Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture

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"Provocative and readable, [Lavin's] study offers a fresh approach to architectural criticism and it may change the way you view these familiar white volumes." - LA Architect "Lavin's argument is as lucid as it is persuasive, a great achievement in architectural history and theory." - Rosalind E. Krauss, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory, Columbia University "Like a skillful remix of an already good song, Form Follows Libido gives us Richard Neutra again for the first time.... A genealogy for much of what is interesting about current design practice." - K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architecture Theory, Harvard University"

Vom Verlag:

This book tells us how modern architecture came to embrace the urges and fears of the affective unconscious.Sylvia Lavin's "Form Follows Libido" argues that by the 1950s, some architects felt an urge to steer the cool abstraction of high modernism away from a neutral formalism toward the production of more erotic, affective environments. Lavin turns to the architecture of Vienna-born, California-based Richard Neutra (1892-1970) to explore the genesis of these new mood-inducing environments. Lavin discovers in Neutra a sustained and poignant psychoanalytic reflection set in the context of a burgeoning psychoanalytic culture in America.Arguing persuasively that the received historical views of both psychoanalysis and architecture have led to a suppression of their compelling coincidences and unorthodoxies, Lavin sets out to unleash midcentury architecture's hidden libido. Neither Neutra nor psychoanalysis emerges unscathed from her investigation of how architecture came to be saturated by the intrigues of affect, often against its will. If Reyner Banham sought to put architecture "on the couch," then Lavin, through Neutra, leaps beyond Banham's ameliorative aim to lure contemporary architecture into the lush and dangerous liaisons of environmental design.

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