Architect, Researcher, PhD
info at francescomarullo dot com

University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Architecture
3100 Architecture & Design Studios
845 W Harrison Street (MC 030)
Chicago IL 60607

A Delicate Monster.
Three passages on the terrifying beauty of boredom.

Published in Materia Arquitectura, no.9. Alejandra Celedón (ed.). Santiago del Chile: Ograma, 2014

Centuries of literature depicted boredom as the hidden malaise of modernity: a disease of the soul which progressively separated man from his natural endowments, weakening his capacity of self-reflection into indifference. Nevertheless, it is paradoxically boredom one of the distinctive traits of the alleged post-Fordist economy: that state of unresolved longing, when the soul is suspended within an uncertain presentness and life is experienced “as such” open to unforeseen possibilities.
If in the past labor activities were functionally limited within spatial rigid enclosures, on the contrary contemporary modes of production tend to flaunt the intrinsic indeterminacy of the human potential providing empty stages for life to be simply performed. Hence, rather than indulging about how architecture crystalizes life into forms, with the rising relevance of cognitive production - in which linguistic dexterity, personal relations, affects, behaviors and even desires have been put at work - it became crucial to look at how various “forms-of-life” effectively inhabit and thus generate architecture itself.
When labor and life merged into action, form can no longer be considered as a steady object vis-à-vis a context but rather as a process of differentiation through which life becomes itself and shapes a singularity by stemming out of a formless context and actualizing its inner drives. In this sense, boredom could be considered as the index of human indeterminacy, the place where life is contemplated in its pure freedom to either realize or not its embedded potential.