Lewis Carroll’s Legacy – Performative Geomtries in “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”

When architecture is negotiated as a trajectory through narrative and spatial territory, it can be unset by continuously changing vectors and durational sequences. It then becomes an instrument of perpetual reconsideration. As part of wider research that investigates latent architecture…

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When architecture is negotiated as a trajectory through narrative and spatial territory, it can be unset by continuously changing vectors and durational sequences. It then becomes an instrument of perpetual reconsideration. As part of wider research that investigates latent architecture systems, this presentation will focus on spatial strategies of interaction, organizational geometries that employ a departure from the blueprint.

The presentation parallels two trajectories, the novel ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, and Frederick Kiesler’s ‘Endless House’ and ‘Galaxy’ proposals. In both the narrative and tectonic fiction, notions of reversal, discontinuation and passage are inflicted on matter, space and body.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ departs from a Cartesian system to employ complex discontinuations of geometrical and sequential organizations that result in phenomenal, interactive and transactional changes. Carroll’s narration, juxtaposed with Kiesler’s correlative spatial probes, is interpreted as a user manual for architectural design models. The paper discusses firstly infinite or ambiguous geometrical arrangements of circuit and sphere, secondly sequential and temporal structures with an articulated detail, strategies of hinging between double programming, and ends with a swarm behaviour of component groups, in order to derive organizations that determine a repeatedly dynamic environment.

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