Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley’s most recent book is Transitional Objects: Photographs of Poland.

Wild Resistance: Adorno's Aesthetics

Owen Hatherley, 6 June 2024

Adorno​ is easily parodied. Photos on social media show him frog-like, myopic and bald, denouncing the willing consumption of dross, the personal embodiment of a refusal to ‘let people enjoy things’. Another meme features Reverend Lovejoy from The Simpsons derisively brandishing a copy of Minima Moralia: ‘You ever sat down and read this thing?’ (In the original,...

In Surrey Quays

Owen Hatherley, 8 February 2024

Scandinavia​ was the exemplar for 20th-century British architecture, the place that designers most wanted to recreate. Britain shared with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland a superficially similar history of maritime expansion, Protestantism, capitalism, Labourism and – in Denmark’s case – imperialism. And in the postwar years it aspired to the social democratic consensus...

Fassbinder was flamboyantly gay, proudly ugly, extremely left-wing, outrageously productive and had an astonishing eye. It’s easy to imagine him, if he’d lived, being one of those strange boomers who have managed a seamless transition to the new media reality, a Bob Dylan or David Lynch, posting gnomic tweets, putting out brilliant TikToks and hosting a podcast where he plays Schlager music and discusses Sex-pol theory.

In Battersea

Owen Hatherley, 2 February 2023

Myfather lived in West London in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a time when, on high ground, Battersea power station dominated the skyline. These days he travels regularly along the Southampton-Waterloo line, originally the South Western Railway. Where the line’s depot once stood at Nine Elms, there is a chaos of luxury investment vehicles, towers sprouting in every available space...

No Mythology, No Ghosts: Second City?

Owen Hatherley, 3 November 2022

For​ at least a thousand years, London has been England’s first city. The unofficial title of ‘second city’ has changed hands many times. York, Norwich, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool have all taken a turn. Since the First World War, Birmingham has generally been considered the UK’s second city. It became the second most populous city in England in 1911, and in...

London’s promotion to the status of ‘world city’ in the past twenty years has less to do with its diversity than with the opportunities it presents for property investments more stable than gold,...

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Almost Lovable: What Stalin Built

Sheila Fitzpatrick, 30 July 2015

Back in the day, everyone knew that Stalinist architecture was hateful.

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It hits in the gut

Will Self, 8 March 2012

Owen Hatherley understands the dangers of ‘nostalgia for the future’, but he’s too far gone to pull out.

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