|Volume 7: The Architecture of Power, Part 3|
Not in May but in April of 1968, sprung out of a frivolous Zeitgeist, architect Hans Hollein proclaimed that 'everything is architecture'. It was an announcement of historical importance. Hollein did not only betray an adolescent confidence that the world was at his feet, but his words mark the beginning of an architectural adventure that has moved beyond personal audacity: if the world was going to mess with architecture, architecture, in return, could mess with everything. Projected against the waning modernist belief that architecture could understand, translate and ultimately resolve the greatest issues of our time, and confronted with architecture's declining position as 'just another party' in the building process, Hollein boldly claimed architecture could play a dramatic role in envisioning a new hybrid world.
Now, almost 40 years later, against the backdrop of a much less cheerful atmosphere of wars waged against this or that and fear of all risks that come with life, we reassert: 'alles ist Architektur' and architecture is everywhere. The paradox is that at the moment when architects pervasively complain about the loss of relevance, the battle of defining what is relevant and what's not, turns out to be completely architectural.
In the past two issues, this magazine has invited you to contemplate representations of power. First we underscored how power is found in the details (#5) and secondly, we demonstrated the force of power buildings (#6). We emphasized how power takes shape and acquires form. How it can be recognized. We're now taking one step further in our Volume research campaign on the architecture of (a counterveiling) power. This time we will show you how power is using architecture not simply to express itself, but to organize itself. Power structures and power relations think architecturally in order to be successful. And if you hope to challenge these structures and relations, you better do the same. A true Macchiavelli is always an architect. (And, a successful architect should be Macchiavellian, but that's another story.)
This is how we are putting the dictum of Hollein into practice. If architecture is released from its materialism and can engage with everything, it will become clear how everything is already dealing with architecture. Empires need architects, not as the servants of brick and mortar, but as constructors of cause. You may believe this is architecture only on the level of metaphor. But there is more at stake. Architects who strive to make a difference socially and historically move beyond the destiny of the simple built object. They may create the edifices of power that will leave a true mark on human history.
Reader, please find enclosed your itinerary through the landscape of power today. See how this landscape is fully designed, following a hidden logic, and revealing an intrinsic system of patterns. See how it is less important to see what power looks like, and how essential it is to understand how power is organized and built. Contentwise, we offer blueprints for fields ranging from language to celebrity culture, from art to money, from terrorism to demographics. We even unveil how it can be found in counter power.
Architects! Please take a look at your new portfolio...\
Show Me Your Room: 100 CEOs - 10 Rooms, USA & Japan
Architecture of Architecture: Exploding Practice
Architecture of Art: Towards Time Specific Art
Architecture of Celebrity: Homes of the Famous
Architecture of City Branding: Aiming for Clear Horizons
Architecture of Demography: Building on a Collective Suicide
Architecture of Excess: On Trumpeting Success
Architecture of History: Who Owns the Past?
Architecture of Internet: Fire Walls That Last
Architecture of Interrogation: There Has Not Been...
Architecture of Language: Euro Speak
Architecture of Media: The Empty Skyscraper
Architecture of Money: Re: Building the Common
Architecture of Resistance: Naivety as Edifice
Architecture of Security: The Safe City
Architecture of Terrorism: On Paranoia
Book Review: The Future of Fuelish Building
The Power of Power: Lighten Up!