This research examines the relationship between war and architecture. In an attempt to understand this counterintuitive relationship, one must engage with the work of Michel Foucault, who theorised war as the organising principle of modern power. In order to extend such a reading to space, and therefore architecture, one must turn to Paul Virilio’s work concerning logistics. This theoretical framework will allow to construct a genealogy of war’s influence on the built environment. Critical theory’s role on this procedure, with its limitations and contradictions, will be then examined. Finally examples from recent war practices provide another perspective and perhaps some interesting insights.
The aim is to understand how specific strategic designs shape the built environment and what their implications are, in order to contest them. In this context one must renegotiate the designer’s role and responsibility. If, as it seems, war has saturated every aspect of social life - a process unfolding throughout modernity and concerning both space and how space is perceived- we must explore the political alternatives within architectural discourse and practice.