Anarchiwhat ?

Nicholas Renshaw

Anarchitecture is a means by which anyone can adapt and add to the meaning and essence of any space. It is a way of making architecture and the control of it a little more balanced, between the people who design it and those who use it. Anarchitecture doesn't involve a permanent physical adaptation of a space, but rather works by changing the signification of space within the community that uses it. It is a way of creating a mental change to an area, so that from that moment onwards, the space is read in a different way.

To anarchitect a space, all one needs to do is to cause some event, or place an object within a space which either gives a different reading of the space, or adapts the space for a different purpose. It could give a new history or obscure usage for the place; it could be about adapting the way in which you move around the space. Perhaps using the physicality of the space in a different way than you would expect.

If this interruption of the space is done in the presence of the people who use the space, or shown at a later date to them, it will be referenced by them the next time that they use the space. Thus it will begin to become engrained within the history of the space. anachitecture works by word of mouth, it works because it is within the public domain and not within the structure of architecture. It affects architecture outside of the fabric that makes it up; it is therefore something that the commissioners of space have little control over.

The important part is to make sure that a wide audience have access to the intervention, as it is only by people talking about it that it will become part of the architecture. However if this can be achieved then one thing can lead to another, space, architecture and life in general can become more fluid in meaning, looser and less fixed. This would affect the architecture that is built, as it changes the culture within which corporations would have to build. Through anarchitecture we can affect the canvas upon which urban planners have to plan, upon which architects have to build. Users of space will have a direct input into how architecture is read, used and constructed.