UTZ PUBLISHERS. SICKNESS OF SPACE
“The book is the cornerstone of modern architectural psychology”, architecture critic and author Charles Jencks states in 2012 in his lecture at the NAI (Netherlands Architecture Institute) in Rotterdam. There he presents his idea of an ‘Architecture for Hope’: therapy and meeting centers for people with cancer, all designed by architectural greats such as Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and defying the British university hospitals on the megalomanic campuses. The initiative for these unusual buildings goes back to his wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks, after whom the now more than 30 Maggie Centers around the world are named and who herself died before the opening of the first building. Charles comes into contact with us to better understand the theory of space anthropodysmorphism, which we will present shortly before in London. We translate parts of our book for him. Like us, he is convinced that architecture can have a positive, perhaps even healing influence on people, especially in a state of serious illness. But unfortunately (extract from Vollmer and Koppen, 2010): “Suffering is a spatial designer with a professional ban. Space anthropodysmorphism is the keyword of modern times. What do scars, crusts, double membranes have to do with architecture? What does the call for strength, utility and beauty of our built environment have to do with psychology? And what if tomorrow the most secure space believed to be the safest will no longer offer you protection either? Thousands of books have been written about the relationship between body and space, but none dared to ask these questions.” In Sickness of Space, we are investigating one of the most important and at the same time most untouched relationships of our time within the framework of a teaching research project at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich: the relationship to our spaces in the event of the loss of our physical health. In this case, do we have housings in which to slip? Houses that give us a new home with body and soul, hospitals that also support our recovery psychologically? In answering these questions, we take an exciting and far-reaching journey through architecture, psychology, medicine, philosophy and art, in addition to the experimental approach. Perhaps the book is not the cornerstone of modern architectural psychology, but in any case it is the beginning of our work on a common language of architecture and psychology, which from now on will be the cornerstone of our further work.