Buildings, Faces, Songs of Alienation: How Interiority Transforms the Meaning Out There

Main Article Content

Issue Vol. 3 No. 1 (2020)
Published Jan 24, 2020
Section Articles
Article downloads 655
Submitted : Aug 7, 2019 | Accepted : Oct 15, 2019

Pieter Marthinus De Kock


This paper presents a theoretical framework that explores visual meaning in the design and use of interior space. It is comprised of three main parts. The first outlines the framework and draws on several key theories. The second introduces three very different constructs as case studies that in#uence (or are a product of) spatial quality, namely: buildings, faces, and songs of alienation. The third part is a discussion about how each of these three constructs are linked to each other as well as to the idea of interiority. While architectural forms are containers of meaning, the way in which interior space is curated is driven by deeper meaning–one that transcends form and function because people ultimately produce the meaning. And because each person is different, the conditions of interiority (in this case, the meaning that resides within each person) drives the meaning of external constructs that act as enclosures of meaning (buildings and their interiors). The findings are that the mind and body can be projected beyond the facade and into the spaces contained in the buildings we occupy. The role of technology is also important because changes in technology help mediate the process of linking the meaning inside with the meaning out there.

Keywords: faces, urban, knowing, machines, lyrics

Article Details

How to Cite
De Kock, P. M. (2020). Buildings, Faces, Songs of Alienation: How Interiority Transforms the Meaning Out There. Interiority, 3(1), 41–60.
Author Biography

Pieter Marthinus De Kock, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Pieter de Kock is an Australian registered architect (ARBV 15737) with a master's in urban design from the University of Westminster UK, an Australian diploma in graphic design (2-years full-time), and Project Management Professional qualification (PMP 1353803). He is well-travelled, having lived and worked in seven countries and is experienced in a wide range of project types and sizes. Pieter is currently researching visual sustainability at the University of Lincoln. Recent work includes The Meaning in Seeing: Visual Sustainability in the Built Environment presented at the AMPS Conference, Stevens Institute of Technology, New York.


Aranda, J., Wood, B. K., & Vidokle, A. (Eds.). (2015). The internet does not exist. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

Arcade Fire Lyrics: “Modern Man” (2019). Retrieved from

Arcade Fire Lyrics: “My Body Is A Cage” (2019). Retrieved from

Arcade Fire Lyrics: “Sprawl I (Flatland)” (2019). Retrieved from

Arcade Fire Lyrics: “Suburban War” (2019). Retrieved from

Ballantyne, A. (2007). Deleuze and Guattari for architects. London; New York: Routledge.

Baudrillard, J. (1983). Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e).

Berleant, A. (1997). Living in the landscape: Toward an aesthetics of environment. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

Beyond good and evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche. (2009, December 7). Retrieved from

Brussat, D. (2017, November 30). Our eyes poke back at mods. Retrieved from

Brussat, D. (2018, December 28). New blog page on ‘Dystopia’. Retrieved from

Carey, J. T. (1969). Changing courtship patterns in the popular song. American Journal of Sociology, 74(6), 720–731.

Carpo, M. (2014, February). Breaking the curve: Big data and design. Retrieved from

Carta, S. (2018). Digital personal space: From the plaza to the global canopy. Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, 5(1), 91–105.

Chakrabarti, V. (2018). How we can design timeless cities for our collective future. Retrieved from

Collins, G. R., & Sitte, C. (2006). Camillo Sitte: The birth of modern city planning. Mineola, NY: Dover.

Columbia GSAPP. (2018a). Ways of knowing cities [Video file]. Retrieved from

Columbia GSAPP. (2018b). Ways of knowing cities Panel 7 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Cullen, G. (1995). The concise townscape. Oxford ; Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Diemer, M. J., Currie, G., De Gruyter, C., & Hopkins, I. (2018). Filling the space between trams and place: Adapting the ‘Movement & Place’ framework to Melbourne’s tram network. Journal of Transport Geography, 70, 215–227.

Dixon, T., Farrelly, L., & Pain, K. (2015). A smart and sustainable urban future. Estate Gazettes, 100–102. Retrieved from

Doersch, C., Singh, S., Gupta, A., Sivic, J., & Efros, A. (2014). What makes Paris look like Paris? ACM Transactions on Graphics, 31(4)

Eck, J. (2018, July 18). Cross-country redux: An architect’s inspiring—and dispiriting—drive across America. Retrieved from

Farias, I., & Bender, T. (Eds.). (2010). Urban assemblages: How actor-network theory changes urban studies. London; New York: Routledge.

