The setting and the social condenser: transitional objects in architecture and psychoanalysis
This chapter focuses on ‘transitional’ objects and spaces, located in the overlap between inside and outside. I position next to one another textual accounts of two speciﬁ c kinds of transitional objects and spaces – the setting of psychoanalysis and the social condenser of architecture – in order to create a place of potential overlap in the mind of the reader. One textual strand is located in psychoanalysis and charts a particular set of ideas around transitional objects and spaces. It starts out with D. W. Winnicott’s notion of the transitional object of the ﬁ rst relationship, and the transitional space it occupies between the internal psyche and external world; moving to André Green’s work on the setting, a homologue, in his own words, for the analytic object positioned at the space of overlap between analyst and analysand, inside and outside; before returning to Sigmund Freud, the originator of psychoanalysis, to reﬂ ect on how the ﬁ rst object is also the lost object in his work on mourning and melancholia; in order to introduce Jean Laplanche’s critique of Freud’s distinction between word-presentations which exist in the conscious mind, and thing-presentations which exist in the unconscious, and his own concept of the ‘enigmatic message’ and thing-like presentations, those objects which signify ‘to’ someone rather than ‘of’ something.