llAW of WAll

Front cover image

Mehrdad Hadighi

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ORO Editions/Applied Research & Design
Territory: World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan & Korea)
Size: 228 mm x 228 mm
Pages: 80
Illustrations: 80 colour
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RRP £15.95

llAW of WAll is a critique of absolutes: absolute closure and openness, absolute privacy and public-ness. The critique is presented through a study of the networks that link two families, two locations, two time frames, two construction technologies, and two acts of family violence: the Loud and Woodford Families; Avon, Connecticut, the residence of the Woodford family, and an Avon prefabricated house, the residence of the Loud family; 1845, the year of the Woodford murder, and 1972, the year of the Loud family live televised break-up; Early American ax carpentry of the Woodford house, and the pre-fabricated carpentry of the Loud house; and the ax violence in the Woodford family, and the "TV" violence in the Loud family. The two families and the corresponding events present two extremes of privacy and public-ness. The critique utilises Freud's essay on the uncanny and the metaphor of a hinge to structure the text and the construction. The author argues that Freud, in "The Uncanny," constructs a hinge that brings together, makes identical two opposites, yet maintains their separation and tension. He utilises the hinge to overlay maps of relationships between the two families in space, time, technology, behaviors and events. The hinge simultaneously unifies the two sides and opens a tense space for the interplay of their differences. The hinge allows us to see the absolutes of closure and open-ness in relation to one another and in their totalising effect.

Mehrdad Hadighi is Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University and the Stuckeman Chair of Integrative Design. Most recently, he served two terms as Chair of the Department of Architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Hadighi has been an academic for the past twenty-eight years, teaching at both public and private universities and serving as a visiting professor in the United States and abroad. Hadighi completed his post-professional graduate studies at Cornell University and holds a professional degree in architecture and a degree in studio art from the University of Maryland. A licensed architect, he is founding principal of Studio for Architecture, a design practice that is engaged in research and experimentation through building projects of different scales and scopes, site-specific gallery installations, and design competitions.