A building that recalls : architecture as/and visual rhetorics

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2010-05

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Hoag, Trevor Lee

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Abstract

“A Building that Recalls” is a report that offers up the provocation that figures of housing are prevalent throughout histories of rhetorics connected to memory, and are of great ethical significance. One can turn to three key examples to demonstrate this thesis: Martin Heidegger’s Black Forest “Hut,” Michel Foucault’s “Panopticon,” and Lebbeus Woods’ “Scar” and “Scab” architectural designs. Heidegger’s hut reminds its viewers that a place of dwelling can serve both as a lesson in the dangers of nationalist memory-politics, and simultaneously as a model for overcoming fascism in oneself. Foucault’s Panopticon model reveals that the rooting out and “forgetting” of burned in social norms is difficult because subjectivity is a social fabrication. Finally, Lebbeus Wood’s “Scar” and “Scab” designs (accompanied with commentary by Victor Vitanza) show how an affirmative forgetting is possible in the wake of tyranny and trauma.

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