On Architectural Environments: The Aesthetics of Conduct

Supervisors: Prof. Mark Cousins, Dr. Pier Vittorio Aureli

Latent in Foucault’s understanding contemporary biopolitics is the implicit suggestion that power has become sensorial, operating not only on bodies, but through the environments in which they dwell. This thesis attempts to ground this provocation by examining the history in which architecture become increasingly environmental. Although environment is perhaps one of the most overused words today, at the core of the disparate understandings of the term is the simple, ontological relation between surrounding and surrounded—this relation is at the center of this investigation. Within such a relation rests the capacity of architecture to produce effects by surrounding, circumscribing, encompassing, or enveloping subjects within a given composition. This act ofbeing within or in proximity to a set of specific spatial delimitations influences the manner in which subjects make sense of the world—their ethos—in which their habits, actions and, ultimately, their conduct can be shaped. Far from looking at fixing the ambiguity by which we designate architectural ‘environments’, this thesis will instead attempt to historicize the political dimension of the spatial act of surrounding and being surrounded, and its capacity to modulate a conduct, actions and affects into space.

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco is an architect, urban designer and educator. She has collaborated with Arup Integrated Urbanism, Foster&Partners, Wiel-Arets, and Fernando-Romero. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Center of Contemporary Architecture in Moscow, among others. She has been a recipient of several funding bodies from the Mexican government, as well as a Collection Research Grant from the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal. She has held teaching positions at the Architectural Association, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Creative Arts and more recently at Iowa State University. She obtained her master degree from the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and was graduated magna-cum-laude from the UDLA in Puebla, Mexico. Currently, she is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Architectural Association in London.

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Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco