# 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|ARCH1300

## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|The Underworld

If we shift our focus from skyscrapers and mines to the whole set of artifacts that characterize the human-built world, we need to start looking at architecture’s history not only for its visible manifestations above ground, but also for its hidden subterranean spaces. As an analogue counterpart to the vast vertical expansion that characterizes the global cities’ skyline, in fact, subterranean spaces are a repository: an inventory of architectural forms, material extractions, bizarre experiments, and ambiguous episodes.

Mines, dwellings, vernacular architectures: in delineating a taxonomy of old and recent episodes, more urgent issues arise. These subterranean spatial products are not simply scattered or isolated cases. In their diversity, they constitute a whole, a well-defined territory. The name we will give to this composite field is Underworld.

The following pages aim to demonstrate two different hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that the study of the Underworld allows to outline a comprehensive history of the built environment and of its transformations, which takes into account space beyond formal or aesthetic qualities, and investigates architecture’s role in the so-called Anthropocene. Although humans, since early ages, have tended to colonize any possible corner of the earth for different purposes, it is only after the Industrial Revolution that the degree of ambition and awareness with which natural resources have been exploited has gradually shaped an invisible domain, parallel and complementary to our visible built environment. The Underworld includes, but is not limited to, subterranean examples. It reaches beyond its most literal interpretation to incorporate all those secret and hidden elements whose spatial articulation is not completely revealed, or whose internal logic derives from above-the-ground inputs. Underground spaces belong to the Underworld, but the Underworld is not always belowground: it can be inaccessible or far from the public gaze, yet located in urban centers. Bunkers, catacombs, aqueducts, and, more recently, data centers, and seed banks: all of these examples belong to the Underworld. The Underworld manifests itself not as a specific physical location or collection of objects, but a set of socio-technical and spatial relations that shape our cities.

The second hypothesis informing the structure of the paper is that the Underworld’s character-its conception, its materialization, its functioning-is essentially infrastructural. The Underworld exists to guarantee efficiency and to complement some of the services provided above ground; but it also exists to deploy a range of activities that otherwise would be prohibited or difficult to be performed elsewhere-with this respect, the Underworld often coincides with the most sinister manifestations of late capitalism, representing its black hole but also the deep reason of its prolongation and hegemony. In other words, one may say that the Underworld does not constitute a state of exception: its raison d’être derives from the same forces triggering the above-the-ground realm: settlement, trade, migration, warfare, epidemics. As François Fourquet argues, the city can be read as an ensemble of collective apparatuses distributed through space both horizontally and vertically. It collects, registers, catalyzes, and stores visible (objects) and invisible (information) flows. ${ }^4$ In this sense, the study of the Underworld becomes all the more relevant, as it shapes socio-technical relations, distributes resources and mobilities (unevenly), and expands forms of surveillance and social control.

In addition, the Underworld is a field for the operation of biopower, a spatial realm governed by what Michel Foucault called the dispotif. When outlining his concept of dispositive-that heterogeneous ensemble of discourses, institutions, laws, administrative statements, scientific enunciations, philosophic and moral propositions-the French philosopher also mentioned the role played by architecture and described how, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, political intentions manifested mainly through infrastructures, dwellings, and public spaces. ${ }^5$ In looking at the Underworld as a composite constellation of all apparatuses that fuel biopolitics, we can detect the instrumental character of any design process: whether they served to protect entire countries from enemies, or to store sensitive data, underworld spaces are the ideal terrain to investigate the relationship between power, surveillance, and individuality.

## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|Command and Control

Foucault’s notion of dispotif is particularly useful in accounting for the long history of the design and production of infrastructures of control. His own account begins famously with the Panopticon. A social experiment ideated by philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1791, the Panopticon represents the metaphor of how any institution-cultural, social, political-can establish forms of vigilance and punishment over its citizens. Its circular architecture is characterized by a series of rings: each ring accommodates several individual cells. In the middle, a single, all-seeing Eye-a tower representing the invasive presence of Power, which sees everything without ever being seen. And yet, while the Panopticon introduced the notion of constant observation and absolute isolation, it is largely an aboveground enterprise.

By contrast, the so-called Old Newgate prison in East Granby, Connecticut suggests a variant lineage of control, one involving the Underworld as a governing spatial logic. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, copper was discovered in the region and a system of tunnels was dug for its extraction. Ore from the mine was shipped to Boston and then to England to be refined. In 1773, the Connecticut General Assembly transformed the tunnels into a prison and employed its inmates as miners. Additional underground rooms were excavated, and the prisoners were forced to live and work below the ground. At Newgate, and thousands of other prison-mines around the world, panopticism is not a design requirement for control; it is enough to govern and secure the points of access, trapping prisoners in a world below ground.

The Underworld is also commonly produced and deployed for the exercise of state power and military control. In times of war, the Underworld expands rapidly through engineering works such as bunkers, tunnels, and shelters. Trench warfare during World War I found millions of soldiers living and dying in the sinuous networks carved out of farms and forests along the front lines. From 1940 to 1944, the London Underground itself served as an extensive air raid shelter for huddling and terrified civilians. During the Cold War, the fear of nuclear attacks led to the construction of a massive underground defense system, from missile silos and command bunkers to millions of designated fallout shelters in the basements of apartment buildings, hospitals, courthouses, and city halls. Today, especially in Western countries, most of these spaces have been simply abandoned or reconverted into public venues, such as museums and art galleries.

However, the expansion of the Underworld in times of war is not simply a defensive preoccupation. Often, the Underworld has been conceived as a weapon, a prolongation below the ground of warfare by other means. To some extent, warfare can only be fully understood in its three-dimensional character, as aerial views and maps offer a very partial picture. During the Cold War, for example, the U.S. Strategic Air Command built over one thousand intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silos across the country (see Figure 4.2). Although well hidden from American citizens, the Soviet Union maintained detailed knowledge of the sites through satellite imaging and espionage reports. Moreover, while typically secreted away in remote deserts or plans, most of the missiles targeted high profile population centers,

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## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|Command and Control

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