Toward a Participation as Critical Spatial Practice
Following the publication of architect/theorist Markus Miessen’s hugely successful The Nightmare of Participation, on the politics of participatory practices in architecture, spatial practices and art, and the initiation of the popular pocket series Critical Spatial Practice, comes his timely new book engaging the ethics and politics of practice, Crossbenching. Following over a decade of theoretical research, the small softcover publication focuses on Miessen’s own architecture “platform,” Studio Miessen, in which he reapproaches the question of authorship in the context of a studio practice. Proposing a more discursive approach, he acknowledges the need for “an independent actor with a conscience” to navigate the conflicts, negotiation and maneuvers among the multiplicity of agents, both human (architects, clients, financiers and builders) and nonhuman (silicon, plastic, concrete and so on), that is architecture. Instead of using project-teams or working within the typical structure of an architecture office, however, Miessen assembled working groups incorporating “outsiders” on the theory that architecture and space-making is a collective set of interrelations crystalizing a form of civitas. Using the analogy of the crossbencher—the independent politician in the über-conservative British House of Lords—he proposes a reframing of architecture practice as one which operates on the basis of alternative and self-governing political parameters, hoping to open up a fresh debate on ways of acting politically. Preface by Austrian philosopher and political theorist Armen Avanessian, introduction by Swiss journalist and author Hannes Grassegger and Miessen, and postscript by Canadian artist, writer and designer Patricia Reed. Miessen is currently Distinguished Professor in Practice at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
4 ½ x 7 ½ in. / 112 pp
Retail Price: $19.00