TUESDAY, October 6th, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.
SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM

A PORTRAIT AND A DREAM:
THE VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF NON-VISUAL PSYCHIC CONTENT IN DESIGN

Presenter:
Adele Tutter, M.D.

Discussant:
Christopher Allegra, M.D.

The architect Philip Johnson’s Glass House can be conceptualized not only as a self-portrait, but also as a dream, its manifest design concealing latent meanings that may be inferred through the methodology of dream interpretation. Using associative biographical and art-historical data, the manifest design of the Glass House is argued to contain symbolized visual representations of non-visual psychic content, especially aspects of Johnson’s object relations with his mother and with his Lieber Meister, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Johnson’s sense of internal fragmentation, his need for binding containment, and his conflicted wish for dependent attachment or fusion is shown to achieve dynamic, stylistic, and functional signification in the design of the Glass House. Ample visual material will be presented and relevant dynamics will be considered in the light of Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenology of enclosed space. Officers of the National Trust for Historical Preservation at the Philip Johnson Glass House – Christy Maclear, Executive Director, and Dorothy Hickson Dunn, Director for Visitor Experience and Fellowships – will attend the meeting and will contribute to the discussion. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Educational objectives:
After attending this meeting, the participant will have a greater understanding of how a work of design can be meaningfully approached as structured and interpretable as a dream and how latent, non-visual psychic content, such as aspects of object relationships and psychic conflicts, can achieve symbolized visual representation in manifest design.

paper (long version with images in .pdf format)

paper (short version in .pdf format)