Boredom is a ubiquitous feature of modern life. Endured by everyone, it is both cause and effect of modernity, and of situations, spaces and surroundings. As such, this book argues, boredom shares an intimate relationship with architecture — one that has been seldom explored in architectural history and theory.
'Boredom, Architecture, and Spatial Experience' investigates that relationship, showing how an understanding of boredom affords us a new way of looking at and understanding the modern experience. It reconstructs a series of episodes in architectural history, from the 19th century to the present, to survey how boredom became a normalized component of the everyday, how it infiltrated into the production and reception of architecture, and how it serves to diagnose moments of crisis in the continuous transformations of the built environment.
Erudite and innovative, the work moves deftly from architectural theory and philosophy to literature and psychology to make its case. Combining archival material, scholarly sources and illuminating excerpts from conversations with practitioners and thinkers — including Charles Jencks, Rem Koolhaas, Sylvia Lavin, and Jorge Silvetti — it reveals the complexity and importance of boredom in architecture.
Foreword by Iain Borden
Introduction: Boredom as Architecture
1. A Component of Modernity
2. Fascination and Aversion
3. Søren Kierkegaard's Babylonian Tower
4. Catherine Gore and Charles Dickens: Idle Restlessness/Restless Idleness
5. Blunting and Jading
6. Coney Island, Misleading Structures
7. A Unity of Disarray
8. Martin Heidegger's Urge to Be at Home
9. Oran, the Capital of Boredom
10. International Style Confusions: Sigfried Giedion
11. Los Angeles, Flat Enough
12. Potential Architectures
13. Andrew Benjamin's Antithesis to Boredom
14. Boredom in Domus
15. Servitude and Liberalism: Russell Kirk
16. Charles Jencks, Rem Koolhaas, and the Generic
17. Jorge Silvetti and Sylvia Lavin: Unamused Muses and Lying Fallow
Epilogue: Architectures of Boredom
TitleBoredom, Architecture, and Spatial Experience