Deleuze, Architecture and After: The story of the superfold

Hélène Frichot

Project Period: 2012-2014
Type: Affiliated Research Project
Program Area(s): Critical Projections


The work of the French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze was fervently consumed and endlessly cited in architectural discourse from the 1980’s through to the 1990’s, and now, although Deleuze’s name appears less frequently, the legacy of his philosophical influence persists as a subterranean force in architecture. Deleuze and also Félix Guattari’s presence, even where these thinkers are not directly named, is rhizomatic in its insistence: facilitating the formation of new relations between ideas and practices; impacting upon the ethical and aesthetic issues raised in architecture; informing attitudes to the uptake of new technologies; allowing for the imagining of new ethologies and ecologies that recombine buildings, peoples and things. This project continues my ongoing research into the relevance of Deleuze and Guattari's philosophical, ethical and aesthetic work for the thinking-doing of architecture.

I aim to extend this research through feminist participatory practices, including critical spatial practices, and by taking recourse to the increasing influence of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as it has been revised and developed by thinkers such as Jane Bennett, Nigel Thrift and Bruno Latour. This latter theoretical framework of ANT, and its aftermath, includes the undeniable influence of concepts drawn from Deleuze and Guattari's lexicon. Furthermore, its tools of analysis have been increasingly taken up in architecture to revise our understanding of the material and immaterial relations between people, places and things, or diverse actors reassembling as the 'vibrant matter' of socio-political ecologies. Informed by the enduring legacy of Deleuze and Guattari, and the growing influence of ANT in architecture, this project speculates on how an ethico-aesthetics or ethics of immanence can be activated across different modes of architectural practice that range from the generation of new spatialities to the construction of new discourses.

Researcher(s) Bio and Publications

All Critical Projections Projects