Politics of the Urban
As architectural practice increasingly operates at scales beyond the building, new questions about the nature of the spaces in which design takes effect have begun to emerge: no longer can the urban remain a ‘condition’ in which architecture resides when it is increasingly the urban that architecture is now actively reshaping. This research agenda draws together a diverse set of knowledge (from the empirical and practice-based to the theoretical and historical) to provoke and develop a whole host of new questions for architectural discourse to pose itself around the urban. Bringing the background to the fore, this research cluster posits that there is an urgent need today for architectural knowledge to engage directly with the urban as a discrete object of critical inquiry, site of theoretical speculation and milieu of radical experimentation. As it grows evermore planetary in scale, a concerted effort to comprehend this space from a specifically architectural point of view is necessary both to advance the discourse and to establish substantial interdisciplinary connections with perspectives emerging from other fields. Opening architectural knowledge to spatial, political and legal theories, infrastructural and cybernetic technologies, resources and economies, geographies and ecologies, cultural and sociological transformations, this cluster proposes to critically situate the urban as a central category of contemporary architectural discourse.