Losing Site: Architecture, Memory and Place

This has been the most interesting reading so far. One of the most important questions it raises it what happens when the physical site has disappeared, can we still bring back the memory? And how memory links to the physical site or place?

– A photograph (visual spark, aide memoire) can support bringing back the memory of that time, place, event

– In Seven Lamps of Architecture by John Ruskin he explains how memories are triggered through material objects – “We may live within [architecture], and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her”

The whole book:

(This quote was in Chapter VI in paragraph II)

I liked the quote from Victor Shklovsky saying that ‘And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.’ – is this saying that the meant to bring the objects alive and give it “texture” – we experience best when in that place however art can bring you back to that place and bring it alive again

I think that the memory can still stay alive through representation such as old videos, photos etc. however it might never compare to the experience of being in the exact same space again.

The phrase ‘Architecture of the heart’ refers to how we hold on to emotion in regards to remembering a place. Also others argue that memories are always anchored in spatial frameworks.

Place and memory and intertwined. When we relate this history we realise that history is shaped by what we record, curate, remember but mainly how they are recorded in a place: ‘a constructed, three-dimensional, architecture in the mind’s eye’. Then our memories are triggered by this connection to place and we don’t have to be¬†physically in that place. Even the virtual space could count.

Hornstein, Shelley 2011, Introduction, Losing Site: Architecture, Memory and Place, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, England.


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