chapter  4
11 Pages

Deconstruction

Peter Eisenman explored a new design strategy that dealt with affect: the way visitors could feel and experience his monument. Eisenman's Holocaust Memorial somehow expressed this condition well, in addition to dramatically displaying Tschumi's separation. In Berlin there was no apparent differentiation between the conceptual dimension of architecture and its intimate, individual characterization. Thus, the Holocaust Memorial represented something different from his Cities of Artificial Excavation, the figure principle offered Eisenman the possibility of developing what he called radical passivity. One may describe the Holocaust Memorial in terms of sense, rather than of meaning. If meaning is based on different elements like sign, icon and index, in Berlin an alternative idea arises: something we can call affect. The Holocaust Memorial, in its constant dichotomy between an apparent order and a potential implosion, could also be read by paraphrasing what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari write in A Thousand Plateaus about the concepts of smooth and striated space.