The Urbanism of Exception: Not-To-Design and the Paradoxes of Informalities

27 November 2012, 17:00 - 19:00

CRASSH, Seminar room SG1, Ground floor

Dr Camillo Boano (Senior Lecturer and Course Director of MSc Building and Urban Design in Development, Co-Director of the UCL Urban Lab, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London)

 

Abstract

This lecture draws from Giorgio Agamben’s and Jacques Ranciere’s political philosophy of exception and dissensus, respectively, exploring complexly layered narratives and myriad contested spaces and territories that has resulted in an urban archipe­lago that is simultaneously fascinating and frightening, clear in its visi­on yet obscure in its pattern, rich and wretched, beautiful and revolting: the urbanisms of informality. Looking at the capacity of Agamben’s discourse to enhance the study of urban phenomena provokes possibilities of visualising an urbanism of exception through a categorisation of fields of tension, hinting at the numerous forces acting on space beyond physical structures. This framework, applied in the cases of Jerusalem and Bangkok and far from being normative and over-comprehensive, attempts to open possible paths of interpretation about exceptionality, conceiving the city of exception as the ulterior vantage point that oversees its evolution from a sovereign mechanism to a spatial materialisation. Drawing from this body of work, the paper will sketch an optimistic outlook on the possibility of design, urban and architectural in nature, centred on impotentiality and an emancipatory possibility for Urban Design found through the profanation of the dispositif itself, namely exercising a particular form of negligence against it. What will be at stake, in both forms of negligence (profanation and forsakenness), are the conditions of possibility for designing urban environments that could be fertile ground for a coming community through a series of
not-to-design praxsis

 

 

Open to all.  No registration required.

Part of the City Seminar series.
For more information about the group, please visit  the link are on the right hand side of this page.