The Critique of Architecture in the Cultural Logic of Contemporary Society

On the occasion of the publications of The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Architecture Against the Post-Political: Reclaiming the Critical Project (Routledge, 2014), both edited by Nadir Lahiji.

For three decades critical philosophy has been in discourse with architecture. Yet following the recent radical turn in contemporary philosophy, architecture's role in contemporary culture is rarely addressed. In turn, the architecture discourse in academia has remained ignorant of recent developments in radical philosophy. On the other hand, contemporary radical thinkers have in various ways reflected on the dominant trends in the political discourse of our time and have declared "the end of politics," otherwise named the "post-political" condition. The post-political has effectively desubjectivized the contemporary subject by subordinating it to the depoliticized neoliberal apparatus of power. The last decade of twentieth century saw a turn in the discipline of architecture away from critical discourse that was the hallmark of the 1960s and early 1970s. Thanks to the so-called "discontent with criticality," the project of radical critique was abandoned and consequently the political, as a subject of study and matter for concern, was eclipsed in the practice of theory in architecture. By the 1990s radical critique in architecture was regarded with utter suspicion. Yet, the function of architecture within contemporary cultural logic of high Capitalism needs to be scrutinized urgently and be submitted to radical critique.


  • Keynote Speaker: Joan Ockman (The University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Alexandra Brown (Griffith University)
  • Andrew Benjamin, (Monash University)
  • Andrew Leach (Griffith University)
  • David Macarthur, (University of Sydney)
  • Gevork Hartoonian (University of Canberra)
  • Joel McKim (Birkbeck, University of London, UK)
  • Libero Andreotti (Georgia Tech. USA)
  • Rex Butler (University of Queensland)
  • Simone Brott (Queensland University of Technology)
  • Xavier Costa (Northeastern University, Boston, USA)
  • Closing Remarks: Peggy Deamer(Yale University, USA)

Organizer: Nadir Lahiji, nadir.lahiji[at]
Coordinator: Patrick Stein, patrick.stein[at]