s design symbols of power. Our designs are not just functional; they are the statements of our clients.
What makes a building a symbol of power? (the physical form, the intent behind it, the client’s position in society, etc.)