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Here be monstrous architects: “Horror in Architecture" the reanimated edition

#1
C C Offline
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/here...hitecture/

INTRO: While driving through a neighborhood that endlessly replicates clone homes or traveling a city where once bustling factories have shuttered their industry, one might wonder who designed these domestic dystopias and apocalyptic sites. [...In...] “Horror in Architecture: The Reanimated Edition” (2024), Joshua Comaroff and Ong Ker-Shing provide an answer: modernity did.

With the grotesque expansion of industry, commerce, and consumerism, the last two centuries have produced hideous progeny. Comaroff and Ker-Shing illuminate the cultural shadows these structural monstrosities cast, shattering illusions of progress by examining the terrors caused by (un)natural innovations—natural in that these innovations “embody processes of genuine consequence,” unnatural in that they are necessitated by the “perverse effects of modernity.”

Through explication and comparison—explaining the exigence and evolution of buildings, then paralleling these histories and features to horror tropes—the authors establish why we should pay attention to these structures: they are spaces whose spatiality is not just made of wood and metal, but also crisis, which is their true cement. The authors insist that the horror such architectures externalize should urgently be considered, for such horror is embedded within our social and economic systems and, if not heeded, in our futures.

Comaroff and Ker-Shing have revised their initial thesis (from the original 2013 text), using responses from critics and experts “to make clear why architecture matters” as well as “how interesting times make interesting buildings.” Because of the intersectional issues (in)forming a building’s construction as well as its reception, the ambitious monograph is interdisciplinary in nature, examining the matrix where materiality, affect, and their makers lurk. For this reason, the book feels a bit like an exquisite corpse itself, entangling a variety of academic theories in purposeful and necessary ways in order to comprehend the complexity of, first, a building’s human-manufactured ontology, and, secondly, its impact on us.

Reading Horror in Architecture a decade after its first publication is particularly compelling. With additional environments rendered freakish by free enterprise rigor, the evidence for Comaroff and Ker-Shing’s observations proliferates in cities and suburbs alike. Reading it as a Gothic scholar who regularly considers how horrific cultural productions instruct us, revealing our anxieties and providing cautionary tales, has transformed how I see human-made environments... (MORE - details)
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#3
Magical Realist Offline
“I can’t believe she’s been living like this, this irreconcilable mix of tidy suburbanality and creepy decay. But then again, I can’t believe how much time I wasted believing she was living any other way.”
― John Green, Paper Towns


[Image: SrMMawu.jpeg]
[Image: SrMMawu.jpeg]

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#4
Magical Realist Offline
https://www.elledecor.com/celebrity-styl...uncle-cup/

"As any designer knows, there are some ideas that simply look better on paper than in actuality. For that reason, Building Design, a British architecture website, awards the Carbuncle Cup – an honor bestowed upon the worst building of the year. This year, the site derided Lincoln Plaza, a 31-story luxury residential building in London, going so far as to say that it's "a putrid, pugilistic horror show that should never have been built." Those are some fighting words.

Now, we're taking a gander at the most off-putting buildings around. Look if you dare...."
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