Q: Do you see any particular architectural projects, either in the past or the present, as forces of liberation or resistance?
A: I do not think that it is possible to say that one thing is of · the order of “liberation” and another is of the order of oppression. There are a certain number of things that one can say with some certainty about a concentration camp to the effect that it is not an instrument of liberation, but one should still take into account-and this is not generally acknowledged that, aside from torture and execution, which preclude any resistance, no matter how terrifying a given system may be, there always remain the possibilities of resistance, disobedience, and oppositional groupings. On the other hand, I do not think that there is anything that is functionally-by its very nature-absolutely liberating.
Liberty is a practice. So there may, in fact, always be a certain number of projects whose aim is to modify some constraints, to loosen, or even to break them, but none of these projects can, simply by its nature, assure that people will have liberty automatically, that it will be established by the project itself. The liberty of men is never assured by the institutions and laws that are intended to guarantee them. This is why almost all of these laws and institutions are quite capable of being turned around. Not because they are ambiguous, but simply because “liberty” is what must be exercised.
Extract: “Space, Power, and Knowledge” an Interview of Paul Rabinow with Michel Foucault. In Foucault, Michel, and James D. Faubion. Power. (New York: New Press, 2000), 354.