Robert Alexander Gorny
Accounting for historical formation as intensive formations of a material milieu amounts to nothing less than an ethical project. This paper proposes an ethological approach to architectural arrangements to over- come an impasse in the understanding of the built environment. In its central parts, it respectively revisits two favourite cliches of architectural theory: the Foucauldian dispositif (apparatus) and the Deleuzo- Guattarian agencement (assemblage). By reclaiming their different ontological conceptions of material arrangements, the paper challenges reductive readings of architectural apparatus and advance a more “machinic” reading of architecture. Therein, it proposes a tactical alliance with the flat, monist, and matter- oriented methodologies of such new-materialist theorists as Barad and Braidotti, that help reconsider its arrangements more ecosystemically as “embodied and embedded, relational and affective” figurations. Suggesting a clear theoretical challenge waiting to be taken up, the paper considers how architectural theory could advance such a radically productive conception of the built environment.
Keywords: Arrangements; dispositifs; ethology; material milieus