Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Architecture as a Political Act

Architecture is a political act, by nature. It has to do with the relationships between people and how they decide to change their conditions of living. And architecture is a prime instrument of making that change – because it has to do with building the environment they live in, and the relationships that exist in that environment.
-- Lebbeus Woods

Best known for his proposals for San Francisco after the Loma Prieta earthquake, Havana in the grips of the ongoing trade embargo and Sarajevo after its civil war, Lebbeus Woods is an American experimental architect whose vision of architecture and environment are more political than artistic. His publication of Radical Reconstruction in 1997 strikes readers with almost an apocalyptic vision. Architecture becomes a torment, or a weapon to the conventional politics.

Geoff Manaugh interviewed Woods, you can read the entire interview on BLDGBLOG.

Probably the political implication of that is something about being open – encouraging what I call the lateral movement and not the vertical movement of politics. It’s the definition of a space through a set of approximations or a set of vibrations or a set of energy fluctuations – and that has everything to do with living in the present.
All of those lines are in flux. They’re in movement, as we ourselves develop and change.
-- Lebbeus Woods

[Images: Lebbeus Woods, System Wien, 2005; view larger: top/bottom].

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