Lebbeus Woods – Political Machines

*original text can be found at http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/political-machines/

Political Machines

Cell phones are political machines par excellance. This has been shown several times in recent years but nowhere better than the demonstrations against the government in Tehran over the past weeks. Twitter and instant messaging as well as texting were used to organize the resistance and also to communicate its existence to the news media around the world. Still, people had to physically put themselves on the streets of the capital, claiming its public spaces as their own. The virtual world was still subordinate to the physical one, and actual space remained the prime contested territory, as the repressive, violent responses of riot police and the Basij militia demonstrated. If that is so, then we must concede that architecture—the design of physical space—still has a role to play in human affairs, even—or especially—those having to do with politics.


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