Critical technology
A problematic development
in Dreams of disconnection
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More than an immense unit that would comprise a phenomenon that homogeneously broke with the energy tradition inherited from the nineteenth century, what must be grasped, by untangling the many threads, is the imaginary and ideological complexities of the idea as well as the persistence of conflicts of interest and governance that made disconnection a contested architectural and urban practice. The analysis of the results, difficulties and internal positions in the movement facilitated the understanding of its ambiguous success. This analysis must not however overshadow the external factors. The distancing of the specter of the energy crisis increased the public administration’s lack of interest and the energy lobbies’ marginalization of disconnection advocates. As the causes of this problematic development were often associated with its image of “critical technology,” the relevance of this description would be discussed in view of its founding concepts: the self-guarantee of vital necessities and the reconstitution of an economy of everyday life.

Dreams of disconnection

From the autonomous house to self-sufficient territories

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