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]
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.