Revisiting Sigmund Freud's Diagrams of the Mind

in Social Analysis
Author:
Ro Spankie Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster, London, UK r.spankie@westminster.ac.uk

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Abstract

One of the original uses of the word ‘interior’ was to describe that which belongs to or exists in the mind or soul, that is, the mental or spiritual, as opposed to that which is bodily. The etymology of the term gives a clue as to how interior space functions in a manner that is different from the architecture that contains it. This article explores the analogy of architecture as body and the interior as mind through the act of drawing out Sigmund Freud's study and consulting room, with reference to Freud's diagrams of the mind. Working with diagrams, the article will demonstrate a relation between Freud's conceptual shift from descriptive anatomy to hypothetical structures of psychoanalysis and the diagrammatic ordering of the spatial arrangement of his practice.

Contributor Notes

Ro Spankie is a designer, teacher, and researcher. She is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Westminster, London, and an Associate Editor of the journal Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture. Her PhD in Architectural Design, awarded by University College London, focused on the role of drawing as an investigative tool in relation to three case study interiors, one of which was the study and consulting room of Sigmund Freud. Her publications include “Within the Cimeras: Spaces of Imagination” in The Production Sites of Architecture (2019), edited by Sophia Psarra, and An Anecdotal Guide to Sigmund Freud's Desk (2015). E-mail: r.spankie@westminster.ac.uk

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Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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