Can't Sleep — Building Will Eat Me

Geoff Manaugh explores the intersection between architecture and debilitating fear:

I'm also curious if these sorts of paranoias are ever directed at landscapes and the built environment. In Stasi-era East Germany, for instance, was there ever a kind of architectural paranoia, when you realized that your neighbor's house was not, in fact, a house... but a listening post for the government.

In fact, I'm reminded of an old post on BLDGBLOG in which we saw photographs by Robin Collyer documenting houses that aren't houses at all: they're disguised electrical substations built to look like detached single-family bungalows....

This makes me think of Judge Schreber, the famously schizoid target of one of Sigmund Freud's later analyses, who, upon being institutionalized, made sure to diagram the spatial layout of the hospital for fear that the rooms and layouts might change or betray him. His legendarily bizarre autobiography thus includes hospital floorplans. Was the architecture itself part of some vast conspiracy? his illness seemed to ask.

There's more, much more, including some cyborg spies disguised as insects. Read the whole thing.

[Via Infocult.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    "Bart, I know you like clowns, so I made you this bed and we're moving to Amityville to live in a cute little house that looks like it has eyes."

  • EJM||

  • BakedPenguin||

    I would have thought Strategies Against Architecture would have been the obvious reference...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Since the album title isn't referenced anywhere in the you tube vid...

  • highnumber||

    Just when you think reality couldn't get any closer to a fevered PKD dream, some jerk comes along to tell you that it's even more like that than you thought.

    Fuck it. I'm off to buy memories of a trip to Mars.

  • Jasonomics||

    Speaking of houses that eat people, anyone else read House of Leaves?

  • Geotpf||

    There's a "house" near where my mother lives where the front is just a facade, behind which is a whole bunch of pipes and valves and shit, some sort of water pumping station.

  • Mike Laursens of the World||

    Huh. I guess I'm caught in a 19th Century industrialist aesthetic, but I'd like my electrical substations and pumping stations undisguised, thank you very much.

  • KyleG||

    Cheers for a Simpsons reference from when it was still a great show.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement