History, Criticism and Theory in Architecture: Mental Mapping and Mapping the Mind

Seminar History, Criticism and Theory in Architecture (052-0813-22)
Organizer: Professorship Stalder, Professorship Kaijima
Lecturers: Prof. Dr Laurent Stalder, Prof. Momoyo Kaijima
Time: Thursdays, 15:45-17:30
Location: HIL F 10.3

What is the relationship between mental maps, plans and places? On the one hand, the built environment can be represented as a map, an instrument that helps us orient in space but also changes our mental image of it. On the other hand, maps allow us to represent mental states. In this reading seminar, we explore how maps mediate the relationship between the built environment and the self.

Together we will trace the history of mapping as a cultural technique and the use of drawings as a tool for translating the properties of space. We will examine different aspects related to mapping, such as the effects of the built environment on emotions and behaviour in psychogeography, the mental representation of space in cognitive mapping, the impact of physical and mental restrictions on the perception of space, and the representation of these perceptions through drawings such as those used in psychological assessment and therapy. By focussing on maps and their relation to mental states, the course addresses spatial issues in psychiatric theory and practice.

This course is intended as a preparation for a seminar week in Paris which will be led by Professors Momoyo Kaijima and Laurent Stalder in the Spring of 2023. Students looking to join this study trip are strongly advised to take this course. The course is jointly offered by the Chair for the Theory of Architecture and the Chair of Architectural Behaviorology and will feature inputs from experts from several disciplines.


Carla Peca