llAW of WAll


Mehrdad Hadighi


Historically, buildings have provided boundaries designed to protect the “inside” from the “outside” with varying amounts of transparency. In contrast, modern building technology has provided space entirely enclosed by physical boundaries but virtually open through the use of technology. 

Mehrdad Hadighi’s new book llAW of WAll superimposes modern building methods onto two historically and culturally distinct houses. Drawing on Freud’s essay “The Uncanny,” Mehrdad Hadighi uses the metaphor of a hinge as he explores and illustrates the themes of closure and openness through internal design re-formation to the Woodford and Loud structures. By altering the constructive underpinnings of each, hinge construction results in oscillating structures that provide open dynamic and moving systems, while maintaining their separation and tension.

Current technology is capable of internalizing sight lines, with vision enhanced and/or generated by television, mobile phones, the Internet, computer networks, and other electronic access devices.  Our lives interface with hidden technologies as well, through surveillance devices, biometric identification, and global positioning, all sanctioned technologies that underscore the tenuous nature of our privacy.


9 x 9” Square
Chinese style sewing
Rights world: 
About the author: 

Mehrdad Hadighi is Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University, and the Stuckeman Chair of Integrative Design. Most recently, he served two terms as Chair of the Department of Architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Hadighi has been an academic for the past twenty-eight years, teaching at both public and private universities and serving as a visiting professor in the United States and abroad.

Hadighi completed his post-professional graduate studies at Cornell University and holds a professional degree in architecture and a degree in studio art from the University of Maryland. A licensed architect, he is founding principal of Studio for Architecture, a design practice that engages in research and experimentation through building projects of different scales and scopes, site-specific gallery installations, and design competitions.