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Characters, Subjectivities, and Contradictions / House Party

Part 2 Dissertation 2019
Celia Chaussabel
California Polytechnic State University | USA
Robin Evans’ 1978 essay “Figures, Doors and Passages” analyzes the emergence of architectural formal and organizational strategies that prevented the exchange of ideas, collective experiences, and accidental encounters within the domestic realm. This emphasis on form and organization also characterizes the contemporaneous efforts by Rem Koolhaas and Bernard Tschumi to catalyze such exchanges and encounters. “Characters, Subjectivities, and Contradictions” critically analyzes seminal work by these architects, and suggests that an architecture more suitable to contemporary social and cultural experience – in which individuals freely navigate the Internet and participate in the exchange of personal perspectives – must exceed the formal and organizational strategies articulated by Evans, and practiced by Koolhaas and Tschumi, by enlisting the idiosyncratic personal narratives, world views, ideas, and fantasies of its characters.

The accompanying design project, “House Party,” demonstrates a hypothetical form of space – at once urban and domestic – that, through a congruency between its architectural affordances and individual subjectivities, guarantees continual reinterpretation by evoking the unfulfilled desires of its diverse inhabitants. The result is an expanded form of architecture that succeeds in catalyzing spontaneous and unpredictable events by aligning its performative potential with the subjectivities of the individuals who perform them.

Celia Chaussabel

Douglas Jackson
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