Foer, F. (2018, July 6). The death of the public square. Retrieved from

Glen Campbell Lyrics: “Wichita Lineman” (2019). Retrieved from

Google’s Road Map to Global Domination (2013, December 11). The New York Times. Retrieved from

Hollander, J. B., Sussman, A., & Carr, H. C. (2018). Seeing the ‘unseen’ in Devens. Retrieved from

Hollander, J., & Foster, V. (2016). Brain responses to architecture and planning: A preliminary neuro-assessment of the pedestrian experience in Boston, Massachusetts. Architectural Science Review, 59(6), 474–481.

Hustwit, G. (2015, March 18). Dieter Rams: If I could do it again, “I would not want to be a designer.” Retrieved from

I run “facial recognition” on buildings to unlock architectural secret. (2018, April 20). Retrieved from

Jung, C. G. (2015). Man and his symbols by Carl G Jung 6 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Jung, C. G., Franz, M.-L., & Freeman, J. (1964). Man and his symbols. New York: Anchor Books.

Kitchin, R., & Dodge, M. (2011). Code/space: Software and everyday life. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Koch, C. (2013). Lecture 11: Visual Attention and Consciousness [Video file]. Retrieved from

Leach, N. (Ed.). (1997). Rethinking architecture: A reader in cultural theory. New York: Routledge.

Lefebvre, H., & Nicholson-Smith, D. (2011). The production of space. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.

Movers and shakers: New digital executive roles for Cameron Brill and Richard Kay (2018, February 19). Retrieved from

Neglected utopia: Photographer explores the forgotten modernist estates of Paris. (2016, February 16). Retrieved from

Not over till fat lady sings (2018, May 16). Retrieved from

Otty, L. (2005). The No Man Show: Technology and the extension of presence in the work of Andy Warhol. ESharp, 5.

Owen Hatherley: ‘What is happening at Sewoon Sangga is extraordinary’ (2018, January 4). Retrieved from

Paris’ Utopian village of concrete cabbage (2018). Retrieved from

Peterson, J. B. (2017a). 2017 Personality 02/03: Historical & Mythological Context [Video file]. Retrieved from

Peterson, J. B. (2017b). 2017 Personality 04/05: Heroic and Shamanic Initiations [Video file]. Retrieved from

Peterson, J. B. (2017c). 2017 Personality 06: Jean Piaget & Constructivism [Video file]. Retrieved from

Polanyi, M., & Grene, M. (1969). Knowing and being. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Rabari, C., & Storper, M. (2015). The digital skin of cities: Urban theory and research in the age of the sensored and metered city, ubiquitous computing and big data. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 8(1), 27–42.

Rodaway, P. (2011). Sensuous geographies: Body, sense, and place. London: Routledge.

Salingaros, N. A. (1999). Urban space and its information field. Journal of Urban Design, 4(1), 29–49.

Salingaros, N. A., & Mehaffy, M. W. (2006). A theory of architecture. Solingen: Umbau-Verl.

Savage, M. (2017, August 9). Wichita Lineman: The unfinished classic. BBC News. Retrieved from

Searle, J. (2016). The problem of perception & intentionality [Video file]. Retrieved from

Sharr, A. (2007). Heidegger for architects. London; New York: Routledge.

Stafford, B. M. (2014). Selective attention: Neuroscience and the art museum [Video file] Retrieved from

Sussman, A., & Chen, K. (2017, August 22). The mental disorders that gave us modern architecture. Retrieved from

Sussman, A., & Hollander, J. (2018, July 19). Three fundamental errors in architectural thinking and how to fix them. Retrieved from

Sussman, A., & Ward, J. M. (2016, June). Planning for the subconscious. Retrieved from

Sussman, A., & Ward, J. M. (2017, November 27). Game-changing eye-tracking studies reveal how we actually see architecture. Retrieved from

The neuroscience of architecture: The good, the bad—and the beautiful—Historic properties and traditional architecture (2018, February 19). Retrieved from

The Troggs Lyrics: “Wild Thing” (2019). Retrieved from

Twenty years later, everything is The Truman Show (2018, June 5). Vanity Fair. Retrieved from

Wilson, M. (2018, February 26). A mesmerizing first look at the Dieter Rams documentary. Retrieved from

Wilson, M. (2018, October 8). Dieter Rams wants Silicon Valley to stop. Retrieved from

Your city is watching you. (2018, January 17). Retrieved from

Your personal space is no longer physical–It’s a global network of data. (2018, June 1). Retrieved from