Pocket of Active Resistance

Determined to create a new social scenario, the Pocket of Active Resistance (PAR) system is a modular complex providing alternative habitation for lifestyles of defiance, positioning itself in a permanent state of insurrection. Its growth is articulated by the vitality of its spontaneous community.

A pocket of active resistance created by welcoming the discontented, this act of guerrilla architecture sets out to hijack the Great Arch of Fraternity to unite the forsaken, the marginalized, refugees, demonstrators, dissenters, hippies, utopians, and the stateless.

Since the creation of La Défense in 2009, world events such as Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the indignation movement in Europe attest to the embryonic development of a new social order.
Outraged by society’s unbridled capitalism, thousands of defiant citizens are occupying public spaces around the world. These are the foundations instigating a global “alter-socius,” uniting people toward a common ideal.

Often dislodged, the PAR is a system that takes over public spaces, or in the case of La Grande Arche of La Défense, creates a compact and solid structure to resist police action. The primary function of the facade is to protect against external dangers; a front against batons, a shelter against tear gas.

The Pocket of Active Resistance not only forms a shelter, but it also creates a state of protection sufficient to seat groups drafting alternative political scenarios. And to create a state within a state, it allows the development of a pocket insurgency that establishes a schism and provides for the development and reception of an autonomous zone.

At the end of the G20 summit in November 2011, and for the first time in history, over four hundred outraged protestors united under Gandhi’s slogan “be the change you want to see in the world,” installing tents in situ under La Grande Arche of La Défense. The Trêve Hivernale (literally the “Winter Respite,” a French law providing exemption from wintertime eviction) does not apply to textile shelters.


  • Type: Housing
  • State: Study
  • Year: 2009
  • Area: Variable

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