[Aug 14, 2015] Knowledge and Power in design [Part 3]
"Must we then place the practice of science right in the middle of the line that connects the Object Pole tot he Subject Pole? Is this practice a hybrid, or a mixture of the two? Part object and part subject? Or is it necessary to invent a new position for this strange generation of both political context and scientific content." (Latour 25)
After all, the main conclusion and emphasis of Latour's book is that modernity drives a false separation - or distinction - between science and humans, yet our educational institutions, like our newspapers, perpetuate this myth... the Myth of Isolation. As Latour explains:
"If the modern Constitution invents a separation between the scientific power charged with representing things and the political power charged with representing subjects, let us not draw the conclusion that from now on subjects are far removed from things." (Latour 29)
Here Latour is alluding to the Cartesian divide supposing distinction between subject and object. Architectural education seems to accept this false paradigm - whether on behalf of the autonomous object or social agency of design - as if they are not one in the same. We must not think, therefore, that aspects of architecture form 'parts' of a larger network that includes politics, economics, and technology; rather, architecture is embedded within the self-same network that Hegel would call the Zeitgeist, or ethnographers might call the Anthropocene.
This three-part musing we have unveiled over the last month form part of a radically rethought architecture-school curriculum we are using to formulate a speculative 21st-century architecture school embedded within an anthropological-network inspired by Bruno Latour's actor-network theory. Once LIONarchitecture has developed our proposal further, we will post our findings on the website and publish our findings.