Contract, crowd, corpus and plasma. Architectural and social assemblages
This paper springs from Joseph Rykwert’s observation, in On Adam’s House in Paradise (1981), of a conceptual correlation between Marc-Antoine Laugier and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It discerns, in the condition of joints in Laugier’s Essay on Architecture (1753) and social bonds in Rousseau’s Social Contract (1762), an underlying structural logic: what I will call an implicit theory of assemblage. From this initial reference point in the mid-eighteenth century, the paper moves to consider theories of crowds in the late nineteenth century as implicit theories of assemblage, and ultimately advocates the work of Gabriel Tarde as a basis for explicitation of these underlying theories.