A Comparative Study on Robert Smithson's Earth Art and Architecture of Rem Koolhaas and MVRDV based on the Economic Model of Freud

프로이트의 경제적 모델에 의한 로버트 스미슨의 대지미술과 렘 콜하스, MVRDV의 건축 비교연구

  • Lee, Jae-In
  • 이재인
  • Received : 2015.06.15
  • Accepted : 2015.09.13
  • Published : 2015.09.30


This study set out to compare and analyze the earth art works of Robert Smithson and the works of Rem Koolhaas and MVRDV based on the economic model of Freud, thus confirming common and different features between the methodologies applied by the psychoanalysis theories in the two field and proposing a set of new criteria for fusion researches in contemporary architecture and art. The findings were as follows: first, both the spiral development process of spiral jetties and the inclined slabs of Koolhaas seem to represent a process of Thanatos development in terms of concept development. Second, the investigator compared the entropy theory with Koolhaas and MVRDV architecture theories and found that the economic model theory, which maintains that the combination of unconscious Signifiant and conscious $Signifi{\acute{e}}$ should have a multiple structure through Eros and Thanatos, became a basis. Third, the broken circles and spiral hills got to have metaphysical symbolicity as objets that supplemented the spiral jetties and specified the two instincts of the economic model, escaping from the grid system based on the XY axis to represent Signifiant and expanding to the Z axis to represent $Signifi{\acute{e}}$. Fourth, the Seattle Central Library seemed different from the expansion of the grid system in the broken circles and spiral hills, but there were conceptual similarities between them as the ramps and stairs were assumed as metaphysical and physical science paths of action and represented the fusion and confrontation of two binary opposites, Eros and Thanatos. Finally, the earth art works made the economic model of Freud concrete as a direct objet, whereas Koolhaas and MVRDV proposed a new direction for the psychoanalysis theories to make a contribution to the architecture theories through various architecture methodologies.


Freud;Robert Smithson;Earth Art;Rem Koolhaas;MVRDV;Entropy;Spiral Jetty;Broken Circle/Spiral Hill


  1. Chang, D. (2007). A study on Gordon Matta-Clark's 'Building-cuts':psychological and sociological significance of the physical holes, Thesis, Hongik University, 15-16.
  2. Choi, H. (2008). A Study on the Application of Psychoanalysis to the Architectural Composition Principles, Ph.D. Dissertation, Hongik University, 17.173-174.
  3. Colomina, B. (2005). Sexuality & Space, Seoul, Dongnyuk, 64-65.
  4. Gen, K., Keich, N., Juich, M., & Kiypkaz, W. (2011). A dictionary of the phenomenology, b, 24.
  5. Greenberg, R., & Mitchell, S. (1999). Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory, Seoul, Korean Institute for Psychotherapy, 106-117.
  6. Hays, M. (2003). Architecture Theory since 1968, Seoul, Spacetime, 929-931.
  7. Jung, E. (2010). The Spiral Form of Time and History: Vladimir Tatlin's Monument to the Third International and Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty. Journal of Basic Design & Art, 11(2), 259-260.
  8. Iverson, M. (2007). Beyond Pleasure:Freud, Lacan, Barthes, Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Press, 76-77.
  9. Kim, W. (1998). Neo-constructivism and Deconstructivism, Seoul, Kumim, 93.
  10. Koolhaas, R. (2001). Anywhere-The logic of space, Seoul, CA Press, 206-207.
  11. Lee, G. (1991). Deconstructivism, Seoul, Architecture and Culture, 149.
  12. Lee, J. (2008). Study on the Reclamation Project of Robert Smithson, Ph.D. Dissertation, Sungshin Women's University, 27.
  13. Lee, J. (2014). A Study on the Comparison of Freud's Dynamic Model and Frederick J. Kiesler's Architectural Thoughts. Journal of the Architectural Institute of Korea, Planning and Design Section, 30(8), 175.
  14. Mitchell, S., Black, M., Lee, J., & Lee, H. (2002). Freud and Beyond-A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought, Seoul, Korean Institute for Psychotherapy, 53-66., 333-349.
  15. Park, C. (1996). Contemporary Psychoanalytic Criticism, Seoul, Minumsa, 17-70., 34-39.
  16. Tsai, E., & Butler, C. (2004). Robert Smithson, Univ of California Press, 97-98.
  17. Veronique, P., & Choi, H. (2004). Read MVRDV Architecture, Seoul, Spacetime, 53.
  18. Cain, A. C. & B. S. Cain. (1964). On Replacing a Child. J. Amer. Acad. Child Psychiat.,3, 443-56.
  19. Cha, M., & Choi, H. (2010). A Comparative Study on the Inner Space Composition of a Building between Louis I. Kahn and Rem Koolhaas through Psychoanalysis. Journal of the Korean Institute of Interior Design, 21(5), 172-173.