Architecture, Politicsand Consequences – Term Paper Example

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The paper "Architecture, Politics… And Consequences? " is a perfect example of a term paper on architecture. Politics consists of activities and affairs aimed at gaining control or managing a state. Although most designers feel dissociated with politics, it transcends the key areas of architectural practice. In any case, there would be missed opportunity here since politics is concerned with values and design would be nothing if it wouldn’ t be a means to embody these values. This essay argues that design is political since it has societal consequences, but architects are political since they are mere instruments of power.

Accordingly, to a great extent, political ideology informs, affects, and controls architectural practice, and architectural design. How political ideology informs, affects, and controls architectural practice, and architectural design Politics is often perceived as asset activities and affairs concerned with gaining control and managing a state or a government. Most designers feel dissociated with politics. In any case, there would be missed opportunity here since politics is concerned with values and design would be nothing if it wouldn’ t be a means to embody these values (Lockton 2011). A specific area of concern is the power that designers have in shaping the society rather than to use the power of design as a tool for propaganda.

Therefore, to a great extent, political ideology informs, affects, and controls architectural practice, and architectural design (Winhall 2006). In modern-day architectural practice, insinuations on the impacts of political ideology on architectural practice and architectural design came into much limelight in 2001 after it was revealed that it had the power to influence election outcomes. For instance, Florida’ s shoddily designed butterfly ballot was largely cited for their potential to cost Al Gore US presidency.

This perhaps became the largely discussed scenario among modern-day architects over the political impact of design (Lockton 2011). Indeed, the influences of political ideologies on design are all around major world-building designs. A typical example is the influence of political ideology in prison designs. For instance, in the last decades, a team of policymakers, educationists and architects teamed up to conceive ways of redesigning prisons. Prisons are indeed powerful indicators of how political ideologies influence architecture (Lockton 2011). During the 19th century, a predominant ideology in the American criminal justice included power through control, surveillance, mental languishes and awe of the state.

At that juncture, architects were prompted to design prisons that could repress any sense of personal identity and autonomy. A typical design is the Panopticon, which includes a circular format that has a central watchtower allowing an observer to survey and monitor all prisoners, without the prisoners knowing they are being observed. Panopticon has been documented for its capacity to have a controlling effect, punish and create psychological trauma rather than punish (Winhall 2006). The logic of how political ideology informs, affects, and controls architectural practice, and architectural design has been used dominantly in controlling social norms, behaviors, and practices.

Because of the influences of political ideology, architecture is generally seen to serve as a regulatory force and has been applied to influence and control the behavior of the public through embodying power (Anon 2009). The direct use of architecture by the political sphere to influence the demographic or economic make-up of areas has ranged from policies of Business Improvement Districts to change the social class of visitors in an area.

For instance, in the American case, the Tennessee Valley Authority during the Depression-era sought to improve impoverished areas using massive development programs through settlements to colonize territories (Winhall 2006).

References

Anon 2009, Architecture or Revolution? , viewed 28 Oct 2013, http://neilleach.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/architecture-or-revolution.pdf

Doordan, Dennis.1993 The political Content in Italian Architecture During the Fascist Era, Art Journal pp121-132. Viewed 28 Oct 2013, http://brianrwilliams.com/lesson_plans/HNLA101/FA12/week%207/Political%20Content%20in%20Italian%20Architecture%20Fascist%20Era-Doordan.pdf

Jacoby, S, Dipl, A & London A 2013, The Reasoning Of Architecture: Type And The Problem Of Historicity, University of Berlin, Berlin

Lane, B 1986, "Architects in Power: Politics and Ideology in the Work of Ernst May and Albert Speer," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 17, pp283-310

Light, A & de-Shalit, 2003, Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lockton, D 2011, "Architecture, urbanism, design, and behavior: a brief review," Architectures, viewed 27 Oct 2013, http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/2011/09/12/architecture-urbanism-design-and-behaviour-a-brief-review/

Murphy, K, Ivarsson, J & Lymer, G 2012, embodied reasoning in architectural critique, University of Gothenburg: Gothenburg

Parker, S 1950, "Architecture and Politics," Design Review Vol 3 Iss 3, viewed 27 Oct 2013, http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Arc03_03DesR-t1-body-d3.html

Stier, M 2006, The Trouble with Liberalism: Discovery or Invention? The reason, the Good and Rights, viewed 25 Oct 2013, http://www.stier.net/writing/over/overview_main.htm

Winhall, J 2006, Is design Political, Core77, viewed 28 Oct 2013, http://www.core77.com/reactor/03.06_winhall.asp

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