Doctoral Thesis Defence: Christian Parreno

Christian Parreno is set to defend his PhD thesis ”Boredom as Space: Episodes of Modern Architecture” at AHO on Friday 23rd of June 2017.

Trial lecture 10.00 Forms of joie de vivre in late twentieth-century architecture
Disputation 12.00 Disputation


Professor Mari Lending, Institute of Form, Theory and History, AHO, has been his main supervisor. Professor Iain Borden, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London, has been his co-supervisor.

Adjudication Committee

Professor Mark Jarzombek, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT. First opponent.
Professor Lara Schrijver, Faculty of Design Services, University of Antwerp. Second opponent.
Associate Professor Thomas McQuillan, Institute of Architecture, AHO. Third Member and Coordinator

Thesis Summary

Boredom is both cause and effect of the cycle of innovation — the disaffection with the old drives the search for the new and promotes mechanisms of transgression that encourage experimentation. Due to its relational and critical essence, the condition constitutes a state of ambiguity and ambivalence, susceptible to multiple portrayals. These characteristics coincide with the paradoxes of modernity. The overpowering processes of capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization and urbanization have resulted in an everyday life characterised by monotony, predictability and self-interest. Within this context, boredom emerges not only as an alternative sensibility to the values and visions of modernism but also as a way of conceptualising space. It is thus an instrument by which to reconsider the experience and the continuous changes of modern architecture.

To explore the infiltration of boredom in the production of the built environment as well as in the discipline of architecture, this dissertation begins with the coining of the term in English in the nineteenth century and extends to the present. It follows a tripartite division organised chronologically and framed by philosophical elaborations by Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and Andrew Benjamin. Each section is composed of episodes that analyse literary and architectural sources, accompanied by interviews with Peter Cook, Charles Jencks, Rem Koolhaas, Sylvia Lavin, Herbert Morris, and Jorge Silvetti.

Christian Parreno

Christian Parreno is an architectural theorist and historian. He holds an MA in Histories and Theories from the Architectural Association and an architectural degree from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. His doctoral research was carried out partly at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and at the University of California, Los Angeles. 


Date: 23. June, 2017
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Venue: AHO, Auditorium Sverre Fehn A2
Address: Maridalsveien 29, 0175 Oslo

Contact: Rådgiver Reidun Høydal