Fear and laughing

January 31, 2008

Below is a collection of one-liner visual jokes from a popular website, though I’ve selected only the images with architecture. (Whether or to what extent they’re photoshopped is beside the point here, and their origin is totally unknown – I’m just interested that they’re being propagated.)

In an unrelated brain drift the other day I was wondering about humor in architecture, i.e. uh, where and what is it? I kind of like these images for their blatant contradiction and/or absurdity, which is maybe a sort of taboo in buildings.

The cliché of the door leading to nowhere at the second story is a pretty basic example. The gag is the danger, the implied image of the door opening. When I think of architecture it is almost always something I implicitly trust: as a provider of basic safety it manages fear. Including a fear of the building itself. Maybe humor in architecture has a different potential for mediation.

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[pix from a post on sneezl]

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