The recent death of Playboy magnet Hugh Hefner coincided with reading ‘Pornotopia’, Beatriz Preciado’s essay on Playboy’s architecture and biopolitics. Although I have misgivings about the book’s potpourri of spatial concepts (one example, tossing in Marin’s complex notion of the ‘neutral’ with no support or justification), chapter 6 concerning the Playboy Mansion raises some interesting relationships with heterotopia, particularly through comparisons with eighteenth century French architect Nicolas Ledoux’s ideal designs for ‘houses of pleasure’. The book is useful in starting to trace how heterotopias mutate through the introduction of new forms of communication technology, forming new subjectivities.
Preciado, B. (2014) Pornotopia, New York: Zone Books.
6 October 2017