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 - 25 Nov 2016

TitleRequiem for a Dreamworld
AuthorsSpencer, D.
TypeConference keynote
Abstract

Susan Buck-Morss, in her Dreamworld and Catastrophe, observed that the end of the Cold War was marked by the passing of the dream-forms of modernity – capitalist, socialist and fascist – as sustained through the experience of the built environment. If, following Walter Benjamin, we understand awakening from the dreamworld to be premised on the conscious realisation of its utopian fantasises, then what hope remained now, she asked, in the absence of any dreamworld? This paper takes up this question, more than two decades since it was first posed, through an analysis of the seemingly matter of fact spaces and surfaces of contemporary transit systems, comparing their techno-aesthetic environments with those of Stalin’s Moscow Metro as discussed by Buck-Morss. The turn to the unadorned, it will be argued, does not so much mark the end of the dream-form but its continuation by other means.

KeywordsArchitecture, Critical Theory
Year2016
ConferenceThe (Dis)enchanted Subject of Architecture: Between Neoliberalism and Neobaroque
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttp://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=3500
Web address (URL)http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=3500

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Material and Rational Feminisms: A contribution to humane architectures
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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

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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

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