Reflexive Dwelling:

The body as representation of wall


  • Kirsty Volz Queensland University of Technology



Architecture, Experiential, Performance


In a play-within-a-play, the Mechanicals’ production within William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the character Snout announces his transformation to play the character of Wall. Snout’s portrayal of Wall is both comical and menacing as he represents the forces that separate the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe. Wall becomes a subject in a manner no different from the lovers that he separates; his influence on their situation is brought to life. The unbecoming nature of walls to demarcate, separate, intimidate, influence and control is a relationship most can relate to in their experiences with architecture. It is in these moments that architecture leaps from the sphere of object into the realm of subject; where we might be involved in some intense struggle with the placement of a wall, the wall that might separate us from a lover, justice, freedom, power or privacy.This study investigates how this struggle is portrayed through the human body as representation of walls in performance.


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Author Biography

Kirsty Volz, Queensland University of Technology

Kirsty Volz began her career as an architectural draftsperson and somewhere between the wall sections and the waterproofing details she discovered an appetite for architectural theory, which turned into unfettered hunger for reading philosophy. After many years of part time study, Kirsty finally completed her studies in architecture at the Queensland University ofTechnology in 2010. She is now struggling through a research masters degree in arts, in the field of scenography. Kirsty sometimes turns her attention to set design in contemporary and traditional theatre, but retreats to practice when the need for discipline and structure overwhelms her. She also tutors at QUT in both architecture and interior design in the design studio, history and theory classes and most often in construction technology.




How to Cite

Volz, Kirsty. 2013. “Reflexive Dwelling:: The Body As Representation of Wall”. Idea Journal 13 (1):36-43.



Design Research Paper