The insecure ways of security
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"
"If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"
"Architecture is the expression of the essence of every society. But only the ideal being of society, the one that issues orders and prohibitions in an authoritarian way, can be expressed in architectural compositions in the strict sense of the term"
"The military camp is the diagram of a power that acts by means of a general visibility. This model of the camp, or at least its underlying principle, was long applied to urban planning, to the building of workers’ towns, hospitals, asylums, prisons and educational buildings: the spatial interlocking of hierarchic surveillances; the principle of interlocking. The camp was, in the hardly confessable art of surveillances, what the camera obscura was to the great science of optics"
"This obsession with physical security systems, and, collaterally, with the architectural policing of social boundaries, has become a zeitgeist of urban restructuring, a master narrative in the emerging built environment of the 1990s. Yet contemporary urban theory, whether debating the role of electronic technologies in precipitating ‘postmodern space’, or discussing the dispersion of urban functions across poly-centered metropolitan ‘galaxies’, has been strangely silent about the militarization of city life so grimly visible at the street level".
How are the social mechanisms of the “security demand” evolving in the 21st century? And more especially, how are architecture and town planning reacting, as disciplines for the organisation of space, to the efficiency of those mechanisms? Do they cooperate with the practices of security surveillance, as generators of order, or are they antagonistic, as designers of free spaces? In this month’s Intersections, Domus focuses on an issue that often receives too little attention: surveillance as a system of security, control and social therapy.