Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst, Departement Architectuur
Reflections vol:16 pages:156-175
In the current age of unsettlement, my research is aimed at understanding and possibly incorporating existential anguish into architectural design. Inquiry into the architectural 'Unheimlichkeit’ (a reference to Vidler’s ‘the architectural Uncanny’ (Vidler, 1992)) addresses a paradoxical and disquieting force in architecture that does not intimidate but rather stimulates the growth of human creativity through architecture.
The inquiry into Unheimlichkeit proposes a specific approach towards architectural design and education. Unheimlichkeit complements prevailing values and norms in architecture as preset by society (commodities, light, sight, and so on). The architectural Unheimlichkeit envisages and embodies a ‘frictional’ design approach that promotes the growth of ‘other’ values in architecture such as mortality, empathy, trans-disciplinarity and alteration. Simultaneously, I conduct specific pedagogic experiments through a number of Research Design Studios entitled ‘Onheimelijk’ that are collectively organized with and by students-researchers in the St Lucas School of Architecture.
This article is intended to address a central question: How can Unheimlichkeit consolidate the architectural discipline (as we know it) and yet provoke thinking beyond the discipline? By provoking unfamiliar thoughts on the relationship between art and architecture, I inquire into the possibility of the architectural interior as a ‘frictional’ vehicle for overcoming existing dualities.