Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Farzaneh Haghighi, Is the Tehran Bazaar Dead? Foucault, Politics, and Architecture (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018)

Book Description:
To examine the political role of architecture, this book presents an original engagement with the largest center of attraction in Tehran, namely, its bazaar. Through a rigorous study, it goes beyond the conventional sociopolitical and architectural discourses of this marketplace by considering architecture as an event. This book offers alternative modes of spatial thinking on a micropolitical level. Emphasis is placed on the focused exploration of key notions mainly drawn from the works of Michel Foucault. It deploys effective methods and shows how philosophical concepts can be deployed as a tool to analyse the ways through which architecture transforms individuals through the act of exchange—whether of words, things, bodies, or thoughts.

“Farzaneh Haghighi’s meticulously assembled book brings together the philosophy of the event (principally from Michel Foucault, but interpreted and tested in conjunction with the work of several other contemporary Continental philosophers) and the Tehran Bazaar. Taken together, these two ingredients are put to work to develop a lengthy meditation on the event. Informed as much by the spirit of Foucault as by the detail of his writings, this text operates across a wide range of scales and places, official and unofficial histories, to present the reader with a rich and sophisticated portrait of the Bazaar, as well as with an expanded collection of narratives—archaeologies, even—that can resonate with and challenge broader architectural thinking. Haghighi advocates persuasively for the promise that event philosophy can hold for architectural understanding, explicating the former and extending the latter to account more fully for the relations between the built environment, human action and experience. In this, the resonance of Haghighi’s book far exceeds its detailed engagement with the Bazaar, offering the reader a stimulus that can reach around the globe and across history, to anywhere that things happen.” Dr Stephen Walker, Head of Architecture, University of Manchester, UK.

Author Bio:
Farzaneh Haghighi is a Lecturer in Architecture (Theory and Criticism), at the School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her work is concerned with the intersection of political philosophy, architecture and urbanism. Currently, she is exploring the architecture of the act of exchange (of words, things, bodies) by deploying the political philosophy of Michel Foucault through her teaching and writing. Her research seeks new avenues to enrich our creative analysis of complex built environments through investigating the implications of critical and cultural theory for architectural knowledge.

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