Perspecta 54

Perspecta 54

Paperback (07 Mar 2022)

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Publisher's Synopsis

A literal no-place, atopia represents the spatial end-product of a society seemingly flattened by supra-territorial flows of information and material. It expresses both a physical artifact and condition of mass culture, and like the global systems of production and consumption from which it is conceived, atopia is both nowhere and everywhere at once. For the contributors of Perspecta 54, the ephemeral conditions of atopia are also an invitation to an equally unconstrained critical practice. Blurred boundaries-geopolitical, virtual, technical, disciplinary-offer sites for transgressive speculation and critique from beyond the limits of traditional design agency. What results is a form of design practice that ambiguously straddles impossibility and hyperreality. Atopia rejects both the escapist fantasy of utopia and the nihilism of dystopia, favouring instead a conceptual middle ground from which real-world conditions can be productively engaged and challenged. Architecture's traditional objectives of critical inquiry-particularly the location of modes of complicity, agency, and resistance within larger structures-are mediated and reframed through nontraditional strategies of speculative design and fiction. For a profession that is routinely asked to navigate extreme complexity with limited tools, this approach suggests an expanded operational domain and possibilities for reinvigorated creative thought. From urban crises and climate emergencies to border disputes and geopolitics, Perspecta 54 examines atopia as both the site of architecture's critical confrontation with hegemonic systems and the theoretical space in which its own processes can be challenged.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262543811
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 720.1
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 1230g
Height: 234mm
Width: 308mm
Spine width: 19mm