Depiction: architecture is a concept

Teresa Stoppani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


Depiction conventionally indicates the representation of a concept or an object by means of a picture. Yet how does architecture relate to depiction? Can architecture depict? To address what architecture ‘does’ in terms of depiction, it is necessary to move away from the phenomenology of perception and from art history. Whereas painting presents a view of the world on canvas, architecture involves a vision that makes a world within that very world. The question to explore here is not so much the relationship between architecture as an object and its visual representation before and after construction, but rather the very instance of depiction performed by architecture itself. Depiction in architecture, far from being the two- or three-dimensional representation of architecture itself, is the framing of reality by architecture: how architecture interprets and ‘depicts’ a reality that may be physical or imagined but is always embodied in architecture itself. Conceived in this way, architecture does never merely entail building: it is in itself a depiction – of the world, of an idea, of itself. Architecture in itself re-presents, and it therefore both interprets and constructs a reality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLuc Deleu - T.O.P. office: Orban Space
EditorsGuy Châtel, Wouter Davidts, Stefaan Vervoort
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Print)9789078088608
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2013


  • Depiction
  • architectural representation
  • 1970s avant-gardes
  • Belgian architecture
  • architecture and cartography
  • political architecture
  • architecture and travel
  • Luc Deleu
  • T.O.P. office


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