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The business of Architecture is to establish emotional relationships by means of raw materials.

Le CorbusierTowards a New Architecture, 1923

My 3,300-word essay “How can the raw materials of the built environment affect and shape our sense of ourselves and the world around us?” written for my third-year undergraduate module Animating Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London was published in The Art Columnist in January 2019.

The Art Columnist is an online platform launched by the Goldsmiths Visual Cultures Society in collaboration with the Goldsmiths Department of Visual Cultures in October 2018 and aims to explore new perspectives on art and visual cultures through stories, articles, reviews, and art forms.


This essay examines the ways in which the built environment, specifically concrete architecture, affects our relationship with the world. Case studies for this research consist of two buildings and one sculpture: Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseille (1947-52) and Notre Dame du Haut (1955), and Rachel Whiteread’s House (1993). On the other hand, culturally represented acts of violence emerged from post-war Brutalist buildings and can be seen in Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens (1966-72) and Stanley Kubrick’s movie A Clockwork Orange (1971).

Cristina Ricci

London-based arts writer, content creator, and editor. Founder and curator of @criview on Instagram.

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