The Architecture of Sex: Three Case Studies Beyond the Panopticon



The Funambulist and the Het Nieuwe Instituut present:
A Limited-Edition 16-page Supplement to The Funambulist 19 (Sept-Oct. 2018) The Space of Ableism 
(a treat to all print subscribers and the 100 first person to order the issue in its print version):
Paul B. Preciado, “The Architecture of Sex: Three Case Studies Beyond the Panopticon”

Editor-in-Chief: Léopold Lambert
Editorial assistants: Tomi Laja & Ella Martin-Gachot
Proofreader: Noelle Geller
Het Nieuwe Instituut coordinators: Guus Beumer, Marina Otero Verzier, Flora van Gaalen, and Pieter-Jan Oddens


Cover Proletarian Fortresses

On November 2, 2017, editor-in-chief Léopold Lambert was generously invited by the Het Nieuwe Instituut to attend a lecture by Funambulist contributor Paul B. Preciado entitled “The Architecture of Sex.” Following this memorable event, the HNI and The Funambulist collaborated in order to publish an illustrated written version of this lecture. This offers, for the first time, the opportunity for The Funambulist to incorporate a limited edition supplement to the 19th issue of its magazine (The Space of Ableism, September-October 2018).

This 15-page-long text provides an ideal complement to the text written by Paul for The Funambulist 13 (Queers, Feminists, and Interiors, September-October 2017) entitled “Trashgender: Urinate/Defecate, Masculine/Feminine,” which proposed a radical rereading of the architectural typology of the public bathroom.

In “The Architecture of Sex,” he articulates an architectural discourse analyzing the 18th-century brothel, the 1950s suburban house, and the contraceptive Pill as the historical mutation of technologies of power that produces a gendered, heteronormative, and racialized subjectivization of the bodies that are claimed to be housed by these architectures.

HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT: architecture, design, digital culture

Through its activities Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to increase the appreciation of the cultural and social significance of architecture, design and digital culture, and to strengthen the interaction between these disciplines. It combines a research-driven Museum, the State Archive for Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Agency for architecture, design and digital culture.

Paul 4
Still of Paul B. Preciado’s lecture “The Architecture of Sex” at the Het Nieuwe Instituut on November 2, 2017.

Benno Premsela Lecture Series ///
Each year Het Nieuwe Instituut invites a speaker to address current developments in the design field. Inspired by Benno Premsela (1920-1997), considered the most prominent activist designer and instigator in the history of Netherlands, this lecture series gives the stage to a visionary creator or critic whose ideas, working methods, fascinations and attitude reveal possibilities for radical action. The past speakers were Hito Steyerl, Benjamin Bratton, Mark Wigley, Matthew Stadler, Michael Rock, Werner Sewing, Ann Meskens, Józeph Mrozek, Henk Oosterling, Nancy Etcoff, Richard Sennett and Gunter Pauli.

Benno Premsela Lecture 2017: Paul B. Preciado ///
In 2017 Het Nieuwe Instituut invited Paul B. Preciado to give the Benno Premsela Lecture. His distinctive body of work offers a striking response to the conditions of the present day — including the geographies of pervasive surveillance, the simultaneous subjugation and commodification of identity, the policing of bodies across national, socio-economic and cultural borders, and the cultures of dissemination of fear, doubt and propaganda. His lecture revealed the link between the space of notional intimacy associated with the subject and the larger systemic forces of biopolitics, capitalism and militarized control at play.

A Quick Look Inside the Limited-Edition Supplement ///

The Funambulist 19 Supplement Sample 01 The Funambulist 19 Supplement Sample 02 The Funambulist 19 Supplement Sample 03

Ioannidou Stella

Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, curator, and transgender activist. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. He is the author of Contra-Sexual Manifesto (2000, English edition forthcoming in 2017), Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics (2013) and Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics (2014). He was head of research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), and is currently Curator of Public Programs of Documenta 14. Read more on his contributor page.