‘The Use of Things’
A Seminar with Thanos Zartaloudis
organised by City-Architecture PhD program
In this talk I will present a genealogy of the peculiar notion of use in its fragmented and surprising journey from early ancient Greece to classical Roman law, later medieval law and natural law all the way to its consumation in positive law and consumerism (in for instance the user of architecture). A central plane of inquiry will be Giorgio Agamben’s engagement with the notion of use (especially in his book Highest Poverty) and an underlying complication will be the architectural experimentation undertaken in the work Archipelago of Protocols by Antonas & Zartaloudis where the notion of use is put to a critical test ‘in progress’.
I attach an extract from the Archipelago of Protocols with an exemplary protocol that participants could read in advance and which can be used in the discussion that ensues. My talk will focus on the historical-philosophical-juridical genealogy of use but I aim to bring to focus in discussion the testing of use in our architectural experimentation in order to highlight its potential as well as limitations with the aid of the participants.