Execution of Architecture / Architecture of Execution or The Persistence of Collective Memory
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"A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. " ~Franz Kafka This thesis deals with a subject matter which may be considered by some to be undesirable and taboo; that is, the architecture of capital punishment, torture and death. While the content is at times difficult, this book attempts to go beyond initial reactions of support or distaste for the practice of execution. It instead attempts to bring to light the importance of the representation of these events, brought to light by the strength of modern collective thought on the issue, through an architectural discourse. Through space and ritual capital punishment entered into the minds of the people, and through space and ritual the practice can be withdrawn. But should it vanish, or is a continued representation important, and even necessary? My purpose is not to force an opinion, one way or the other, onto anyone. My intention is merely to raise the question in the mind of the reader of this work.