Foucault’s Relation With Architecture: The Interest of His Disinterest
(2022) Architecture and Culture
For over half a century, the works of Michel Foucault have famously exerted tremendous influence upon practicing architects and theoreticians alike. But what of the role architecture played for the French philosopher, who rarely addressed architecture exclusively or primarily as a topic in itself? The following pages assemble a coherent outline of Foucault’s understanding and utilization of architecture, based on his fragmented dealings with and remarks on the subject in what may be considered his three most well-known writings among architectural audiences: a lecture to architects, “Of Other Spaces” (1967); an interview for an architecture magazine, “Space, Knowledge, and Power” (1982); and a book that rendered an old architectural typology famous, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison (1975).
architecture; heterotopias; Michel Foucault; panopticon; philosophy; philosophy of architecture; power; space