The Signature of Power : Buildings, Communications, and Policy book cover
1st Edition

The Signature of Power
Buildings, Communications, and Policy

ISBN 9781412857185
Published October 30, 2015 by Routledge
254 Pages

SAVE $10.99
was $54.95
USD $43.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Advanced industrial societies are becoming aware of the impact of what they do to the physical and biological environment, and also what that environment does to individuals. In The Signature of Power, Harold D. Lasswell examines the symbolic use people make of their surroundings and the complexity of the way they interpret an altered environment. Transformed habitats can change experiences and behaviours. All people seek to maximize their preferred events, such as power and wealth, when they use the environment—be it through glass skyscrapers or Gothic estates. In all cases, physical structures give expression to the perspectives of influential individuals and groups.

This volume considers the complex interplay between the material and the symbolic. Physical changes introduced for political purposes by architects, planners, and engineers are guided by the perspectives of designers. These and other interactions in human society are simultaneous acts of communication and collaboration. Regardless of whether physical resources are used to transmit messages, such interactions nevertheless have a degree of communicative impact.

Physical structures may be profoundly affected by the purposes, assumptions, and identities of those people who plan or change them. Environmental design, says Lasswell, is an instrument of political power.

Table of Contents


Part I Analysis

1 The Military Arena: The Encircling and the Encircled

2 The Civil Arena and the Sharing of Power
The Civil Arena: Patterns of Interpenetration
The Sharing of Power: The Vertical and the Horizontal

3 The Phases of Decision
Dimensions of Decision: Differentiation and Demarcation
The Intelligence Phase (Informing): Gathering, Processing, and Disseminating Knowledge
The Promoting Phase: Mobilization of Support
The Prescribing Phase: Formulating Norms, Contingencies, and Sanctions
The Invoking Phase: Provisional Characterization of Particular Situations
The Applying Phase: Final Characterization of the Particular
The Terminating Phase: Cancelling and Compensating
The Appraisal Phase: Reviews of Performance and Impact

4 The Phenomena of Spacing
5 The Earth as Icon

Part II Exhibits

1.0 Silhouette Analysis
2.0 Decision Functions
3.0 Symbolizing Identity
4.0 Modes and Sequences of Differentiation and Demarcation
5.0 Centralization and Decentralization
6.0 Equality/Inequality
7.0 Arenas


View More