Taylor Hoople

Document Type

Thesis Prep


Fall 2022


Julia Kristeva, dualism, feminine body, hyper-aestheticized, Powers of Horror, Zuzana Kovar, abjection, Architecture in Abjection, body and space




Architectural History and Criticism | Architecture | Other Architecture


Body (as subject) and space (as object) are polarized entities in modern discourse and design. The current epoch of hygiene, control, and mass-production/ consumption renders the body and the space(s) it inhabits as whole, discrete entities. In their totality, body and space are idealized opposites, failing to experience any messy overlaps or ambiguous in-betweenness. My feminine body is particularly subject to this dualism, being tightly bound to the legal and social patriarchal dominance over my body’s autonomy and appearance.

This thesis seeks to corrupt my hyper-aestheticized and policed body by making (with) abject( ion). Understood both as an ongoing condition and process, abject(ion)--defined from Julia Kristeva’s work, Pouvoirs de l’Horreur (Powers of Horror)--disturbs identities, systems, and orders by threatening the distinction between self and other. Although contemporary architectural theorist Zuzana Kovar claims in her writing, Architecture in Abjection, that current works and theories of the abject —primarily in dialogue with Julia Kristeva-- divides body and space (due to the abjects clarity of the separateness of subject and object) this thesis makes claim otherwise.

The project argues that designing abject(ion) can refrain from its dualistic behavior in relation to my feminine body. Designing with the disordered material processes of the abject feminine body destroys this paradigm and returns agency to my body . By designing with and for my body and spaces that inflate, peel, mush, and stretch in non-isolated conditions, the abject feminine simultaneously becomes spatial and corporeal– not objectified nor commodified. Body and space are now a mushy and tangled mess; it is unclear where one ends and the other begins. As a result, the ambiguous-making escapes the contemporary obsessions of patriarchal control and consumption, who are the perpetrators of the body.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.