About 30 years ago, in his essays 'The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the modern unhomely' (1992), Professor and architecture critic Anthony Vidler brought to light the unhomeliness that accompanies our modern living conditions by creating a metaphor from the 'uncanny'. He described that not only unhomeliness, but also space-related phobias and fears such as agoraphobia and claustrophobia became the mental condition of modern life.
In 'Warped Space' (2002), the architectural historian examined how psychological ideas about space influenced architectural and artistic expression in the twentieth century. He expresses his concern about two forms of warped space. The first is the psychological space, which functions as a warehouse for neuroses and phobias. The second is produced when artists cross boundaries to represent space in a new way. In 'The anxious city' (2004) Anthony Vidler (together with Richard J. Williams) also links our western world to urban fears: from practical fears about personal safety to metaphysical fears about the city's precarious place in culture.
In 2019, the issues that Vidler raised almost thirty years ago are still relevant. The political order of the United States and Europe has been so destabilised that 'home' is nowhere to be found, and unhomeliness and space-related fears have become a global problem. Why do we have such a need for domesticity? How is the notion of domesticity framed within the growing and global unhomeliness? How do the recent shifts in our housing trends affect our domestic, intimate atmosphere? Has the collective awareness of (digital) control in public space activated our urban fear?
Anthony Vidler is an architectural historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture and works as a professor at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of Cooper Union in New York. Until 2013, he was the dean of this faculty. He also taught at UCLA, Brown University, Cornell and Princeton University. Anthony Vidler himself studied architecture at Cambridge University, England and obtained a PhD in History and Theory from the University of Delft, the Netherlands.
AUDITORIUM 19/20 lecture series on architecture, urban planning and design
HOME – There’s no place like home
How can we generate a place for ourselves today? Where do we choose that place and how do we define our 'own' place? This lecture series aims to focus on architecture as the initiator of thoughts on contemporary housing issues. Can architecture be more than a way of sweetening the pill of an economic model? Shouldn't architecture be the core from which new (affordable) housing grows? And what would constitute 'new housing'?
19.11.19: Miroslav Sik (CH)
18.12.19: Anthony Vidler (UK/USA)
12.02.20: Frédéric Druot (FR)
12.03.20: Bruther (FR)
26.03.20: Dogma (BE)
04.05.20 21:00: Estudio Teddy Cruz (USA)
CURATOR: Laura Meulemans / PARTNERS: STUK Kunstencentrum, KU Leuven dep. architectuur, Existenz / SUPPORT BY: stad Leuven, Vlaamse Overheid / SPONSORING: Febelcem, ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems, Vandersanden Group, A+ Architecture in Belgium
€ 9 standard
€ 7 STUK card
€ 5 student
€ 50 standard
€ 35 STUK card
€ 20 student