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Examining discomfort’s physical, emotional, conceptual, psychological and aesthetic dimensions, the contributors to this volume offer an alternate, cultural approach to the study of architecture and the built environment. By attending to a series of disparate instances in which architecture and discomfort intersect, On Discomfort offers a fresh reading of the negotiations that define architecture’s position in modern culture. The essays do not chart comfort’s triumph so much as discomfort’s curious dispersal into practices that form ‘modern life’ – and what that dispersion reveals of both architecture and culture.

The essays presented in this volume illuminate the material culture of discomfort as it accrues to architecture and its history. This episodic analysis speaks to a range of disciplinary fields and interdisciplinary subjects, extending our understanding of the domestication of interiors (and objects, cities and ideas); and the conditions under which – by intention or accident – they discomfort.