chapter  16
The modernist boudoir and the erotics of space
Pages 19

The role of intimacy and eroticism remains a largely unwritten dimension of

modern Western architectural culture. Eroticism in particular and the focus

of this essay is an elusive subject, not easily given to academic or scientific

methods of analysis or categorization. Fleeting by nature – an evocation of the

invisible, dynamic, and perpetual state of desire, eroticism eludes fixed defini-

tion. It could be said that the erotic dimension of architecture is the

unconscious, instinctual side of our experience of form and space, implicit, and

virtual. And like the unconscious, it is masked and encoded, characterized by

excess, elaboration, irony, and humor. Eschewing the overtly sexual, the erotic

is a state of phenomenal ambiguity, indirection, tension, and suspension, a

virtual condition engendering feeling through tricks of perception.