Architecture’s Environmental Complex: A Review of Felicity Scott’s Outlaw Territories

Ross Exo Adams reviews Felicity Scott’s Outlaw Territories

machines of urbanization

Pre-Publication draft; forthcoming in The Journal of Architecture, Vol 22, No. 2 (March 2017)

Felicity Scott, Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counterinsurgency, 560 pages, 104 illustrations, Zone Books, 2016, New York City, ISBN: 1935408739, $39.95 (hardcover).

Reflecting on music culture, the late Mark Fisher spoke of what he called a ‘temporal malaise’ that had beset contemporary society, a term that describes a growing sense that the future, as a category, has disappeared. Late neoliberal, communicative capitalism, he argues, has colonised life in its phenomenological dimensions, an effect of which is to slowly cancel the possibility of perceiving a future. We’re trapped, he claims, in the 20th century; our 21st century cultural experience looks a lot like ‘20th century culture on higher definition screens’.[i]

Reading Felicity Scott’s Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counterinsurgency may reaffirm such a claim. Indeed, what is striking about the histories Scott recounts are the…

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