Francesco Vitale
University of Salerno


In his writings on architecture Derrida defines it as “the last fortress of metaphysics” and supports the necessity of a deconstruction of architecture involving its theory as well as its practice. The essay intends to unfold the meaning of these propositions referring them to Derrida’s determination of the Western concept and tradition of the political as “onto-topo-politics” (Spectres de Marx, 1993). In the Western culture the political has always been bound to the issue of the gathering within space, of the closing of frontiers as the condition of its living unity. The place and territory are not simple material elements that add to the political, but they are essential to the constitution of the dream of the living unity of the political, the metaphysical illusion of a full and pure auto-sufficiency keeping alterity and alteration out of what we take as our own individual, social, cultural and political identity. According to Derrida, the deconstruction of architecture has to demystify such illusion and to open the space of a different practice of architecture. A space where the possibility of the relationship to the other discloses itself as the irreducible condition of each form of identity.

architecture, deconstruction, place, territory, housing




SAJ Vol. 2, 2010, No. 3