Eureka! Perfomativity and Architecture

I wanted to write this post for a few days but until now I hadn’t found the time nor the inspiration. The idea came in TECH 637 class of last week, when our teacher was talking about the presentation of online and offline self, the embodiment and the way interaction with other people help to create our self. I understood the implication of the self-presentation on online sites, but in that moment I was thinking all the time as if it was a philosophy class. Then, we had to try to relate these concepts with our area of interest. At that moment, my mind couldn’t stop thinking! Architecture, design, the self, sociology, people interaction, spaces…eureka

The concept of performativity was the link to my ideas. It is a term often used to name the capacity to construct and perform an identity through speech, gestures, acts… And eureka! Architecture can be somehow related with performativity. Architects really want to create his own design style and be acknowledged about it. But, they can do it without others, the society, people who are going to use, live in their buildings. They have to interact! The build environment, the designed spaces and the activities of people are related and inseparable. Architects needs to design and create spaces to fulfil the needs of people and their social requirements. Architecture cannot live without people and have to express the structure and principles of the society.masdar

Another way to understanding this, and to finish my post, is quoting Philip Johnson who was a great American architect: “All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.”



5 thoughts on “Eureka! Perfomativity and Architecture

    1. Neither I had connected the two things before, that’s the reason I wrote ‘eureka’ when it occurred to me how to do it! Eureka comes from an ancient greek word and you used it to celebrate a finding or discovery, like “I have found it!”. I don’t know if you’re familiarized with an other expression meaning more or less the same: a light bulb goes off in my head telling me that… Hope it helps!!

  1. If you think about identity not at the individual, but at the societal level, it becomes culture. And architecture has a direct effect on culture, because it influences the moods, the traffic, the types of interactions that can take place in a given space (that’s why I moved the class to the library, for example). So, at the bigger, societal level, architecture is a way of negotiating the culture of a place and the group of people who inhabit it.

    As consumers of architecture, the spaces we create or choose are also statements about your personal identity.

    1. very understable and well-written, thank you!
      Glad you moved the class to the library, I like the space and the atmosphere in there.

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