Spatial biographies of Max Heymans and Benno Premsela in the architecture of Amsterdam

J. Baltussen (Editor), J. Groenland (Editor), M.D.J. Schaik, van (Editor), H.H. Yegenoglu (Editor)

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Abstract

The ‘Spatial Biographies’ of couturier Max Heymans and designer Benno Premsela were the two key topics in the Architectural Analysis course of 2015. Students investigated relevant buildings in their personal and public lives in relation to the social and cultural transformations in the biographies of these individuals. Usually it is the ‘written narrative’ that forms the foundation for a classical biography. However, the ‘spatial narrative’ or the ‘spatialization’ of narratives forms the main approach in this study. Thereby, the buildings and houses inhabited by Heymans and Premsela in certain periods of their lifetime do form mnemonic devices that still carry traces of their personal biographies worth being remembered. As the philosopher Edward Casey pointed out, memories are essentially embedded in places: “It is to occupy a portion of space from out of which we both undergo given experiences and remember them. To be disembodied is not only to be deprived of place, unplaced; it is to be denied the basic stance on which every experience and its memory depended. As embodied existence opens onto place, indeed takes place on place, and nowhere else, so our memory of what we experience in place is likewise place-specific: it is bound to place as to its own basis.”(Casey, 1987:182)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Number of pages331
ISBN (Print)978-90-386-4050-1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016

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