Constructing Barricades: Politics of the Event & 'Weak Architecture'


Since 9/11, a constructed ‘war on terror’ has purposefully curtailed our freedom of movement and expression in the very name of ‘freedom’, with designers more actively complicit in architecture’s role to silently and subtly condition the competence and performance of the subject in public space.  However this barricade mentality need not involve the overt gestures of fortification currently enacted by architects who are called upon to shore up the borders. More ephemeral barriers surround and condition us.
This paper considers how transient architectures of control provide the possibility for resistance through a performance lens that focuses on the relationship between built space and the event. Positing the barricade as an architectural and social formation, I reflect on its shifting political implication as a contested site of performative activist engagement, positing ‘weak architecture’ as a sociopolitical design strategy.
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