Reading 24 – Vidler

The uncanny seems to be an indeterminate force within architecture. It can not be implemented in the sense other characteristics such as material or spatial relationships may be. It rises from a combination of effects and decisions, and ultimately may not even be apparent to the original intent. The uncanny may in fact have different effects on different bodies. The uncanny can be a pleasantly surprising affect for the inhabitant while posing a strong challenge of an uncomfortable nature to the stranger, one with no vested interest in the construction. It relies on familiarity ans as Freud found out, is characterized by repression. Schelling’s quote, which spurred Freud into this realization, points out that the uncanny is a revelation of sorts. By bringing underlying qualities to light, the object becomes the subject of an intense psychological struggle for familiarity. This struggle is a valued quality in architecture. It permits the occupant an experience solely attributed to that architecture. Whether that experience is boring and unsatisfactory because the uncanny is not present, or exciting and enthralling because the historical orientation is challenged and wrought anew, is entirely dependent upon the architect. Post modernist architecture is an interesting case here as it reached for some historical context, if only to ensure the uncanny, and challenge the occupant to reflect on that which it has seen or experienced before. By challenging precedence, post modernism clearly identified the uncanny as a repressed style and encourage it to the forefront of contemporary architect. It attempted a collective re-enlightenment,ultimately resulting in a heuristic presentation and critique of that which was familiar.


About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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