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alice as architecture degree project by Felicia Guldberg Master Program of Architecture Lund University

alice as architecture degree project by Felicia Guldberg Master Program of Architecture, Lund University examiner: Christer Malmstrรถm tutors: Tina-Henriette Kristiansen & Pawel Szychalski 2011

“P resident Wilson, Queen Victoria, the Times leader writer, the late lord Salisbury - it does not matter how old, how important, or how insignificant you are, you become a child again. To become a child is to very literal; to find everything so strange that nothing is surprising; to be heart less, to be ruthless, yet to be so passionate that a snub or a shadow drapes the world in gloom. It is so to be Alice in Wonderland.�

Virginia Wolf 1939


INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................................................1 part 1 MANIFESTO literature and architecture.........................................................................................................................................................4 program as absent..........................................................................................................................................................................6 my process..........................................................................................................................................................................................8 comparison as introduction......................................................................................................................................................9 weaving the architectural text................................................................................................................................................10 crystalization as improvisation.............................................................................................................................................12 part 2 BACKGROUND who was alice?................................................................................................................................................................................16 who was lewis carroll?................................................................................................................................................................18 a golden afternoon_the story about alice’s adventures in wonderland..............................................................................22 ILLUSTRATION EXERSICE key scenes_from alice’s adventures in wonderland...................................................................................................................24 INTERPRETATIONS what did he mean?......................................................................................................................................................................34 litterature philosophy mathematics symbols psychology logic theatre of the absurd alices_various interpretations........................................................................................................................................................48

STUDY TRIP looking for alice_places to visit and things to see..................................................................................................................54 SITE ANALYSIS the site................................................................................................................................................................................................62 part 3 42 aspects of Alice........................................................................................................................................................................78 part 4 THE BUILDING.........................................................................................................................................................................164 drawings site plan long sections plans sections facades axonometry THE CRYSTALS ........................................................................................................................................................................192 APPENDIX...................................................................................................................................................................................202 chronology_the life of charles dodgson the game of logic_how does it work? the carpenter’s hat_how to make it yourself REFERENCES............................................................................................................................................................................214


This report is divided into four parts – first a section where I’m giving an overall explanation of my thoughts that have evolved during this thesis project. The following three parts are presented in the chronolgical order that my process progressed. Part 2: A research part that involved readings, playing ‘the game of logic’, a study trip in search of a site, and the site analysis that followed. ...thereon part 3: The ‘42 aspects of Alice’ is the central part of the thesis and design work. In this part, I present the crucial process of translation of specifically selected extracts from the book to the building’s content. This translation involved various media, through which I identified and developed possible ways of defining the building’s physical elements or other aspects of the building’s content. In the last part I present my building proposal and a chemistry installation illustrating a wall system that is to be used within the building.



literature and architecture

I believe there is a strong desire to travel places you have experienced through fiction. A good example of such desire is the castle in Elsinore, Denmark, known as the stage for Shakespeare’s Hamlet or famous balcony in Verona, the supposed place where scenes from Romeo and Juliet took place. Although Hamlet never existed, tourists visit his castle every year.

Literature has in many cases been inspired by architecture (For example, the Knossos palace that in Greek mythology became the labyrinth inhabited by the Minotaur) - What if architecture could be based upon fiction and its imaginative worlds? A writer uses the language to construct words that in combination become sentences. The sentences construct a text. In a contemporary Western society, written text has a central role as a tool for daily communication such as signs, labels, newspapers, or legal documents. It is very important that these texts are highly precise and do not leave any room for any interpretation.

Through literature, we can get a mental picture of past life and architecture. (Example the novel Les MisĂŠrables by Victor Hugo, 1862) 1.

We can compare a text like this with an airport, which should not leave the travellers with any insecurity of where to go next. However, we know from experience that legal texts as well as airports information signs do not always succeed in their ambition. Obviously equally important for society, are other types of texts, which try to explore other purposes such as literature and poems. Such kind of texts trigger our imagination and through reading we feel that we become someone else and/or we visit places we did not even knew existed.


I believe architecture can do the same: can trigger our imagination, can make the inhabitant/visitor feel that s/ he becomes someone else and/or surprise her/him that s/he visits places that they not even knew they existed. images: 1. Elsinore, Denmark_ Hamlet castle 2. Verona, Italy_Rome and Juliet balcony


everyday signs


program as absent

I find architecture today is motivated by profit and ‘rationality’ and by what we as architects call ‘the program.’ Only the ‘artist’ design non-program spaces. When the architect designs spaces with the purpose of ‘just being space’ this is mostly outdoor spaces such as parks which we hand on to landscape architects.

Society seems to build permanent structures as emotions when it is related to death (memorials and monuments). It is when we die we get a tombstone. It cannot be more permanent – ‘it is written in stone.’ What if we instead should raise a stone when we are born as a celebration?

