Freud and Topographies of the Mind

24 – “Unhomely Homes” – Vidler

Vidler discusses the idea of the unhomely home that is an uncanny space. “Uncanny” is a complex definition and is simply described as ‘lack of orientation,’ it is not only fearful, but also beyond knowledge. Vidler build a special feeling with light and shape of construction elements. For example, Vidler presents “the general space of the sublime – that of height, depth and extension, as characterized by Burke – from that of the uncanny – that of silence, solitude, of internal confinement and suffocation, that mental space where temporality and spatiality collapse. The vertigo of the sublime is placed side by side with the claustrophobia of the uncanny” (Pg.39). And “his chimney; it provided warmth and stability for the entire house” (Pg. 42). The chimney is the center of the house and is the “backbone” of the house. The shape of chimney symbolizes vertical power and manhood. It reminds me that similar shape of construction could be found at Egypt and Greece. Both of them represent the sexism and lordliness. The author indicates that “Around this pyramid-tomb the house deployed itself, depending on the chimney for sustenance and support; because of its position, it was a kind of labyrinth protecting the inner center form profane intrusion” (Pg. 43).

1. How can we project this uncanny space into some special projects?
2. What is the key element of this uncanny space?



23 – “Creative Writers and Daydreaming” – Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud discusses the comparison between the creative writers and children through the daydream. We always complain the stress of real life and dream that we can go back to our childhood to enjoy the light-hearted time. However, the adults always ashamed of their fantasies and tie them to themselves with all kinds of excuses. If we can recall our experience, we may find that the creative thought is always hidden in our mind. “The creative writer does the same as the child at play. He creates a world of phantasy which he takes very seriously- that is, which he invests with large amounts of emotion- while separating it sharply from reality” (Pg. 437). We will never yell out or laugh full mouth hen we grow up. We oppress our emotion that closely relates to the creative thought. As time passes, we will forget laughing and crying as forgetting to imagine. Fantasy and Daydreaming may be the only way of expressing the hidden emotion. “when a creative writer presents his personal day-dreams, we experience a great pleasure and one which probably arises from the confluence of many sources” (Pg.443).

Architects also have the same problems. Daydream can help us to get rid of redundant cord.

1. Is the design project a product of Architects’ daydream?
2. Does the different culture have different influence on creative thought?


22 – “The Organization of Personality” – C.S. Hall

The author classes the personality into the three parts as Freud’s developed – the id, the ego, and the superego. Each portion of the personality is different but not isolated entities from one another. They are interactional and dynamic context as Hall explained in this end of the articles “They are merely a shorthand way of designating different processes, functions, mechanisms and dynamisms within the total personality” (Pg.35). We can further explore the core thinking of author from the followed three sections.

ID is regarded as a solution of relieving tension and based on pleasure and intuitive needs. Freud compared the ID to a hungry baby who inevitably experiences the tension of hunger that was other excitations arising in the body. Those experiences imitate the development of the ID. It is the product of evolution and the basal of the pleasure principle. ID can only be controlled by the ego.

Ego harmonizes between the id and the external world. It supersedes the pleasure principle and is governed by the reality principle, which learns through perception, memory, thinking and action. Ego keeps the balance between the id and the superego.

Superego is made up of two subsystems – the ego-ideal and the conscience. “The ego-ideal corresponds to the child’s conceptions of what his parents consider to be morally good” and “Conscience, on the other hand, corresponds to the child’s conceptions of what his parents feel is morally bad , and these are established through experiences with punishment” (Pg.31). It relates to human’s moral and judicial branch of personality. Superego has no differentiate between subjective and objective as the ID.

“The ego s formed out of the id and the superego is formed out of the ego” (Pg.35). Hall summarizes that the ID is a product of evolution. The superego is a product of socialization. Finally, the ego is a product of a person’s interactive with objective reality.

1. What is the standard of the right and wrong in our complex society through those three systems?
2. What the relationship between those three systems and the architecture?


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