In a world where “smart” objects can talk to each other and a gun can be printed with a desktop 3D printer, the conditions for contemporary design are nothing if not surreal. The long-standing interaction between architecture and Surrealism is being reinvigorated by the new technology that makes the protocols and concepts of otherworldly Surrealism more relevant to architects than the dogmas of architectural modernism. This book charts the development of this fertile relationship, revealing how Surrealist ideas are being put to use by contemporary architects in extraordinary ways.
Architecture and Surrealism opens with an introduction on the precursors of Surrealism in the Baroque and Rococo periods, moving into the twentieth century through the Symbolists and Dadaists. The four main chapters present the interplay between architecture and Surrealism through the key concepts of the body, the interior space, the house, alternative realities, and the environment. In an era of wearable technology and big data, the fascinating possibilities for new worlds, new buildings, and new spaces are creating the most exciting futures for contemporary architects. Written by Neil Spiller, a leading academic and architect known for his own Surrealist-influenced work, this book is a breathtaking resource of spatial ideas and visionary buildings for architects, students, lovers of Surrealism, and all creative types.
A well-developed and thought-provoking discussion that is a delightful balance of historical criticism and interpretation of the Surrealist movement and its influence on architectural design, thought, and practice. Enthusiasts of architecture and art history will find intrigue and satisfaction in this book. Both cohorts stand to gain a better understanding of the other, with the subtle reminder that design and design influence do not occur in a vacuum.
— ARLIS/NA Reviews
Neil Spiller is Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Greenwich, London. He is the author of Visionary Architecture and Digital Architecture Now. His architectural design work and research has been widely published and exhibited worldwide.