Marc J Neveu, Chair, School of Architecture, Los Angeles recently published an essay, entitled, The Laughing Girls, in Chora 7.
This essay describes and unpacks a previously unpublished project that Douglas Darden had been working on for at least five years prior to his death in 1996. It was named in various ways, but most often as The Laughing Girls. Much bigger in scope than the ten short stories in Condemned Building, a 150-page graphic novel was planned in addition to at least forty objects to be made. The first dated material is from 1990, and at that time was already described as “an architectural novel.” The Laughing Girls remains unfinished.
For over twenty years, the Chora series has received international acclaim for its excellence in interdisciplinary research on architecture. The seven volumes of Chora have challenged readers to consider alternatives to conventional aesthetic and technological concepts. The seventy-eight authors and eighty-seven scholarly essays in the series have investigated profound cultural roots of architecture and revealed rich possibilities for architecture and its related disciplines.
Chora 7, the final volume in the series, includes fifteen essays on architectural topics from around the world (France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Korea, and the United States) and from diverse cultures (antiquity, Renaissance Italy, early modern France, and the past hundred years). Thematically, they bring original approaches to human experience, theatre, architectural creation, and historical origins. Readers will also gain insights into theoretical and practical work by architects and artists such as Leon Battista Alberti, Peter Brook, Douglas Darden, Filarete, Andy Goldsworthy, Anselm Kiefer, Frederick Kiesler, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, and Peter Zumthor.
Contributors to Chora 7 include Anne Bordeleau (University of Waterloo), Diana Cheng (Montreal), Negin Djavaherian (Montreal), Paul Emmons (Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech), Paul Holmquist (McGill University), Ron Jelaco (McGill University), Yoonchun Jung (Kyoto University), Christos Kakalis (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture), Lisa Landrum (University of Manitoba), Robert Nelson (Monash University), Marc J Neveu (Woodbury University), Alberto Pérez-Gómez (McGill University), Angeliki Sioli (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), Nikolaos-Ion Terzoglou (National Technical University of Athens), and Stephen Wischer (North Dakota State University).