Creative non-fiction architecture!

I have discovered an interesting website which has helped with the difficult task of differentiating between fiction architecture and non-fiction architecture. It is hosted by Lee Gutkind who helped establish the category in writing known as ‘creative nonfiction’. Rather than paraphrase what he says, I have included the address (see link below). Although it is hard exactly to define creative non-fiction writing, the main tenet is that it is loyal to fact. However that does not prevent the writer from adopting a creative approach to the way in which the facts are presented, and putting themself into the story as narrator or participant.

Using this literary analogy, I think that ‘creative non-fiction architecture’ is a good description of architecture which is enlivened by narrative responses to purpose, function or context and which involves a design process influenced by ideas and aesthetics drawn from eclectic sources (usually unacknowledged), but which stops short of an independent fictional narrative incorporating an appropriated formal/spatial concept which is acknowledged and represented literally. (See also ‘Fiction and non-fiction narratives in architecture’.)

Why bother differentiating between these two types of architecture? My sense is that architecture is locked into a straight-jacket by the non-fiction paradigm (even when seen as creative non-fiction) because there is an underlying assumption that narrative ideas must spring from purpose, function or context. The fiction architecture paradigm liberates narrative from these constraints.

Lee Gutkind’s article is at

About Fiction Architecture
I am an architect born in 1953 and practising in Melbourne as a partner in Simon and Freda Thornton Architects. I established this blog to develop a theoretical basis for a type of architecture which I call 'fiction architecture', based on imitation, pretence, trickery and playful deception, as an alternative to most 'non-fiction' architecture which may be categorized as clear, honest, sincere and didactic.

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