ABSTRACT

The Bioscleave House, drawing its name from how an organism cleaves to its surroundings, challenges the behavioral norms of dwelling on many levels simultaneously, as is suggested by the house’s title: “Life-Span Extending Villa.”1 The Bioscleave House (1999-2008) is the first realized residence in Arakawa and Gins’ important body of work that extends from the mid-1960s puzzlepaintings, to literary works and installations, to buildings such as the Site of Reversible Destiny (2005), Yoro Park, in Gifu, Japan and the Reversible Destiny Lofts (2007) in the Tokyo suburb, Mitaka. The Bioscleave House proposes a radical defamiliarization of domesticity by placing the dweller in a constant state of imbalance and disorientation. Bioscleave’s sloping floors and pin-wheeling array of self-similar rooms extract from architecture a new set of spatial experiences; in this building, Arakawa and Gins offer a posthuman reformulation of the dynamic between body, environment, and technology.