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The stickiness of affect in architectural practice: the image-making practice of Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture DPC

journal contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Akari Nakai KiddAkari Nakai Kidd
This article builds on and contributes to work on theories of affect that have arisen within diverse fields, including geography, cultural studies, and feminist writings, which challenge the nature of textual and representationally-based research. Most commonly, following the philosophies of Baruch Spinoza and Gilles Deleuze, affect is defined as the capacity of bodies to act and be acted upon; affect refers to ‘intensities’ between bodies. Affect, for Spinoza, is located not in the individual but ‘in the passage from one state to another’ that is ‘purely transitive, and not indicative or representative, since it is experienced in a lived duration’. This primary thread of research on affect draws a distinction between affect and emotion. As Brian Massumi puts it, affect is understood as autonomous, as that which ‘escapes confinement in the particular body’ because it occurs before we are able to name and qualify it; while emotion is the ‘most intense (most contracted) expression of [the] capture’ of affect and is something that can be enunciated – for instance, statements like ‘I feel happy’. In short, affect precedes emotion and therefore maintains a degree of autonomy from the subject. While this article acknowledges the utility of affect's autonomy, for instance, as it allows for the analysis of preconscious experiences of the body, it questions an overemphasis on this autonomy, particularly where affect is presumed to be immaterial and unlocalisable. Instead, this article proposes to think about affect through current architectural practices.



arq: architectural research quarterly






Cambridge, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Cambridge University Press




Cambridge University Press