With their elegant looped and landscaped structures, the buildings of contemporary architectural practices promote free circulation between private and the public, work and pleasure, education and business.
Conceived according to the same models of networking and fluid interaction which are found in management theory, this is an architecture announcing itself as highly progressive and attuned to the contemporary imperatives of connectivity, flexibility and mobility. However, the architecture of the ‘new spatiality’ has in fact alarmingly allied itself with a neoliberal agenda – with important implications for our understanding of architectural design and its relationship with politics and control.
The Architecture of Neoliberalism presents a critical intervention, exploring what this alliance means for architecture and the inhabitants and users of buildings. We see for instance, how ‘elegance’ serves to obscure conditions of labour, and ‘organic formations’ work to naturalise financial imperatives.
Evidence is drawn from detailed critiques of contemporary projects, including Zaha Hadid's BMW Central Building, OMA's CCTV headquarters in Beijing and SOM's Roosevelt Island Tech Campus.The use of key theories is also examined, from Foucault to autopoiesis. Certainly, the questions this book asks of the architectural discipline – of its relationships to power and control, and of the real significance of its aesthetic strategies – demand serious reflection.