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Architectural Landscapes of Resistance: Carnivalesque framings of agency

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Architecture & Planning, Topic: Culture & Society, Topic: Socioecological Design

Ruoxi Li, Tom Scholte, and Claudia Westermann

This presentation endeavours to expand the perspectives of conventional theatrical performance while concurrently nurturing architectural paradigms that visualise theatre as an embodiment of public performance intricately grounded within communal spaces. Here, theatre connects to its carnivalesque origin and actively initiates agency, exploring possibilities of social change.

In the first part, the presentation mentions the carnival as a foundation for performances that inverse established power relationships. It introduces the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque as a basic principle and the introduction of performance to daily life to redefine social order and heal social suffering. Given the amalgamation of architectural elements with the spirit of carnival, I coin the term carnivalesque architecture to characterize this distinctive form. The research is based on an undergraduate final-year project in Suzhou, China, which attempted to offer a platform for engaging marginalized voices in dialogue. Through these interactions, which include human-to-human and human-to-architecture dynamics, along with a re-evaluation of the underlying meanings embedded within them, we enable the examination of new approaches to address longstanding challenges. Ultimately, this contributes to the endeavour of fostering a sustainable community. The second section examines Augusto Boal’s theory of theatre to explore the diverse connotations of theatre in modern society in more depth with a focus on their potential to generate social transformation through theatre art forms. 


KEYWORDS: theatre, performance, carnivalesque, community

RSD TOPIC(S): Architecture & Planning, Society & Culture, Socioecological Design




Citation Data

Author(s): Ruoxi Li, Tom Scholte, and Claudia Westermann
Year: 2023
Title: Architectural Landscapes of Resistance: Carnivalesque framings of agency
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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