A SPACE OF DISSENT

KEVIN MORRISSEY

The project explores the social condition in the city of Lisbon and the relationship of the urban fabric to that condition. It treats the neoliberal free market as a hegemonic force in the urban environment; one that generates a power relationship within the social condition of the city. In this urban context this power relationship is exercised through free market exploitation of urban space, whereby that space becomes an exclusive commodity whose exchange value is prioritised over its use value; to the detriment of certain social groups. Understood against this conceptual framework the project asks; can architectural space be a catalyst to generate a new social condition, questioning the established discourse that exists within society? Through the theories of Chantal Mouffe, Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre the project develops a means to resist and subvert these hegemonic forces, synthesising a new socio-political environment within the suburb of Marvila. Held in this post-industrial landscape, the project achieves socio-political change by empowering the people of Lisbon to take control of their own urban and social condition, gaining knowledge of the system they inhabit and agitating for desired change to that system. Through the project interventions opportunities are created to reconsider how city environments develop going forwards, challenging how our societies are developing socially, questioning if we are on the right path to a fairer and more equal social condition.

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