Architecture of Alienation

The Double Bind and Public Space


  • Dorita Hannah Massey University



Art museum, Architecture and alienation, Performance theory


This paper approaches the emergence, over the 20th century, of a public architecture that occupies sights/sites once associated with industry and social alienation, in this case the conversion of London’s Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern Art Museum. Utilising Bertolt Brecht’s revolutionary theories on performance, the celebrated architecture of Herzog and De Meuron is investigated alongside ‘Double Bind’, an installation by the late Spanish artist Juan Mun?oz whose work highlights the quality of isolation in the contemporary metropolis. In investigating architecture and installation, a space is opened up between the art and architecture revealing a performativity that engages with 20th century trauma and the crisis of the modern. This spatial dynamic forms an architecture of alienation where the participants are estranged from the environment, rendering them strangers, even within familiar environments ... tourists in their own land.


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How to Cite

Hannah, Dorita. 2004. “Architecture of Alienation: The Double Bind and Public Space”. Idea Journal 5 (1):43-58.



Design Research Paper