Matteo Pericoli: The Laboratory of Literary Architecture

7 – 11 Jun 2018

The joy of cardboard, glue and storytelling. A cross-disciplinary exploration of literature as architecture.

“… one of the strangest and

most interesting classes I’d ever seen.”

(The Paris Review)

“… rarely has architecture served the same function for writing

as writing has served for architecture: to analyze and clarify.”


“The process of adding word to word is much

the same as adding brick to brick. …

I can’t think of a better course where

the purposes of two arts are so finely blended.”

(Colum McCann)


To design and build an architectural model whose spatial organization is based on the inner literary structure of a short story.

Workshop: June 7–10, 2018 

Presentation: June 11, 2018

Application deadline: May 27, 2018


Architectural metaphors are often used to describe literary texts, such as “the structure of a story”, “the architecture of a novel”, a “well-constructed” narrative and so forth. What do these expressions mean in practical terms? Architectural space is made of sequences, revelations, expectations and rhythm, why not try to create a piece of architecture that explicitly embodies the structure of a literary text?

LabLitArch is neither an architecture workshop nor a literature workshop. It is an exploration of the tight interconnection between narrative and space. We will use principles of architectural design to describe literary structures. How do we perceive and retain an architectural space or a narrative structure? From a narrative point of view, what do certain sequences of spaces convey or mean? Can the pacing, tension and chronology of a narrative be expressed in architectural terms?

The LabLitArch workshop is for anyone interested in literature and, in particular, for writing, literature, and architecture students and professionals. The only requirements are curiosity, open-mindedness and perhaps a passion for one (or both) of the two disciplines. We will temporarily step out of our familiar intellectual grounds to explore the “shape” of our own intuitions. During the workshop we will see how pure, wordless (spatial and narrative) thought is an essential aspect of both literary and architectural structures. 

Workshop dates and hours: 

Thursday June 7:       4pm - 8pm
Friday June 8:            4pm - 8pm
Saturday June 9:       10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
Sunday June 10:       10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
Monday June 11:       5pm (workshop project presentations) & 7pm (public event)

Participation fees:

Students:                      €80

Non-students:              €150

Application process:

By May 27 (midnight):       

Send a motivational letter (with your background and reasons for your interest) to If you have any experience/ability in architectural model-making, please specify.

By May 30:                       

You will receive a confirmation, several short stories to read prior to attending the workshop and instructions for payment, only if you have been accepted to the workshop. 

By May 31 (midnight):

Deadline of payment for definitive enrollment. 

In collaboration with