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Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio is a French philosopher and architect who as a teacher is associated with the École Speciale de Architecture of Paris. In 1992 he became part of the High Committee for Housing for the Disadvantaged, and is currently working on the construction of what will be the first Accident Museum.

Virilio identifies himself with the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, under whom he studied at the Sorbonne. His theoretical work starts from the idea that humanity has always lived dominated by war, owing to which the logic of the military industry is vital if we are to understand the process of the creation of cities. Throughout history what has guided the world has not been trade and the search for richness, but war and the search for speed. Nowadays information technologies are being implemented in order to achieve similar effects to those of traditional war weapons: "from nuclear war to the information war." Contemporary confrontation in the form of war is played out by means of propaganda, telecommunications, and social control. All of these together induce the demobilization of society.


  • VIRILIO, Paul. The overexposed city. En LEACH, Neil (ed.), Rethinking architecture. A reader in cultural theory, London: Routledge, 1997, 381-390.


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