Architecture and Surrealism

A Blistering Romance


The first major survey on the rich relationship between the imagery and thinking of Surrealist art and the architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries

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ISBN: 9780500343203 Category:

Neil Spiller


In a world where ‘smart’ objects can talk to each other and a gun can be printed with a desktop 3D printer, the conditions for contemporary design are nothing if not surreal. The long-standing interaction between architecture and Surrealism is being reinvigorated by the technological paradigm shift that makes the protocols, concepts and otherworldliness of Surrealism more relevant to architects than the dogmas of architectural modernism. This book charts the development of this fertile relationship, revealing how these ideas are being put to use by contemporary architects in extraordinary ways.

It opens with an introduction on the precursors of Surrealism in the Baroque and Rococo periods, moving into the 20th century through the Symbolists and Dadaists. The four main chapters present the interplay between architecture and Surrealism through the key concepts of the body, the interior space, the house, alternative realities and the environment. Each chapter presents a stunning spectrum of images and features contemporary work that shows the lasting influence of the movement.

In an era of wearable technology and big data, the fascinating possibilities for new worlds, new buildings and new spaces are creating the most exciting futures our architects face. Architecture and Surrealism will show the way.

Additional information

Weight 1582 g
Dimensions 23.7 x 28.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 10 October 2016
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.7 x 28.8 cm
Weight 1582 g


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Neil Spiller is Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich, London. He is the author of Visionary Architecture and Digital Architecture Now, both published by Thames & Hudson. His architectural design work and research has been widely published and exhibited worldwide.