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The end of a metaphor and the collapse of the thinking subject


Loo, S, The end of a metaphor and the collapse of the thinking subject, Building Designing Thinking: 3rd International Alvar Aalto Meeting of Modern Architecture, 30 - 31 August 2008, Jyvaskyla, Finland, pp. 69-74. ISBN 978-952-5371-42-0 (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2008 Alvar Aalto Academy


Architecture sustains particular systems by which thinking is organised. It appears that the relationship between architecture and philosophy is not straightforwardly metaphorical, because metaphors themselves ere only possible because of an idea of architecture. The understanding of the architectural object as the exemplary articulation of inside and outside protects a metaphysics: it maintains a division in philosophy between metaphor and reference, visible and invisible, material and thought, internal subject and external milieu. This paper firstly posits a reworking of the philosophy-architecture relationship through a brief critique of conservative 'phenomenological' appropriations in architecture of Martin Heidegger's posthumanist notion of dwelling. This critique provides the impetus to investigate the implications of the end of the architectural metaphor for the construction of the thinking subject - a subject whose capacity for thought is always already an a priori divisive condition for its visibility as a subject - through two works. Firstly, surrealist Roger Caillois's study of legendary psychasthenia, a mental condition associated with an unconscious automatism in which the space between an organism and its milieu collapses. And secondly, Gilbert Simondon's concept of individuation which does not rely upon an [sic] pre-established consistent humanist model of the individual, in which the 'subject' and 'thinking' in the thinking subject need to be theorized as ontogenetic: continuously being brought into existence through practices that change the conditions of genesis each time. Architecture no longer provides the division between the subject and its milieu for thinking to occur, or for the subject to be thought, but it is the very taking-piece of relations between thinking and subjectivity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Heidegger, Caillois, Simondon, dwelling, thinking
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural history, theory and criticism
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in built environment and design
UTAS Author:Loo, S (Professor Stephen Loo)
ID Code:54135
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2009-02-11
Last Modified:2015-01-20
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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