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Scapegoat issue 02: Materialism

29 × 43 cm

Materialism continues the commitment of our first two issues on Property and Service to examine foundational yet overlooked concepts in architecture and landscape architecture. In our estimation, these disciplines are haunted by materialism. We see its specular presence invoked in design research’s emphasis on large-scale flows and sites of material production, in the renewed focus on ‘performance’ and the rehabilitation of functionalism, in the centrality of ‘material’ as an expressive layer of tectonics, and through the import of non-human actors into discussions about spatial design. Each of the above invokes matter as its base.

While matter and materials are at the center of both study and practice, designers rarely call themselves materialists. And, while discourses of materialism have tended to focus on humans, when ‘materials’ are discussed within architecture and landscape architecture practice, they typically refer to that which isn’t human. As such, materialism’s philosophical and political economic legacies, not least of which would include the inquiry into the nature and condition of freedom and autonomy, are silenced. This issue of Scapegoat analyses the cost of this forgetting as it conjures the ghosts of materialism.


AK Thompson: Matter’s Most Modern Configuration: Rivera, Picasso, and Benjamin’s Dialectical Image

Andrew Payne: What’s the Matter with Materialism?

Scapegoat Says: Coinage and Code: A Conversation w/ David Graeber

Curt Gambetta: Material Movements: Cement and the Globalization of Material Technologies

Kirsty Robertson: Erasing Environment: The Soldier of the Future and Utopian Textiles

Eric Cazdyn: The Semi-ology of Disaster: or, Toward a Non-Moralizing Materialism

Jane Bennett and Alex Livingston: Philosophy in the Wild: Listening to ‘Things’ in Baltimore

Una Chadhuri: Queering the Green Man, Reframing the Garden: Marina Zurkow’s Mesocosm (Northumberland UK)


Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos: Werker Magazine

Société Réaliste: Commonscript

LAAC Architects, Stiefel Kramer Architecture: Landhausplatz

100 Landschaftarchitektur Thilo Folkerts and Rodney LaTourelle: Jardin de la Connaissance

Kika Thorne, Prinzessinnengarten, and b_books: a bar IST a garden IST a café IST a reading room

Owen Hatherley: Not Concrete

James Khamsi: Wrapped up in Tyvek

Agitating Architecture: A conversation with Catie Newell of Alibi Studio

Dan Handel, Justin Fowler: Counter-plots

Byron White and Jeff Powers: Canada’s Oil Sands: Scales and Perspectives


Francesco Gagliardi: No Order No1

James Macgillivray: Unter Kontrolle

Scott Sørli: Feminist Practices


  1. Scapegoat issue 02: Materialism

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