In all its history, architecture has always been linked to power, Ralph Waldo Emerson said;
“The most striking monuments of the past, from, the pyramids to capitol, were shaped by architects
who were close to concentrations of great power and who were trusted with the great commissions.”
We claim that architecture is still being devised (intentionally or unintentionally) as one of the capillaries
of the modern democratic governments to transmit its power to society, but the question is, in
what way? Mainly architecture wields its power through emphasizing individualization and at the
same time extending its power over individuals by promoting the identical themes and mass culture
that reject the past, which is shared in their own collective memory, and hence exercises totalization.
Henri Lefebvre writes, “[R]epressive space wreaks repression and terror even though it may be strewn
with ostensible signs of the contrary (of contentment, amusement or delight).” In this paper we will
examine how and in what way individuals are affected by the emission and transmission of power
through architecture, and we will analyze modern architectural themes by a quick comparison to the
pre-modern era, and in reference to the two most important themes of modernity: freedom and individuality.
|Keywords:||Power, Architecture, Individualization, Totalization, Foucault|
Assistant Professor-University of Baghdad/ Doctoral Student-University of Auckland, Architecture, University of Baghdad, Auckland, Iraq
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