Psychoanalyzing architecture: The uncanny, the libido and the built environment.

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The essay examines the influence of the psychoanalysis on architecture. Through the analysis of Anthony Vidler's discussion of the architectural uncanny and Sylvia Lavin's architectural forms of libido, it outlines the significance of psychoanalytical discourse in architecture. My main claim is that psychoanalysis not only assisted in positing the human subject in the architectural realm in order to examine the ways in which they shape each other, but also that this discourse underwent a shift between the early 1990s and the turn of the new millennium. Initially focusing on the concept of the uncanny, psychoanalysis in the early 1990s offered architecture ways to examine the deconstructed, the void and the fragmented. Transitioning to discuss the libido in the past decade, psychoanalysis proposed architecture that would concentrate on the constructed. This shift marks a change in the cultural and intellectual perception of architectural discourse. The paper concludes with a discussion of the rejection of the psychoanalysis of architecture by Deleuze and Guattari, and their interpretations of architect-theorists such as Greg Lynn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalHagar: Studies in Culture, Polity & Identities
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 2010


  • DECONSTRUCTIVISM (Architecture)
  • ARCHITECTURE & philosophy
  • NORTH America


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