[ISEA2011] Paper: Angeliki Malakasioti & Spiros Papadopoulos – Symptomatic Architectures: Spatial Aspects of Digital Experience


This paper investigates the spatiality of cyberspace and the way it connects to an individual’s personal experience. It deals with the nature of digital space in correspondence with the mental phenomena occurring to its inhabitants.More specifically, the research attempts to introduce a series of conceptual analogies that describe the spatial qualities of cyberspace through the mental state of its users. This happens through the introduction of some altered kinds of architectures that could also outline a theoretical configuration of the notion of the ‘digital body’. These architectonic scenarios are referred as ‘symptomatic’ architectures since they are discovered through a process of diagnosis of the mental and psychological experiences of an internet user.
Symptoms serve as the means to introduce qualities of physicality and phenomenology to the exploration of the digital space. They act as mechanisms of manifestation and they perform processes of corporealization onto the disembodied mind. In that way, they function constructively, as far as the invention of symptomatic architectures is concerned.
Abstracts such as dissociative, inertial, echoic and phantasmal architectures will be developed, constituting self scenarios and spatial narratives. The research aspires to explore alternative ways of apprehending digital experience, through fragments of a differentiated rather than disordered mental continuum – the digital space.

  • Angeliki Malakasioti is an architect and currently a PhD Candidate in the University of Thessaly, in Volos, Greece. Parallel to her academic activity, she has been working in architectural, as well as audiovisual projects. Her research interests revolve around the theme of  the ‘Anatomy of the Digital Body’, namely the theoretical aspects of digital experience and how this might constitute various spatiality issues.
  • Spiros Papadopoulos is an architect, director of documentary films and media artist. He was born in Athens in 1966 and graduated from the School of Architecture (National Technical University of Athens, Greece, N.T.U.A.) in 1991. He holds a PhD from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain (E.T.S.A.Μ., 1997). He is Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Thessaly. Since 1998, he has been teaching “Contemporary Communication Media and Spatial Representations” in the postgraduate  program of N.T.U.A, and since 2005, at the postgraduate programme “Information and Communications Technologies in Education”, Faculty of Early Childhood Education (TEAPI), University of Athens. Also he has been an invited professor at several European universities (School of Architecture of Madrid, University of Alcala, University Camilo José Cela). His research interests focus on hybrid landscapes, visual media and communication technologies. His work, which researches the interdisciplinary interaction among architecture, art and technology, has been presented at several exhibitions and documentary festivals. He has been the scientific coordinator and director of the broadcasting program “Metalocus”, which dealt with the contemporary perception of art and architecture in Greece (Channel Seven, 2000). Since 1999, he is the co-editor of the international journal of art and architecture “Metalocus”, which has been awarded for the dissemination of architecture.

Full text (PDF) p. 1617-1620