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Horror in Architecture Headlines in Two Huge Media Markets

Horror in Architecture, a new release from authors Joshua Comaroff and Ong Ker-Shing was applauded as “a refreshing and engaging style of architectural discourse” in the latest issue of Singapore-based D+A Magazine.

The book, which attempts to portray horror through its shifting forms and meanings—and to identify a creeping anxiety that lingers at the very center of the modern project, triggers “both amusement and unease.” According to the review, this is in large part due to the author’s humor. D+A writes, “a smile may emerge as one reads that “the studied abstraction” of Ikea’s blue-box stores is 'an architectural equivalent of the unassuming psychotic'; that the Pompidou retains 'the lucid exhibitionism of waggling [its] tubes en plein air'; or that the concealed ducts, drains, pipes, and cables of modern buildings are a kind of 'dark matter'.”

According to Comaroff and Ker-Shing, the goal of the book is to define an expanded aesthetic field that marries the beautiful to the distorted, the awkward, the manifold, and the indeterminate, and D+A thinks they “repeatedly reveal their skillful capacity to delight as well as inform” through their investigation of architecture, art, and literature, which can’t help but encourage a playful subversion of conventions. 

The book has also garnered attention from the Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao. Horror authors, Comaroff and Ker-Shing were profiled in a trend piece on how creative professionals in Singapore are publishing books to showcase their works and ideas.

The newspaper hailed Horror in Architecture as a one-of-a-kind book that “cannot be placed in any one category.”

Horror in Architecture is available now from ORO Editions, $19.95.

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