The Primacy of Perplexion. Working Architecture through a Distracted Order of Experience. Part I

Katja Grillner


The issues addressed in this article moves around a central concern of mine, which is, in its essence, ambiguous. It is idealistic in the sense that it does not give up the belief in the possibility of living a responsible life, within a world of individuals and materiality. It is nihilistic in the sense that it avoids accepting any structures that are higher than the individual, that claim the right to, on an extra-human ground, conduct our decisions. The ambiguity is inherent but, I would argue, necessary. The article has been divided into two parts. Part I puts forward the theoretical position on which the further analysis is grounded and discusses the literary space of Virginia Woolf's novel Jacob's Room as a model for a 'distracted order' of reality. Part II discusses Steven Holl and Lebbeus Woods' respective works (texts and projects), focusing on the possibility of making an architecture that communicates through a 'distracted reality' and the two architects' very different approaches to responsible 'professional' action in today's society.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.