To welcome in the New Year PROKALO welcomes Tahl Kaminer!

Critique and co-optation

Photo: Isabelle Doucet

Photo: Isabelle Doucet, poster design: Konstantinos Avramidis

Tuesday the 19th of January, 5pm 

2.13, Evolution House

Snacks and Drinks as always! – Open to all UG, PG, PGR and Staff


The resilience of capitalism and its ability to counter critique and address or repress discontent was visible in the last years in the deflection of post-crisis critique, expectations and political pressures, re-emerging triumphantly with ‘austerity’ as an ideological weapon. While such resilience frustrates radicals, the phenomenon that perplexes oppositional movements the most is, arguably, co-optation (récupération).

The process of co-optation includes a ‘hijacking of ideas’, the reaction by state or capitalism to critique and threats not by exclusion, but by a selective inclusion that transforms the threat to a more benign, palatable idea. Récupération is thus a weapon against critique, even of the most amiable kind, a means of producing non-substantive change in which power structures and relations of production remain static. The proposed paper will outline a theory of the process of societal integration of peripheral and oppositional ideas on an ideological and political level, identifying the manner in which architecture played a role in dissolving the threat of critique.


Tahl Kaminer is currently Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory. Tahl completed his PhD at TU Delft in 2008, and was Assistant Professor before relocating to Edinburgh in 2012. He received his MSc Architecture Theory and History from the Bartlett in 2003. Tahl is a co-founder of the academic journalFootprint, where he was production editor from 2007-12, and co-editor of three issues. In 2011, Routledge published his monograph Architecture, Crisis and Resuscitation. In 2004 he co-founded the non-profit foundation 66 East, which ran twenty exhibitions, multiple screenings, events and lectures in a space in east Amsterdam.

Tahl’s research has two main tracks. The first focuses on the role of the discipline and practice of architecture in society. It studies the manner in which architecture is determined by political economy, ideology, and politics, and the manner in which it affects them. The second track studies the means of social amelioration via urban transformation.