Multistudio’s Chief Marketing Officer, Bridget Lowe, contributed to an expert series on Madame Architect, a digital magazine and media start-up celebrating the extraordinary women shaping our world. Read on about a marketer’s perspective and how the design field constantly engages ethics in evolving ways.
I first fell in love with architecture thanks to a single brief interview I read in 2003, brief considering its impact on me and my life over the two decades to follow. It was a photocopied interview with philosopher and cultural theorist Michel Foucault titled “The Eye of Power,” a foundational text in the study of architecture, in which he discusses Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon concept.
It was in a literature course that I read the interview, as we examined London’s city streets in the 18th and 19th centuries, and how the design of the city contributed to the complicated, often tragic lives of many of the characters in the gigantic Victorian novels we were reading.
It was not Jeremy Bentham’s concept of the Panopticon that changed my thinking about space forever, but Foucault’s “reading” of the space in the interview. It created a foundation for me for understanding the power of architecture and designed spaces to shape people’s internal and external worlds in profound ways, transforming their relationships to themselves and to one another. Foucault, in his critique of the Panopticon, states in the interview, “A whole history remains to be written of spaces, which would at the same time be the history of powers…”