In this age of over emphasis on subjective approaches to forms of knowledge in the design disciplines Alejandro Zaera Polo’s essay is a. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Alejandro Zaera-Polo and others published The Politics of the Envelope. A Political Critique of Materialism. Seminal theoretical text to examine: The Politics of the Envelope, Alejandro Zaera-Polo Zeara-Polo’s The Politics of the Envelope is an exposition into the role of.

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As an alternative to historical directionality, this experiment wants to propose an analysis of the political dimensionality of space. Furthermore, it contradicts the dynamic nature of such a theory in response to global politics.

The Politics of the Envelope – Alejandro Zaera-Polo (Reading Discussion)

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Zeara-Polo proposes that historically. Email required Address never made public. It also involves the space that surrounds the object, its orientation in respect to sun, wind, views, etc.

A Political Critique of Materialism. The envelope is the surface and its attachments. Click here to sign up. There is no such a thing as a unitary theory of the building envelope in the history of architecture.

Politics of the Envelope | Begum Baysun | Archinect

In reality, he suggests this is actually a response to the way that politics specifically has created a social and theoretical response. You are commenting using your WordPress. Therefore, the left should embrace the market and work within it to try to promote a new directionality towards a more egalitarian, emancipatory future.


The building envelope forms the border, the frontier, the edge, the enclosure and the joint: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Facades and Interiors Peter St John. Instead of merely critiquing how social reproduction works through architecture, Zaera Polo proposes that architecture politicize its discipline, making intervention in the political sphere possible without falling victim to outdated forms of critique and rebellion.

It includes the crust of space affected by the physical construction of the surface, evnelope the scale and dimension of the space contained, zarra its permeability to daylight and ventilation and by its insulation values and solar-shading capacities. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Alejandro Zaera Polo – “The Politics of the Envelope”

Like artificial intelligence and genetics, the building envelope is now a technology at the vortex of the political storm. Remember me on this computer. But his point is well taken: You are commenting using your Facebook account.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Flat low slabs create vast perimeters which may create security issues which tower forms can more easily control and police their entry points and perimeter. He uses envvelope electronic music of an example of this praxis: Agenda Public events Lecture series Past.

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Help Center Find new research papers in: The purpose of the exercise will be a catalogue of examples and prototypes, to initiate a General Theory of the Building Envelope. Interestingly Polo finds possible explanations for the proliferation of certain types bubbles and blobs in a mixture of technological, symbolic and security concerns.


As architectural discourse this is an over simplification, and a contradiction of his specified references. The envelope exceeds the surface by incorporating a much wider set of attachments. This can be contrasted with the other types which have varying degrees of roof exposure, footprint areas or overall surface area. Form is there, whether traditional or avant-garde and when we ignore it we deny one of the few things of which we are truly meant to be specialists in.

In this sense, the very form of architecture is meant to transform the way people act and think in the world, ultimately producing political effects: Polo outlines four types — though he is clear in suggesting that these are not the only ones: In many cases we can decide the basic form and if we are informed about the political and social implications of form we can take these decisions more carefully and consciously rather than leaving them up to chance, fashion or the computer.

However, the subjective and experiential dominates contemporary discourse while at the same time denigrating any forms of knowledge that have a hint of objectivity.

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At a time when energy and security concerns have replaced an earlier focus on circulation and flow as the contents of architectural expression, the building envelope becomes a key political subject. For example, the flat horizontal slab think airport, mall, warehouse shed, etc.