Deconstruction in Architecture – Continuous Translation through an Open Project


  • Jovana Tošić



architectural discourse, deconstructive discourse, translation, incompleteness, open project


Jacques Derrida developed deconstruction as a way of thinking which constantly examines the nature and possibilities of meaning. The paper analyses spatial-economic, cultural and social context in which deconstructive discourse was translated into architectural discourse. Translation between these two discourses happens vice versa. Deconstructivism emphasizes the formal properties of architecture, like postmodernism, which is the subject of exploration by architects such as Coop Himmelblau, Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, etc. According to some interpretations, the only solution for deconstruction in architectural work is incompleteness, an open project which represents never-ending deconstruction. There are different solutions for open projects, and the article highlights projects by architects mentioned above, which seems to manage to achieve continuous deconstruction in practice.

Author Biography

Jovana Tošić

Information Technology School – ITS Comtrade, Belgrade

Jovana Tošić (1988) is an architect born in Belgrade, Serbia. She attended University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, and received Master of Architecture in 2012. She volunteered, at the same university, as teaching assistant of architectural history and theory subjects. Since 2012, she worked in architectural studio specialized for historical preservation. As co-author she has done several interior, reconstruction and revitalization projects which were realized in Belgrade and Smederevo, Serbia. She participated on many international architectural competitions and exhibitions and won one award on international interior competition. In 2015 she participated in the international scientific conference IAA Conference 2015 – Belgrade: Revisions of Modern Aesthetics. Since 2015 she is a member of DOCOMOMO. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture.


Brodbent, Dž. “Arhitektura dekonstruktivizma.” In Istorija moderne arhitekture, knjiga 3. Tradicija modernizma i drugi modernizam, edited by Miloš Petrović, 605–21. Beograd: Arhitektonski fakultet, 2005.

Cook, Peter. “Los Angeles comes of age.” AA Files 1 (Winter 1981–82): 16–24.

Himmelblau, Coop. “The Red Angel.” Quaderns 173 (1987): 88–91.

Himmelblau, Coop. “The Open House.” Quaderns 173 (1987): 92–95.

Himmelblau, Coop. “Baumann studio.” Quaderns 173 (1987): 96–103.

Eisenman, Peter. “The Blue Line Text.” Architectural Design 58, 7/8 (1988): 6–9.

Evensen, Lazo Caroline. Frank Gehry. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, 2005.

Farrelly, E. M. “The New Spirit.” The Architectural Review 1074 (1986): 7–12.

Jencks, Charles. “Deconstruction: The Pleasure of Absence, Deconstruction in Architecture.” Architectural Design 58, 3/4 (1988): 17–31.

McLeod, Mary. “Architecture and Politics in the Reagan Era: From Postmodernism to Deconstructivism.” Assemblage 8 (Feb., 1989): 22–59. doi:10.2307/3171013. DOI:

Stevanović, Vladimir. “Dirty realism and Europe on the edge of postmodernity.” Arhitektura i urbanizam. Časopis za arhitekturu, urbanizam i prostorno planiranje 42 (2016): 7–23. doi:10.5937/a-u0-9415. DOI:

Šuvaković, Miško. “Hibridna pitanja o dekonstrukciji i umetnosti.” In Glas i pismo: Žak Derida u odjecima, edited by Petar Bojanić, 81–87. Beograd: Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, 2005.

Tzonis, A., and L. Lefaivre. “Between Utopia and Reality: Eight Tendencies in Architecture Since 1986 in Europe.” In Architecture in Europe Since 1968: Memory and Invention, 10–23. London: Thames & Hudson, 1992.

Vigli, Mark. “Prevođenje arhitekture: proizvod Vavilona.” In Istorija moderne arhitekture, knjiga 3. Tradicija modernizma i drugi modernizam knjiga 3, edited by Miloš Petrović, 594–604. Beograd: Arhitektonski fakultet, 2005.




How to Cite

Tošić, J. (2017). Deconstruction in Architecture – Continuous Translation through an Open Project. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (12), 99–107.