This chapter focuses on the reformulation of subject-object relations in urban culture
by situationists and Lefevbre and in literature by Roland Barthes, and considers their
relevance to architects.
In Discipline and Punish Michel Foucault recognizes the pervasiveness of social order-
ing in buildings. David Sibley writes: ‘Thus, the asylum and the prison, rather than
being considered exceptional, should be thought of as models which have a wider
application in society even though they may assume a more muted form. In particular,
pervasiveness should be thought of as a continuum rather than a dichotomous vari-
able. This is the essence of Foucault’s argument in Discipline and Punish.’1 Foucault
suggests that the experience of a building depends on the way it is managed as well
as designed.2 Whether a building is authoritarian or democratic is not dependent on
form and space alone.