Category: News


Spring of 2016: LabLitArch and OuLiPo

In the spring of 2016, Matteo Pericoli, together with a selected team of LabLitArch TAs, will participate in an OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) experiment titled “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Manhattan & the Laboratory of Literary Architecture: 5 Poets/5 Neighborhoods/5 Designs.”


The Common

“Experience is the axis on which the Laboratory of Literary Architecture spins. The Laboratory for Literary Architecture pushes students to compose through their model a fictional architectural experience. Donald Bartheleme’s Concerning the Bodyguard is ‘translated into skyscrapers.’ Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a pavilion inside a ‘sunken ellipse’ with a ‘false wall.’ Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is a house set on a steep cliff.”


The Observer

When we read a novel, a short story or a work of non-fiction, there is often a moment when we have the feeling that we have entered a structure built, knowingly or unknowingly, by the writer. I am not talking about the ability to picture in our minds the locations or architectural settings described in the text, but, rather, the sense of being immersed in a space designed by someone else.”




“Writing has long been intrinsic to the practice of architecture, from Vitruvius’s Ten Books on Architecture to the theoretical essays of Peter Eisenman. Writing helps architects explain ideas that are hard to glean from drawings alone, and allows for the setting out of non-project-specific agendas in manifestos or magazines, such as Le Corbusier’s L’Esprit Nouveau. … rarely has architecture served the same function for writing as writing has served for architecture: to analyze and clarify.”


The Paris Review

“One Friday evening in March, I took the train to Columbia University and walked into one of the strangest and most interesting classes I’d ever seen. It was the Laboratory of Literary Architecture, part of the Mellon Visiting Artists and Thinkers Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, and a multimedia workshop in which writing students, quite literally, create architectural models of literary texts.”


The New York Times

“Great architects build structures that can make us feel enclosed, liberated or suspended. They lead us through space, make us slow down, speed up or stop to contemplate. Great writers, in devising their literary structures, do exactly the same.”