This chapter discusses the relationship between spatial imagination and the unconscious in architecture. Spatial imagination relies on spatial perception and architecture’s concrete qualities, which interact with our body, our unconscious and become noted in the associative intimation which we have with objects around us. For Sigmund Freud the personal sensuous experiences (percepts) are embedded in the unconscious. Any mental image has its origin in the perceptual, objectual world: ‘all mental images stem from – are reproductions of – perceptions’. 1 In his second topographical model of the unconscious Freud concentrates on the superego, ego, and the id. One form of consciousness, consciousness of percepts, is associated with the skin and other sense organs. The skin mediates between the sensations of internal and external impulses. According to Freud memories do not surface into consciousness non-altered, rather they surface in a converted manner in the shape of preconscious mental images, dreams or other distorted sensuous data of which we were once conscious and now become again aware.

The reproduction of a perception as a mental image is not always a faithful copy; it can be modified by omissions or by fusion of various elements. 2