Spaces within building designed without profit in mind and without specific choreography for the users are related to religion and grieving. Here the architect is allowed to create space with the single purpose to be ‘just space.’ If we search for architecture that is motivated by positive emotions without financial motifs, it seems like the only examples are temporary pavilions. Nevertheless, by being temporary the architecture seems to apologize for even existing.

I think the perfect space to ‘just-exist-in’ must be Nature. Today the majority of the world’s population lives in cities with no or little access the Nature. However, even Nature is today defined in numbers and described charts in the discussions about global warming etc. We never mention the effects of the wellbeing of man that Nature holds. I think that we as human beings are programmed to walk around and experience the world through Body/ mind combination. When we today need a recreational moment, instead of walking in the forest searching for fruits and berries, we seem to shop or sit in cafés simply because the environment we exist in is programmed this way by profit/politics/architects. We need to conceive new spaces with the single purpose to ‘just-exist-in.’

grief as architecture


nature vs city


my process

I have chosen my project to be driven by the book ‘Alice’s Adventures’ in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll. This choice was neither dictated by the fact that it is being recently discussed in the field of theory of architecture nor by the fact it has become increasingly useful reference in architecture schools all over the world, but for the very simple reason that it is dear to me since childhood.

light, shadows, sounds, silence, scents, and voids. In my thesis project I am interested in exploring this language such as the poet does. I am trying to create spaces that simulate the visitors to feel what Alice experiences in Wonderland. To achieve this I have chosen key scenes from the books that represent various aspects that “are Alice.” From these key scenes I’m trying by using my architectural language to create a parallel to Alice’s world where language of architecture is capable of shaping such enclosures of spaces that can ‘trigger our imagination and trough reading/experiencing we feel that we become someone else and/or we visit places we did not even knew they existed.’

Although I am aware of the fact that Lewis Carroll’s text is a very good example of text without specific purpose made it a text of great importance in the field of architectural theory and education. It is filled with nonsense, philosophy, emotions, and imaginary worlds. As an architect, my language consists of solids and textures. By using this architectural language, I can create

studio space


comparison as introduction

The overall feeling of Alice’s experience in Wonderland is the feeling of frustration of not understanding the overt logic that reigns.


So how do I as an architect achieve the same frustration of not understanding the logic of my building? To my help I have taken two clips from the movies ‘Mon Oncle’ (1958) and ‘Playtime’ (1967) by Jacques Tati. In the first example from ‘Mon Oncle’, we as architects find the composition of this building to be illogic but the user would after a few repetitions learn to navigate by ‘body/mind memory’. In the second example, we see a composition that to us as architects would in plan look perfectly logic. However, for the user it is a world so overly logic that it is impossible to navigate in since it do not relate to the body/mind memory.


I’ve tried to convert these two examples into a third way of designing confusion - by deconstructing the box so it relates to the visitor’s body/mind experience and then weaving them so tight together that it is impossible for the body/mind memory to actually piece them together.

1. 2.


mon oncle_1958 playtime_1967

weaving the architectural text

I have defined what I am calling ‘42 aspects of Alice, (Lewis Carroll was in his life obsessed by the number 42 which was repeated during his work as mathematician, writer and private life). These aspects represent the 42 ingredients that my building is based upon. The ingredients, varies from site conditions to spaces within the building all capturing the ‘Alice sense’. In my sketch models, I defined a series of experiences that drive the creation of individually shaped enclosures of spaces, which I will call envelopes. They should be seen as elements of my new architectural language: my words that through specific architectural mode of weaving or clustering them they will be assembled to become an architecturally expressed text: a building. In order to read this text, the inhabitant/visitor travels freely through the building and by the time they decide to leave it; they experienced the full “book”. If I found the scene from the book very complex, I decided to break it down into several envelopes. When put together they become a part of the text. In some cases, I have chosen to create a sequence of spaces where one scene is so complex that I split the complexity of emotions into several spatial enclosures to parallel them.

left_sketches right_sketch models


crystallization as improvisation

During my research, I came across the work of Swiss artist duo Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger. I was amazed by the beauty of their growing crystals that that I see as relating to the garden feel in the books about Alice as well as the aesthetics in the Victorian style illustrations. I learned that the technique they use (a salt called urea that today is used in farming as artificial fertilizer) was discovered in 1828. “Until then it was believed that only the mysterious “vis vitalis” (life force) was capable of producing organic compound, and it was not within the power of human beings to copy them.”

As a former dancer, I relate to improvisation based on my own experiences. The very moment of improvisation means that the dancer is bodily so deeply present in space that she is in total control of the body and at the same time without any control of what will happen next. To be good at improvisation you need to be trained by endless hours of repetition of choreographed steps. During these hours of training, you develop what I refer to as your bodily memory. This memory, the given rigor of sets of bodily reactions seems to be a good parallel to the hexagonal molecular structure of water that provides particular rigor of snowflake patterns. As in the growth of a snowflake, it is this bodily memory that is leading you through the improvisation. Improvisation in dance is an equivalent of the complex, nonlinear dynamics shaping final variety of each separated snowflake. In that moment of a pure improvisation, as a dancer you are a product of all your previous experiences, and you convert them all into and through the outer conditions present in that specific timeslot.

