Architectural Body

Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002)

Although our species, like every other species, has a characteristic architecture that serves its members well by increasing their chances of survival, it is far from having an architecture that could redefine life. The architecture we speak of in this book is within our species’ reach.

– Arakawa and Madeline Gins; Introduction to Architectural Body

In the preface to their 2002 book Architectural Body (the text of which doubles as the cover image of the book itself), Arakawa and Madeline Gins introduce the work with a dialogue evaluating the alternative title “Constructing Life.” They state “We couldn’t take it as the title because our work has more to do with recasting or reconfiguring life than with an out-and-out constructing of it,” however, “We wanted it because it signaled the connection between what we do and work being done in the fields of self-organization, autopoiesis, artificial life, and consciousness studies.” Thus the absent title becomes an active heuristic device and serves a gesture that foreshadows complexities of the text to follow.


To those who have wanted to go on

living and been unable to

and therefore

even more so

To transhumans

Table of Contents


1. Organism That Persons

2. Landing Sites

3. Architecture as Hypothesis

4. Architectural Surround

5. Procedural Architecture

6. Notes for an Architectural Body

7. Two Architectural Procedures

8. Critical Holder

9. Daily Research

Writings About

“Architectural Body.”Publishers Weekly Review. 23 December 2002.

Caws,Mary Ann.“Taking Textual Time.”  Reimagining Textuality:  Textual Studies in the Late Age of Print.Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 2002.

Gardner,Colin . “Creative Resistance”. Adbusters.  No. 32. Oct/Nov 2000.

Keane, Jondi , “We have decided not to die : review of Architectural Body by Arakawa and Gins,” RealTime, vol. 54, no. Special Bookish Issue, pp. 1-1. 2003

Kolb,David.  “Review of Architectural Body”.  Continental Philosophy Review. 2003.

Kunin,Aaron.”Stay Alive, Arakawa and Gins vs. the Grim Reaper,” Village Voice.14 Jan. 2003.

Loizeaux,Elizabeth Bergmann and Neil Fraistat. ”Reimagining Textuality”. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 2002.

McKenzie,Geraldine . ”Review of Architectural Body”.  How2, Spring 2003.

Robinson,Joel David . ”Review of Architectural Body”. Parachute, 5 April 2003.

Shaneen, Marianne. Poetry Project Newslette. June 2003.