August 12, 2011

Transformations in our relationship with the body, is responsive to technologies implication in the bodies physical transformation. Plastic surgery and implants add and subtract elements, changing physical attributes. Prosthesis extend the boundaries and capabilities of the human body. Our physical environment and our innate existence within it also contributes to an extension of our physical selves. Tools, appendages essential to to everyday function are absorbed into our being. This transformation is described by D + S within the realm of architetcure as ‘re-crafting our instrument-enhanced and equipped body, so that it can ‘inhabit’ the world’ [1]. A hybrid between subject and object is established. An invisible field binds us to the physical world.

The body can be manipulated to conform to societies ideals. This act, the filling of an internal ‘lack’, the mirroring of the external, results in the disassociation between the mind and the body. The internal is clouded by the demands of society, ‘the creases… acquired by the human body through various physical and emotional, vital and affective, psychic and social experiences’ [2] is disfigured.

In design such transformations are equally pervasive. The classical composition of designing holistically, with unity, the external a window to an inner core, has been superseded by the displacement of the notion of place, the supremacy of the exterior of meaning. The separation between the internal and external, ‘the dis-embodiment of place and the dis-placement of body’ [3] hence raises the question of how the brain can be released from the constraints of the real world. How to overcome the effective opposition to the bodywithoutorgans.


[1] Georges Teyssot, ‘The Mutant Body of Architecture’, Flesh, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1994, p. 16

[2] Ibid, p. 09

[3] Ibid, p. 35

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