The Urban-Architectural Form: An Emergent Vehicle for a Minor Architecture at the Micro-urban Scale of the Built Environment

By Bradley Angell.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As variants of the dominant culture homogenize under globalization, criticism of any single local dominant culture is increasingly applicable on a larger, global scale. This greater applicability to local conditions has an enhanced validity in architecture, whereby criticism of urban modernization has a direct relationship to the nuisance and overt marginalization of those populations who engender extra-modern values of community. Select communities facing disenfranchisement have reacted to marginalization by critically self-producing expressions of architecture within the dominant culture they wish to subvert. Termed urban-architectural forms (“UAFs”), these expressions exist as potent micro-urban spaces embedded in their host community.
Based on Deleuzean philosophy, a theory can be formed to analyze those UAFs who by existence assert a collective, political proclamation against the dominant culture. These UAFs can be characteristically proven to exhibit micro-scale forms of minor architecture critically produced by the marginalized population. Four UAFs have been identified and tested as they have been employed for this purpose, including the Isla Vista Recreation & Park District, Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Arcata’s Cannabis Community, and Student Bonfire. For each that proves valid, it is argued that those communities who execute a minor architecture not only avoid communal disenfranchisement, but simultaneously counter-modernize against the nuisance of globalization that originally threatened disenfranchisement.

Keywords: Urban, Urban Design, Architecture, Architectural Design, Disenfranchise, Marginalize, Critical Production, Nuisance, Globalization, Global Modernization, Deleuzean, Minor Architecture, Urban-Architectural Form, Tibet, Student Bonfire, Isla Vista, Arcata, Cannabis, Counter-Modernize

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 10.556MB).

Bradley Angell

Ph.D. Student, Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Bradley E. Angell is a licensed attorney and trained architectural designer, residing in Santa Cruz, California. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. His paper on this subject was virtually presented at the Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and Extra-Urban Studies in November 2011 in Prato, Italy.