The sublime, affective process + architectural production

Lindquist, Marissa (2015) The sublime, affective process + architectural production. In Castro, Tomás N. (Ed.) Philosophy and Architecture: International Postgraduate Conference, 4-6 November 2015, Lisbon, Portugal.


A year before Kate Nesbitt’s Theorising a New Agenda For Architecture (1996), the author penned a chapter on the significance of the sublime and its contribution to post-modern architecture via the uncanny or disturbing through the theories of Vidler and Eisenman (Nesbit, 1995). Twenty years on, we see its ongoing presence within the contemporary works of artists Kapoor, Ellison and Viola. Eisenmann and Libeskind aside, explicit reference to the Sublime whether through architectural praxis or theory appears to have been trumped by ecological derivatives and associated transactions, as catalyst for new architecture and architectural thinking.

For Edmund Burke (1757), the Sublime was seen as a leading, an overpowering of self to a state of intense self-presence, often leading to a state of otherness. To experience the sublime is to experience affect, physiologically overwhelming the mental faculties through intensities of astonishment, terror, obscurity, magnificence, and reverence. Key here is Burke’s articulation of the stages of the sublime encounter, particularly so, its implications for the process of production which architectural theorists appear to have overstepped in their valorisation of the sublime object.

This paper seeks to resituate the sublime within the context of architectural production. Through concepts such as material thinking, bodies and making strange, the paper explores a shift in focus toward affective processes traced from Burke’s inquiry. Rather than proposing strategies solely for affect within the work itself, the focus lies upon the designing experience, where blockage and desirous forces are critical partners in the process of production, as revealed through recent studio programs entitled Strange Space.

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ID Code: 92500
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: The Sublime, Design, Design Process, Affect
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Center of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon/
The Author
Deposited On: 01 Feb 2016 05:24
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:49

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