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Muriel Gardiner Program for Psychoanalysis & the Humanities: "The Wings of Daedalus: Relational Creativity in Architectural Practice"

Esther Sperber founded Studio ST Architects ( in 2003, after working with I.M. Pei for five years. Studio ST explores the embedded logic of materials and structures to generate new spatial experiences.

Esther has been fascinated by the intersection of psychoanalysis and architecture, two fields in which theory and practice collaborate to reduce human distress and widen the range of individual and social experiences.

As she notes: "Psychoanalysis has been interested in the creative process, yet architecture has only rarely been studied from a psychoanalytic perspective. This paper examines the architectural creative process in which the space between an existing problem and a physical, occupyable building is bridged. I follow the story of Daedalus, the mythic first architect, suggesting that the architect’s creativity depends on the ability to utilize multiple modalities of the human mind and body, allowing them to converse with one another in what Philip Bromberg called a moment of “standing in the Spaces.” The notion of sublimation is introduced to reestablish the place of the body in the artistic process, reminding us that the physical and the psychic are intertwined and must jointly participate in the creative process. I will conclude by demonstrating the participation of inner and outer self, mind and body in my design process for the Czech National Library International Competition."


  • Esther Sperber, AIA



Free: free


Lectures and Seminars


Snacks: Refreshments.
Apr 201318Thursday