Eisenman’s advanced studio this year at Yale School of Architecture departs drastically from previous year studio topics and locations. While he continues to be interested in the dialectical pairings – “grammar and rhetoric, genius loci and zeitgeist, disegno and colore” - as critical frameworks, our studio now challenges us to look at our projects through a convoluted web of psychoanalytic texts. To begin with, we read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter.” Then we read and discussed both Lacan and Derrida’s philosophical stances towards the Poe piece as means of developing an architectural narrative.
After choosing a philosophical point of view - Lacan on Poe, Derrida on Poe, Derrida on Lacon on Poe - we will be generating a Project which addresses the idea of mirroring. The phenomenon of mirroring, put forth by Lacan in Écrits, is pertinent to this studio because the project’s site is the mirror of GiuseppeTerragni’s Casa del Fascio, which is symmetrical about the axis of the duomo in Como, Italy. Through the imagery of mirroring, wholeness, and symmetry we will be trying to develop what can be called “architecturalness” of architecture” or its equivalent, just as there is “literary” in writing, or “painterly’ in painting. There is currently no such thing in the field.
Above: Francesca Woodman, self portrait in mirror. Untitled.