General Speculation

New ideas, discussion and suggestions will be added here, before being worked into the main sections.

13 January 2010
From: “Depression: Clinical, Biological and Psychological Perspective” Edited by G Usdin. Chapter 2: “Depression: The Psychosocial Context” by Edward J Stainbrook”. Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1977.
A person is an intricate organisation of inter=relating biologic systems composed of structures and processes in which energy transformations, manifested covertly or overtly as behaviour, are constantly going on under the direction of information. Some of theis information directing and controlling biologic action comes from genertic sources. Some comes from the here and now appraisals of present self and situation. And, because man is the animal who not only remembers his past but by conceptual foresight can also remember his future, some of the information influencing biologic brain processes of brain and body comes from the scan and anticipated consequences of the future [Heidegger].
Hence, not only a general theory of human nature and behaviour but a more specific theory of disease can be based on the principle of the control of biologic processes by information, or misinformation, which evokes and maintains both adaptive and maladaptive responses.
13 January 2010
Definition of meaning from the Penguin Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, by Rycroft. With reference to underlying theory behind this hypothesis:
Meaning: Although psychoanalysis is usually presented as a causal theory which explains psychological phenomena as the consequences of prior events, a number of analysts, notably Szasz (1961), Home (1966) and Rycroft (1966), have argued that it, or some aspects of it, is really a theory of meaning, ie that they could be interpreted as gestures and communications. Advocates of this view argue that theories of causality are only applicable to the world of inanimate objects and that Freud’s attempt to apply deterministic principles derived from the physical sciences to human behaviour fails to take account of the fact that man is a living agent capable of choice and creativity.

Re audiences of plays, films etc in 50s, 60s, they will be looking as I look at buildings. So they will recognise, for example, when in Curlew River the mother laments the lost son, something in their own memories. The moment in the play is not that event in memory, but a re-presentation of it in other form, but recognisable. In this way, a jig-saw of recognitions builds up, so that, in the case of architecture, the elements eventually converge, briefly, to recreate the trench landscape. In other words, it doesn’t happen all at once, and when it does, it probably isn’t recognised as a whole, or indeed what it is a re-presentation of. But it is there, to be gazed at.

Architecture has a unique role among the arts of mourning. It is the one art that can recreate the site of trauma as a site to be lived in as before, as it was lived in through the trauma. All other arts, plays, novels, painting, present de-formed and re-formed representations.

This may be linked to the inversion of architectural intention. Echoing the idea of practising the opposite of what it preached, the Modern Movement brought about the opposite of what it intended: thus, functionality produced dysfunctionality; honesty of structure produced the dishonesty of Miesian I-beams on facades; rejection of decoration produced heavy concrete forms whose over-abundance of concrete was inherently decorative.


Concerning the interaction, or lag, between architects’ working lives and public projects. Le Corbusier, in particular, seems to act as a predictor for what was to come about. He was ready to move on from purism, from white walls, in 1928, whereas purist villas were not built in Britain until well into the 1930s. He turned towards concrete, more ‘brutal’, materials in the 1930s, leading to the Maison Jaoul in 1938, nearly quarter of a century before housing estates and works such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall/Hayward Gallery embraced raw concrete. The point to be made is that the architect does not consciously go about ‘treating’ the traumatic neurosis of his time; rather that the society in which he works responds in time to his work; having seen it, tasted it, people unconsciously sense if they can make use of it.