Urban Decontrol
An Urban Refuge in Paris, France

Spectacle of the Self

Guy Debord of the Situtionist International, relates how in the modern capitalist world, people have become a series of spectacles and the established social, political and economic systems reinforce that way of life. In fact, this spectacle is what drives people, yet also what kills them. People have become slaves of this system, as it feeds their ego into oblivion. The ego can never have enough, and consequently, one becomes a slave of one's ego. The ego, in its turn, feeds off of providing the best spectacle.


Urban Decontrol

Architecture has been a tool used to control society: the panopticon described by Foucault, the urbanism of Hausmann and until modern urbanism. Architecture helped regulate and condition the actions of people, so people have become prisoners of their surroundings and their conditions. If architecture can create control, can it create "Decontrol"? Can it act as a Trojan horse that would hack the rules urbanism created & recreate appropriation, transformation, expression, exchange and dreams? Can the system of the spectacle be used against itself?


The Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse, the theater, is used as a figure because of its social nature, its ability to caricature and a whistleblower, revealing society's flaws. The theater introduced into the street begins as a solid object, but does not stand there statically being an end; rather it pours new furniture into the city inviting others to participate, appropriate and transform the environment... not just endure it. The individual viewer now becomes an actor in the city.


The story of a Barricade

An excerpt from Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
"The barricade Saint Antoine was monstrous; it was three stories high and seven hundred feet long. It barred from one corner to the other the vast mouth of the Faubourg, that is to say, three streets; ravined, jagged, notched, abrupt, indented, with an immense rent, buttressed with mounds which were themselves bastions, pushing out capes here and there, strongly supported by the two great promonoteries of houses of the Faubourg, it rose like a cyclopean embankment at the foot of the terrible square which saw the 14th of July. Nineteen barricades stood at intervals along the streets in the rear of this mother barricade."



True built form is not built to be exhibited, seen and fetishized; rather built to enable, excite and enliven. in theater, the arena of spectacles, the spectacle is about life or lack thereof. in controlled societies, jesters or comedians are the only ones that speak truths others would only whisper. is it time for us to break the barriers of fear & control and be speaking out?


Stage as Performance

The stage is no longer a backdrop; rather an essential part of the performance... and in the Trojan Horse's case, it becomes an essential aspect for the viewer too: to rest on and interact with the show. Life is not a backdrop for living; rather the stage that we harness, appropriate and transform. We are not viewers in life; rather essential beings within the sphere of existence.