The disquieting workings of the "Uncanny": A creative device for architectural representation
Journal article, 2010
Fear has become an everexpanding part of life in the West in the twenty-first century. The architectural "Uncanny" is to be related with a specific kind of fear - an existential anguish without object (as opposed to fear out of danger which is always connected to something or somebody). The research into the "Uncanny" addresses a slightly disquieting, invisible, and often-forgotten component located between architectural praxis and theory, revealing a creative device in architectural design. Onheimelijk or "Uncanny" serves as a "positive" counterweight to traditional values in architecture (light, sight, visibility, and so on): it functions as a creative engine to generate meaning in architectural representation and architectural education. The current "culture of fear" calls for a better understanding and confrontation of imminent threats: this culture does not intimidate, but stimulates growth of human creativity through architecture. "Uncanny" facilitates an intentional understanding exploring grotesque possibilities in architecture and highlights an affective side to architecture. The transdisciplinary research examines how "Uncanny" contributes to experiments in architectural representation of diverse nature (e.g. written, drawn). By doing so, we implicitly take architecture away from certain conventions regarding (re)presentation. © Berg 2010.
Research by design