Smooth operators: architectural Deleuzism in societies of control

Spencer, D. 2012. Smooth operators: architectural Deleuzism in societies of control. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Architecture and the Built Environment

TitleSmooth operators: architectural Deleuzism in societies of control
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsSpencer, D.
Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the contributions of certain tendencies in

architecture to the operation of contemporary modalities of power,

especially in respect of its processes of subjectivation. Focused upon the

mechanisms of what the philosopher Gilles Deleuze termed a ‘society of

control’, it also attends to the presentation by figures prominent within

architectural theory and practice—through their own translations of

Deleuze, and his writings with Félix Guattari, as well as their mobilisations

of ‘complexity theory’—of their servicing of this emergent mode of power

as being in some way ‘progressive’. Naming this tendency in contemporary

architectural discourse and practice ‘architectural Deleuzism’, and drawing

upon a range of thought including that of Deleuze and Guattari themselves,

as well as the work of Michel Foucault, the Frankfurt School and more

contemporary critical perspectives, I contest its claims to the progressive in

any sense other than that in which it serves the advancement of the

marketisation of everyday life, its conditions of precarity, and its

concomitant instrumentalisation of the communicative and affective

capacities of human subjectivity.

This critique is pursued through an analysis of the ways in which figures

such as Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Farshid

Moussavi and Jeff Kipnis, in their mobilisations of conceptual figures drawn

from the thought of Deleuze and Guattari, have attempted to annul the

practice of critique within architectural culture so as to clear the ground for

a ‘post-critical’ affirmation of architecture’s contributions to corporate,

entrepreneurial and governmental operations. I also attend, as the means

through which to contest this affirmation, to the analysis of key architectural

projects in the fields of industrial manufacture, office work, education,

consumerism and media production, and the orientation of their design

toward the production of swarm-modelled labourers, ‘citizen-consumers’,

‘nomadic’ student-entrepreneurs and re-engineered publics.

Year2012
FileDouglas_SPENCER.pdf
Publication dates
Completed2012

Related outputs

Agency and Artifice in the Environment of Neoliberalism
Spencer, D. 2018. Agency and Artifice in the Environment of Neoliberalism. in: Waterman, T. and Wall, E. (ed.) Landscape and Agency: Critical Essays London and New York Routledge.

Material and Rational Feminisms: A contribution to humane architectures
Spencer, D. and Rawes, P. 2017. Material and Rational Feminisms: A contribution to humane architectures. in: Frichot, H., Gabrielsson, C. and Runting, H. (ed.) Architecture and Feminisms Ecologies, Economies, Technologies London Routledge. pp. 153-162

Space After Spectacle
Spencer, D. 2017. Space After Spectacle. Architecture, Phantasmagoria and the Culture of Contemporary Capitalism. Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 31 Mar - 01 Apr 2017

Environments of Indifference: Architecture and Algorithmic Governmentality
Spencer, D. 2017. Environments of Indifference: Architecture and Algorithmic Governmentality. Architecture, Natures and Data: The Politics of Environments. Tallinn, Estonia 20 - 23 Apr 2017

Dumb Abstraction: Semper, Kracauer, and the Superficial Materialism of Architecture
Spencer, D. 2017. Dumb Abstraction: Semper, Kracauer, and the Superficial Materialism of Architecture . Praznine. 1 (10), pp. 23-30.

Requiem for a Dreamworld
Spencer, D. 2016. Requiem for a Dreamworld . The (Dis)enchanted Subject of Architecture: Between Neoliberalism and Neobaroque. Architectural Association, London 25 - 26 Nov 2016

Material and Rational Feminisms
Spencer, D. and Rawes, P. 2016. Material and Rational Feminisms. Architecture and Feminisms: 13th International AHRA Conference. KTH, Stockholm, Sweden 17 - 20 Nov 2016

Immediate Affect: Architecture, Neoliberalism and the Patterning of Experience
Spencer, D. 2016. Immediate Affect: Architecture, Neoliberalism and the Patterning of Experience. The Architecture of Deregulations: Postmodernism, Politics and the Built Environment in Europe 1975-1995. KTH, Stockholm, Sweden 10 - 13 Mar 2016

Less than Enough: A Critique of Aureli
Spencer, D. 2016. Less than Enough: A Critique of Aureli. in: Stoppani, T., Ponzo, G. and Themistokleous, G. (ed.) This Thing Called Theory London and New York Routledge. pp. 283-291

Out of the Loop: Architecture, Automation and Cognitive Disinvestment
Spencer, D. 2016. Out of the Loop: Architecture, Automation and Cognitive Disinvestment. Volume #49: Hello World. 49, pp. 7-10.

The Limits of Limits: Schmitt, Aureli, and the Geopolitical Ontology of the Island
Spencer, D. 2016. The Limits of Limits: Schmitt, Aureli, and the Geopolitical Ontology of the Island. in: Daou, D. and Pérez-Ramos, P. (ed.) New Geographies 08: Island Cambridge, MA Harvard University: Graduate School of Design. pp. 118-127

The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Architecture Became an Instrument of Control and Compliance
Spencer, D. 2016. The Architecture of Neoliberalism: How Architecture Became an Instrument of Control and Compliance. London Bloomsbury Academic.

Nature is the Dummy: Circulations of the Metabolic
Spencer, D. 2014. Nature is the Dummy: Circulations of the Metabolic. in: Ibanez, D and Katsikis, N (ed.) Grounding Metabolism: New Geographies 06 Harvard, MA Harvard University: Graduate School of Design. pp. 108-113

The Architecture of managerialism: OMA, CCTV, and the post-political
Spencer, D. 2014. The Architecture of managerialism: OMA, CCTV, and the post-political. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) Architecture Against the Post-Political: Essays in Reclaiming the Critical Project London and New York Routledge. pp. 151-166

The New Phantasmagoria: Transcoding the Violence of Financial Capitalism
Spencer, D. 2014. The New Phantasmagoria: Transcoding the Violence of Financial Capitalism. in: Lahiji, N. (ed.) The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture London, New Dehli, New York, Sydney Bloomsbury. pp. 79-94

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8z93y/smooth-operators-architectural-deleuzism-in-societies-of-control


Share this
Tweet
Email