This thesis will address forms of citizenship and political expression – their architectural and urban implications - as possible outcomes of democratic manifestations. In the context of austerity measures and their corresponding movements of resistance, spatial agency will be evaluated for the potential to design spaces that accommodate conflict and discussion.
Beginning with a study of the theories touching on democracy, activism and spatial justice, the argument will then be framed through notions such as dissensus, agonism, property, surveillance and citizenship, which will be evaluated against the context of Neoliberalism’s crisis in the contemporary city.
The outcome will be a project proposal for Montreal's underground network, which could legitimize dissent and offer a socially driven architectural platform for urban action and expression. Can architecture promote civic engagement? Is democracy the impossible project of architecture? These are the critical questions this thesis will address.