William Hutchins Orr

William Hutchins Orr studied architecture at the University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he is also a teaching assistant in the History and Theory Studies programme. His research centres on subjectivity, temporality, and modernism in philosophy and the historiography of architecture.

Categorical Refusal: A Philosophical and Historical Analysis of Architectural Politics

Supervisors: Dr Marina Lathouri, Dr Nina Power

This thesis re-examines the debate surrounding the political project of architecture instigated by controversial Italian historian and theorist Manfredo Tafuri. Using a “metapolitical” lens developed from the philosophy of Alain Badiou, it focuses on the manner in which architecture has been conceived both as a category (for instance “architectural thought”) and a really existing historical discipline. By highlighting the problematic nature of architecture as category when set against categories of progressive political transformation, the twentieth century Marxist critique of the architectural discipline can be reinforced. Image caption: Still from Peter Watkins's film La Commune (Paris 1871)