reanimation I: on PSTD and architecture

by oskar gudehn

Re-animating this blog with some old, unpublished, entries.

.1) For every one US soldier killed in war, another 25 veterans commit suicide (e.g. due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

(All) armed forces of today are built on structural deception (on the level of society). The image and message communicated to those enlisting is not reflecting reality. Army culture is based on not showing any weakness/emotion/affection. It is a culture of masculine normative repression. This is truly a misconception, ”weakness” can not be eradicated just by claiming it ”not to exist”.
This structural deception (false initial information and repressive internal systems) is an exploitation of a few in the name of the nation. This system might be an effective way for a nation to create ample tools (read: soldiers) for securing its own interests, but it is a concept that cannot co-exist with the notion of democracy.

.2) Architect and art historian hates on new mirror-glass facade in central Uppsala. His arguments are highly modernistic.

The new facade is in itself not worse than any other facade. To refute it on the basis of architectural style is futile. Architecture has never been a critical discipline, it has just pretended to be so.

A question of more importance is what we think of the investment itself and how it relates to the city of Uppsala. Is it important to further emphasize the consumerist/shopaholic tendencies of our society?


Is there such a thing as an architectural Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? An overly simplistic interpretation would be the so-called ”failure of modernism”. As projects grew ever larger they became more engineering than architecture. Machine-houses only fitting for machine-people. This is a simplified narrative common in Swedish architectural circuits.

Let us instead go one step deeper; the root of evil is not the evil itself but the goodness behind it. Architecture was trying to establish itself as a critical discipline, re-evaluating how we lived and how we built. The goal was noble; housing, comfort, improved life quality for everyone.
Modernism turned from a criticism of Architecture, to the hegemony within Architecture; Modernism ruled supreme. From here on, Modernism decided ”the question” to be answered rather than searching for new answers.
The question is; if it is the system that is wrong, can change for the better truly come from within the system?

(originally written 120416)