Hostile Architecture In The City

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The urban environment is the locus of various forms of violence. The city is a meeting point for peoples from diverse cultural, racial and religious backgrounds, a place where they struggle for scarce economic resources as well as political power. The heterogeneity of the urban environment makes it an attractive place for thieves, rapists, assassins, murderers, etc., who can commit crimes with little fear of recognition. Public spaces are the physical embodiment of democracy, their very purpose being to foster debate- even conflict- among the various interests that are represented by the citizenry. As the shape of the city and the characteristics of urban life are influenced by the way public and private distinction is made, the role of urban…show more content…
Writers have been using those strong adjectives to describe some of the architecture that has been appearing in cities across the globe. Hostile architecture is a controversial urban design trend in which public spaces are constructed or altered to discourage people from using them in a way not intended by the owner. This is a common pattern observed not only with the use of spikes, barriers, oddly angled benches, and even sprinklers, but also with local architectural practices. Hostile architecture is revealing on a number of levels, because it is not the product of accident or thoughtlessness, but a thought process. It is a sort of unkindness that is considered, designed, approved, funded and made real with the explicit motive to exclude and harass. Foucault’s (1975) conception of power is a common part of this subject. Essentially, power is a relationship between people in which one affects another 's actions. Power differs from force or violence, which affect the body physically. It involves making a free subject do something that he would not have done otherwise: power therefore involves restricting or altering someone 's will. Power is present in all human relationships, and penetrates throughout society. The state does not have a monopoly over power, because power relations are deeply unstable and…show more content…
To claim that a statement is true is also to make a claim to power because truth can only be produced by power. Human psychology thus becomes an important part of our analysis and understanding of how hostility work and impacts humans spatially. Focusing on the most visually arresting examples of hostile architecture demonstrates the crafty ways mistrust and communal erosion have been built into our lives. While a bullet-proof enclosure might be a reassuring promise of safety for some, it teaches all who see it to be afraid, to expect bullets, to
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