By Lorens Holm
Reading Architecture with Freud and Lacan: Shadowing the Public Realm methodically outlines key concepts in psychoanalytic discourse by reading them against key modern and post-modern architects. It begins with what is, arguably, the central concept for each discipline by putting the unconscious in a dialectic relation to space. Each subsequent chapter begins with a detail in architectural discourse, a kind of provocation that anchors each excursion into the thought of Freud and Lacan. The text is cyclical, episodic, and cloudlike rather than expository; the intention is not simply to explain the concept of the unconscious but, to different degrees, perform it in the text.
The book offers powerful critiques of current planning practice, which has no tools to address our attachment to places. It concludes with powerful critiques of our incapacity to change the environmentally damaging ways we live our lives, which is an effect of our incapacity to recognise the presence of the death drive in our nature. The text is an extended thesis – spanning the chapters – that the field of the Other is the common grammar that organises subjects into civilisations, which has consequences for how we treat the public realm in architecture, politics, and the city. The field of the Other is a slightly different slice through the urban social world. It shadows – but does not correspond exactly to – more familiar categories like private/public, inside/outside, figure/ground, or piazza/boulevard.
This title will be shipped after its publication date, 30 September 2022.
London, 2022, 23 x 16 cm, 160pp, illustrated, Paperback.