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Title: Anarchist reconstruction: towards a political dialectic
Authors: Dyck, Henry
Keywords: Anarchism;architectural scale;The Complex;Sudbury, Ontario;Mackey building;reconstruction
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2020
Abstract: Today we lack a substantial discussion about what political-economic system should define our future. This discourse has been largely replaced by the hegemonic position of capitalism.1 The architecture I propose pushes toward a significant reentry into this debate, intellectually as well as physically, calling socio-political ideas of possible futures into action to engage in a revived political dialectic. This thesis will explore anarchism’s position in producing an alternative political space and the contribution architecture can make to anarchism. The anarchism proposed by this project challenges existing structures to prove their legitimacy and if they fail, deconstructs them, and then reconstructs them from below.2 On the architectural scale this mechanism can transform a building into a testing ground for new kinds of material processes, building systems, social organizations and lifestyle patterns. This includes the production and consumption of food, electricity, water, and a reconstruction of how space is defined and what new socio-spatial patterns might emerge. The project will not itself be, nor will it promote revolution, rather it will use revolutionary politics expressed through architecture as an argument for a space in which to explore and participate in a discourse on politicaleconomic alternatives through a material exploration. To this end, I propose an architectural process that engages in an imaginative dialogue of alternative futures.The project will be named “The Complex” since it collapses programs of dwelling and production into a single site. “The Complex” will take comprehensive ideas of revolution and utopianism and translate them into a heterotopia3 , responding to revolutionary politics from a position of critique. By heterotopia I mean a space that uses utopian principles but becomes a real space amongst other real spaces, proposing not to completely reshape a society but transform it from within. This heterotopia will invert and subvert the socio-spatial conditions that capitalism creates to explore how architecture can embody an anarchist critique of capitalism. “The Complex” will be an embodiment of a political-economic critique where criticism is embedded into a material process of spatial production where-from emerges a critical paradigm for living. The process seeks to step out of normative productions of space and uses material outside the capitalist system, shown in evidence through the thesis’ narrative and conceptual drawing. The project will be sited in downtown Sudbury in an old office building [called the Mackey building, formerly the Frontenac Hotel]. The habitation and build process will be an exploration of “The Complex’s” architectural unfolding over time, following the actions of a group of occupants as they reconstruct the architecture over 15 years. A 1:40 architectural scale model will be the set for the political ideas to be explored in a haptic material manner to better simulate the bodily action of the occupants on and in the building
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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