Materials: Symbols and senses

Vincent Gelinas-Lemaire

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Following the completion of a master's thesis in littératures de langue française at the Université de Montréal (Materials and literatures of exhaustion), I demonstrate in this paper the need to refer to contemporary literature in order to correctly understand the symbolism of common materials in the XXIth century. François Bon, a contemporary French author, is presented as the creator of a hybrid work of lifeless geography and emotional involvement. In accord with the conclusions of my thesis, I decrypt how authors like Bon have to explore their environments thoroughly to bring their lesser components from invisibility to dominance. The analysis of materials such as concrete and iron in his books encompasses historical, social and political symbolism. The roots of the analysis go back to the texture, capabilities, usage, etc...of the materials. The goal of this paper is to lessen the gap between architecture/design and literature, between reality and fiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalDesign Principles and Practices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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