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The Transverse Face: Architecture X Culture

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 04:48 authored by Loo, S
The theoretical framework for this paper arrives from the cultural crossings between the work of Japanese architect Shin Takamatsu and French philosopher Felix Guattari on a dynamic conception of subject formation and citizenship of space that is different from the kind of ecstasies celebrated in phenomenology. The paper draws on Guattari's concepts of transversality or crossings that produce an irreducible uniqueness in architecture, and 'faciality' which describes a 'redundancy in the machinic unconscious' that bears upon the semiology of cultural construction, in relation to Takamatsu's architecture. This is a concept of culture not based on subjective identities or transcendent communities, but emerges at the transversal occasions in architecture as material works themselves. In this approach, architecture forfeits its quest for cultural identity through form, as identity becomes the result of mere happenstance. The architectural sense in cultural formation is therefore invested not in a predefined public, but one based on the figure of the onlooker and the passer by, an emergent public who are citizens by having nothing in common, except by the moment of their enchantment.


Publication title

Cultural Crossroads: SAHANZ 2009




Julia Gatley






School of Architecture and Design


The University of Auckland, NZ

Place of publication

Auckland, NZ

Event title

Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference

Event Venue

Auckland, NZ

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2009 SAHANZ

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in built environment and design

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