The Fundamental Protagonist

Author: Andreas Müller

  • The Fundamental Protagonist


    The Fundamental Protagonist



The paper consists of preparatory notes for a research project on the use and the users of architecture. It tries to grasp the quite diffuse figure of the user, its different descriptions and its more or less hopeful theoretical constructions. In many cases, the figure of the user is defined in close relation to its counterpart, the architect, in others it is derived from general social or political concepts. Architecture has to deal with people— at the very least in its built-form—involving them in specific relations with each other and provoking reactions. Therefore with every architectural design, an idea is constructed as to what these relations are and who those people might be. The projects of and reflections on participative architecture mostly assume that the participation of the future users of buildings in their planning is a form of democratic emancipation. But when we focus on the subjects of participation some questions emerge: isn’t it precisely only in the process of participation that the figure of the user is constructed, defined as an ideal figure and addressed as a counterpart? Which ideas were projected onto that figure (for example, about the relation of individual and society or about the concept of public space)? And what has that figure become today?

How to Cite:

Müller, A., (2008) “The Fundamental Protagonist”, field 2(1), 75–82.

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Published on
02 Oct 2008
Peer Reviewed