Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Networks, borders and boundaries

The paper presents a number of basic concepts that we have developed to capture the impact of space and design on social and organisational dynamics in the network society and the interplay between conscious and unconscious motives in space and design. The paper also presents some observations from a group relation conference where the groups in some sessions worked in special locations: Church, Theatre, Shopping Centre and Art museum. It was distinct, that rooms and spaces influences the work of a group in very different ways. We will explore this influence, focusing on how respectively individual and common, conscious and unconscious experiences influences the interaction in a group. These different experiences can also cause ethical dilemmas, when different cultures meet to collaborate, unconscious of how different we react on space. BASIC CONCEPTS I. ContainerBuildings and houses are containers (Bion 1967) that 'shelter daydreaming' (Barchelard 1994). II.The house as extended body/second skin (expressing identity and work/meaning) Like clothes, tools and furniture, houses can be seen as body extensions, a kind of second skin (Bick 1968). III.Projective space - creative imagination/projective identificationWays of creative imagination (Meltzer) relating to the aesthetic conflict between the beautiful surface of the mother and the experience of the stuff behind as some times very good and sometimes very bad. IV.Coherence and caesuraThe experience of rooms, furniture and people is some times a result of moving from room to room. 'There is much more continuity between intra-uterine life and earliest infancy than the impressive caesura of the act birth allows us to believe.' (Freud 1990/Bion1989) V. MirrorThe way rooms and furniture stages situations, mirrors the way the architect and the master builder imagines the people who are supposed to use the rooms. VI.The house, the senses and the organization of memory 'A psychoanalyst should, therefore, turn his attention to this simple localization of our memories.' (Bachelard 1994) While the sight in actual architecture and in the postmodern world seems to dominate the other senses our memory is closely linked to all the senses. VII.History and culture Houses are not just form, function and size. History and culture are built in in the shapes, the surfaces, the decorations, the smells, the reflection of sounds and noises etc. REFERENCES: Bachelard, Gaston (1994): The Poetics of Space. London: Random House Inc.Bick, E. (1968): The experience of skin in early object relations. Int J Psychoanal 49:484- 86.Bion, W.R. (1967): Second Thoughts. London: Karnac 1993. (1989): Two Papers. The Grid and Caesure. London: Karnac.Castells, M. (1996): The Rice of the Network Society. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Vol. I. Massachusetts, Oxford: Blackwell Publ. (1997): The Power of Identity. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Vol. II. Massachusetts, Oxford: Blackwell Publ. Castells, M. & Ince, M. (2003): Conversations with Manuel Castells. Cambridge: Polity Press.Freud, S. (1990): Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety. London: W. W. Norton & Company. Meltzer, D. & Williams, M.H. (1988): The Apprehension of Beauty. The role of aesthetic conflict in development, art and violence. Worcester: Clunie Press. Pallasmaa, Juhani (2014): Arkitekturen og sanserne. Kobenhavn: Arkitektens forlag. Sejten, Anne Elisabeth (2014): 'Topologi og topografi. Baggrund og introduktion'. In: Sejten, Anne Elisabeth (red.): Aestetiske topologier. Graenser, brud og mobilitet i litteratur og kunst. Hellerup: Forlaget Spring, pg. 7-36.