Sir John Soane Museum

Sir John Soane was an architect and typical polymath of his time (he lived from 1753 to 1837). He came from a working class background and rose to the top of his profession. He built the Bank of England (though his work has been largely destroyed by later pomposities) and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

There are several parallel narratives threading through this building (his home), the principal one being a narrative of secrets and discovery, which in fact acts as a framing narrative for the others. Go discover!

Sir John Soane himself probably didn’t think of it in this way, he was probably using his creativity and skill, indulging his fancy and creating an environment to house and display his archeological collection.  His delight in the use of light, the creation of enticing and often confusing perspectives and his predeliction for secrets and surprises all contribute to the powerful narrativity of the building and collection. The feeling is that the building itself is narrating.

added by Stuart Jones


Barriers, mysteries, pathways


The Hidden Pictures

What is this man guarding?


Views through…


edited 7 October, 2018 by Admin

Associated Practices

(Shedroff, N. )  Experience Design is an approach to creating successful experiences for people in any medium. This approach includes consideration and design in all 3 spatial dimensions, over time, all 5 common senses, and interactivity, as well as customer value, personal meaning, and emotional context. Experience Design is not merely the design of Web pages or other interactive media or on-screen digital content. Designed experiences can be in any medium, including spatial/environmental installations, print products, hard products, services, broadcast images and sounds, live performances and events, digital and online media, etc

edited 5 October, 2015 by Admin


Rowan Moore (2014) argues that it is a terrible misconception to think that architecture is a visual art. To the extent that you do indeed see architecture, it is still not a purely visual experience. When you look at something, you interpret it, you make associations, find memories evoked, gain a greater or lesser sense of the physical efforts and skill that went into making a structure. Architecture does not work with one sense alone, but with synaesthetic hybrids. Such synaesthetic hybrids can be understood as narrative environments.

Philip Johnson thinks that it is the modern perversion of photography that freezes architecture to three dimensions or, in some buildings, to two dimensions. However, Johnson argues, architecture is surely not the design of space, certainly not the massing or organizing of volumes. These are auxiliary to the main point which is the organization of procession. Architecture exists only in time.

At the dawn of the 21st century, Charles Jencks (2003) perceived the beginnings of a new paradigm emerging in architecture. It related, Jencks thought, to a deep transformation going on in the sciences, which, in time, will permeate all other areas of life. The new sciences of complexity, which concern such notions as fractals, nonlinear dynamics, the new cosmology and self-organising systems, have brought about this change in perspective. We have moved from a mechanistic view of the universe to one that is self-organising at all levels, from the atom to the galaxy. Illuminated by the computer, this new worldview is paralleled by changes now occurring in architecture.


Derrida, J. (1986). Point de Folie – maintenant l’architecture. Available from 8/DerridaPointdeFolie.pdf [Accessed 1 June 2017].

Jencks, C. (2003). The New paradigm in architecture. Hunch. Available from [Accessed 8 October 2011].

Johnson, P. (1965). Whence & whither: the processional element in architecture. Perspectiva, 9/10 167–178. Available from http://www.jstor.or/stable/1566915 [Accessed 8 June 2011].

Moore, R. (2014). A masterclass in spatial awareness. [Sensing Spaces : Architecture Reimagined – review]. Observer, 26 January, 33. Available from [Accessed 30 January 2014].

Edited on 1 June 2017 by Allan parsons

edited 18 November, 2018 by Mr. Administrator