Counterspace of Resistance in the Era of Advanced Abstractive Advertisement


Adtopia investigates the pervasive nature of the current ‘advertisement culture’ and the ethics of its domination of urban cityscapes. Centralising on the idiosyncratic nature of the Silo Park, the thesis argues for a reconsideration of urban art as a discursive instrument to engage with the questions of spatial justice and co-creativity. 

Informed by the analysis of the antithetical nature of commercial advertisements and subversive urban art, the core methodology of the thesis adopts the critical theory approach and the speculative architecture method. As such, this thesis establishes advertising as an epitome of the series of irrationalities found in our postmodern affluent society and explores ways in which architecture is exploited to incite societal marginalisation and disempowerment. This is opposed to an analysis of how distributed creativity, such as urban art, can re-establish an emancipatory symbiosis with architectural infrastructures. In particular, the thesis examines the act of subversive art, subvertising, as a means of highlighting the importance of individualism in a society that normalises the lack-thereof.

Silo Park, once a pivotal site for Auckland’s industrialisation, depicts an emerging trend of pseudo-public spaces. The thesis argues that despite its high quality and accessibility, Silo Park sees itself transitioning into an underutilised site where a finance-driven renewal has blurred the boundaries of the public and private. As a response, it suggests that on-site structures and typology undergo architectural metamorphosis through the subversive appropriation of the advertisement culture and the affirmation of urban art.

The resulting proposal is a series of experimental interventions placed throughout Silo Park, in which operations are twofold: first, to critique the dehumanising aspects of consumerist, advertisement culture; and secondly, to subvert the critiques by proposing radical structures that engage with the marginalised urban commoners. Thus, the thesis re-envisions Silo Park as a thematic urbanscape where architecture becomes a mediator that embraces the two antagonistic artforms, whilst channelling unaffirmed voices of the society.

1 Adscape
2 Identiscape
3 Urbannedscape