Lightning in the Night: Transgression in Urban Design
Castagno, Cory Alexander
MetadataShow full item record
Inspired primarily by the writings of Henri Lefebvre, this thesis is rooted in the argument that capitalist society inherently produces inequality. Further, the State, and urban planning as an extension of the State, serves to reproduce capitalism and in turn its inequalities are also reproduced. Lefebvre analyzes capitalist society and its reproduction via an interpretation of Marxism that emphasizes space. He argues that space is produced and that every society (re)produces and requires its own space. In response to capitalism, Lefebvre calls for the production of a society where the majority of individuals self-manage all aspects of life, and thus eventually dissolve the State and take control from the bourgeoisie (the dominant class of capitalism). Given this context I will argue the need for a radical approach to urban design as opposed to traditional, “State sanctioned” urban design methods, which I will critique using the work of Lefebvre and David Harvey. Specifically, I aim to explore the potential of adapting Michelle Foucault’s concept of transgression to describe urban design actions that experiment in producing spaces that cross the “limits” of capitalism and the State - embodying Lefebvre’s call for a new society. To this end I will lay out a working definition of transgressive urban design and examine three case studies of the tactic being used to address specific contemporary social issues: housing, gentrification, and control of public space. In order to better understand the application of transgressive urban design I will review each case study individually and then reflect on common themes that emerge from all three being considered as a sample of possible strategies in moving towards Lefebvre’s proposed society. To conclude, I will offer my personal comments on the project and the potential for transgressive urban design.
- Urban planning