Lecture at Städelschule, Frankfurt, 14 November 2016.
Considering contemporary trends to unravel the public space by replacing it with a merely seemingly public domain, essentially made up of a sameness that we appear to have grown uncannily comfortable with, the concepts of the Other, as postulated by thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze, seem more timely than ever.
The single most important point we are giving up is diversity.
The prevailing helpless surrender to blanket privatisation, which has turned vast amounts of public space into controlled places of assuming nonchalance, has led to a homogenisation, where the Other is not so much overwhelmingly “disliked” (and therefore actively expelled) but rather suffocated by encroaching acceptance of what seems convenient and comfortable.
And yet, unlike the loud blanket rebellion against “anything establishment” of half a century ago, architects are among those called to a much more strategic and surgical, and thereby constructive impact on society. In fact, this might be a task for which architects, among others, seem extraordinarily well equipped…