Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Anarchitectures. Guerre, science-fiction et activisme dans l'œuvre de Bruno Taut et Lebbeus Woods.

Abstract : Have you ever felt that the world was coming to an end? Do you know what one of your first instincts would be? This thesis looks closer at one of our most natural reactions: the immersion in storytelling. Leaving from Francesca Polletta’s research in the field of the sociology of social mouvements, the following pages are based on the observation that in times of catastrophe — may it be due to war, global warming or many other causes — storytelling plays an important part in the constitution and organisation of new collective actors that demand and create change, potentially contributing to an exit from crisis. If all forms of storytelling can help us act together, this thesis focuses on the political charge of a particular genre, that of science-fiction. Even if the academic world is barely starting to acknowledge the potential of this form of para-literature, the vast array of utopian, counter-utopian, dystopian, even apocatopian projets that dot the history of architecture shows that architects have long understood the subversive potential of this genre.Politicised architectural fictions will be our playing field: the corpus is made up of stories born on the realms of disaster at the dawn and dusk of the XXth century, as defined by the historian Eric Hobsbawm — starting in 1914 with the beginning of World War I and ending in 1992-1995 and the long siege of Sarajevo. These two temporal points are connected by stories and projets that belong to the same political family, that of anarchism — namely it’s pacifist branches — as it is understood and translated into architecture by Bruno Taut (The Glass Pavilion, Alpine Architecture, The Dissolution of the City, The Worldbuilder, The Galoches of Fortune, Mimari Bilgisi) and Lebbeus Woods (Underground Berlin, Zagreb Free-Zone, War and Architecture). Their anarchitectures are accompanied by the works of writers — representatives of the dissident and activist facet of science-fiction and fantasy — such as Paul Scheerbart (Rakkóx, the billionaire, Lésabendio. An asteroid novel, Malvu. The Helmsman, Glass Architecture, The Gray Cloth), J. G. Ballard (High-Rise), Gheorghe Săsărman (Squaring the Circle), as well as China Miéville (The City & The City). This overview will allow us to gauge through an architectural lens at the history and the transformations of the genre of science-fiction throughout the XXth century, as well as architecture’s changing attitudes in relation to conflict.Nonetheless, the subject is not isolated from it’s historical context. Shaped as a confrontation between two radically different visions of the future, the political positioning of our protagonists will face the fictions of rival groups, especially the pro-conflit stance of F. T. Marinetti’s futurism (Mafarka, the futurist) as well as that of the official architect of his mouvement, Antonio Sant’Elia (La Città Nuova). These fictions of a post-catastrophe architecture will translate themselves also into post-catastrophe bodies, since — in the good tradition of the modern avant-gardes — we will also reflect on the nature of the New Man they put forth. These “evolved” bodies will allow us to inscribe the radical, social, political and architectural dreams we study, witin larger contemporary debates on the place of Man in the network of life, polarised these days around the concepts of the Anthropocene of Paul Crutzen, the Capitalocene of Jason Moore and the Chthulucene of Donna Haraway.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : ABES STAR :  Contact
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 2:22:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 3:37:20 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 8:42:31 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03551078, version 1



Eliza Culea-Hong. Anarchitectures. Guerre, science-fiction et activisme dans l'œuvre de Bruno Taut et Lebbeus Woods.. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLD001⟩. ⟨tel-03551078⟩



Record views


Files downloads