Celebrating the Marvellous: Surrealism in Architecture (Architectural Design)

December 9, 2020
Celebrating the Marvellous: Surrealism in Architecture (Architectural Design)

We are entering a new era of architecture that istechnologically enhanced, virtual and synthetic. Contemporaryarchitects operate in a creative environment that is both real anddigital; mixed, augmented and hybridised. This world consists ofecstasies, fears, fetishisms and phantoms, processes and spatialitythat can best be described as Surrealist. Though too long dormant,Surrealism has been a significant cultural force in modernarchitecture. Founded by poet AndrE Breton in Paris in 1924 as anartistic, intellectual and literary movement, architects such as LeCorbusier, Diller + Scofidio, Bernard Tschumi and John Hejdukrealised its evocative powers to propel them to 'starchitect'status. Rem Koolhaas most famously illustrated Delirious NewYork (1978) with Madelon Vriesendorp's compelling Surrealistimages.Architects are now reviving the power of Surrealism to inspireand explore the ramifications of advanced technology. Architects'studios in practices and schools are becoming places where nothingis forbidden. Architectural languages and theories are 'mashed'together, approaches are permissively appropriated, and styles arenot mutually exclusive. Projects are polemic, postmodern andsurreally media savvy. Today's architects must compose space thatoperates across the spatial spectrum. Surrealism, with its multiplereadings of the city, its collage semiotics, its extruded forms andartificial landscapes, is an ideal source for contemporaryarchitectural inspiration.Contributors include: Bryan Cantley, Nic Clear,James Eagle, Natalie Gall, Mark Morris, Dagmar Motycka Weston,Alberto Perez-Gomez, Shaun Murray, Anthony Vidler, and ElizabethAnne Williams.Featured architects: Nigel Coates, Hernan DiazAlonso, Perry Kulper, and Mark West.