Interestingly, I realized that for me crystallization with its incorporation as growing walls in my building also is more in my project than just its aesthetic side.

“Free crystal growth is a product of both complex nonlinear dynamics and specific constraints: geometric instabilities of water, air, temperature and saturation gradients. Each design, perfectly expresses not only the state of one of universe’s neighborhoods during a specific interval in time but also the snow crystal’s own particular historical trajectory within it. Because the snow crystal is literally the product of “time,” in it growth and design are one.” Sanford Kwinter

Due to the renovation of the architecture school this year, the architecture school has temporarily been moved to the location of the chemistry department. This gave me the great opportunity to grow my own crystal gardens.

I do believe that there is no obvious message in the first improvised story about Alice.


artificial plants

by Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lentzlinger



who was alice?

particularly good day.

Alice was in reality Alice Pleasance Liddell, the daughter of the dean at Christ Church University, Oxford.

Lewis Carroll was a specialist in funny games, stories, riddles and games and their friendship lasted until 1865 where we know from the diary of Lewis Carroll was their last meeting.

Without her, the story about ‘Wonderland’ would never have been written. She was the special child friend to the mathematician Lewis Carroll and without her begging him to write down the amazing story that was told during a fieldtrip; one of the most popular children books would have been forgotten.

All through her life, Alice would keep her interests for painting, singing, play, and reading. After the ending of the friendship with Lewis Carroll, she was the muse for Ruskin who also attended Christ Church and had been her drawing tutor.

She was the daughter of Henry George Liddell and Lorina Hannah (born Reeve). Alice had nine brothers and sisters, of which only seven reached adulthood. The family belonged to the privileged part of the Victorian society with associations to the royal family. Alice and her sisters were taught by a governance, Miss Prickett. Girls would in the Victorian era not attend higher education and the goal would be to “marry well”.

Alice and prince Leopold, the fourth son of queen Victoria meet in the home of the Liddell family when he was a student of Christ Church. Alice’s father dean Liddell was responsible for the prince’s education and Dr. Acland for his health - the prince was suffering from bleeder’s disease (a disease that at his time was very common within the European royal families.) However, they would never get the blessing from Queen Victoria and price Leopold came to marry a German princess instead.

Alice was a very imaginative child and her favourite expression was “let’s pretend”. Once she was supposed to have said to her nanny:

-Let’s pretend I’m a hungry hyena and you are a bone of meat”.

Alice herself would marry another student attending Christ Church, Reginald “Regi” Hargraves. It was a huge wedding in Westminster Abbey, London but from the list of the 137 people who gave the wedding gifts, we know that Lewis Carroll was not one of them.

Her friendship with Lewis Carroll started April 26th 1856 that already had made acquaintance with her older brother Harry. This he marked in Carroll’s diary with a “white stone”, which he would do if he has had a


After the wedding the couple moved to the family home of the Hargraves in Lyndhurst and had three sons Alan, Rex and Caryl. All the sons participated in the First World War where Alan and Rex were killed. Alice became a widow at the age of 73 and after the death of her husband, Alice decided to sell some of her belongings, including the handwritten copy of Alice in Wonderland that Lewis Carroll had given her. Book collectors from all over the world bid on the book when it was auctioned out at Sotheby’s in London. The book was finally sold to an American, Dr. Rosenbach to the price of 15.400 pounds. At this time, the highest price ever paid in England for a book. At the centennial of the birth of Lewis Carroll, Alice was invited to America. At the age of 80 she travelled with the transatlantic liner “Berengaria”. Her visit caused a lot of media attention and she became honorary doctor at Columbia University. At this point, the original manuscript had been sold to another collector – the millionaire Eldridge Johnson that met her in the home of Dr. Rosenbach. Here she was given the honour to see the book again. Alice made her way home after the journey to America but she is supposed to have said that “she almost whished that was not the real Alice”.

Alice Pleasance Liddell 1852-1934

Two years later Alice died and was buried in Lyndhurst.


who was lewis carroll?

In 1850, he attended Christ Church University; Oxford that he at this point did not know would be his home for the rest of his life. As one of the most outstanding students, he was offered the position as deacon, which was supposed to lead him to become a priest. This position required that he would stay unmarried as long as he would be living within the Christ Church campus. Charles Dodgson never married even though he later moved outside campus but was still engaged with the University.

selfportrait by Charles Dodgson; illustration how he felt when teaching

Charles Dodgson, the mathematician, produced a large number of publications within mathematics and logics in his real name. In addition, if it were not for the books about Alice it is most possible that he would be remembered for his works in political mathematics, symbolic logic, sport ranking systems or his interest in introducing a global date line. In addition, he invented double stick tape and made improvements on the bicycle that were never put into production during his lifetime.

Lewis Carroll is the name of the author we know from “Alice in Wonderland. But what we might not know is that Lewis Carroll– is the nome de plume for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and it seems like this man was a man with two personalities-the serious and strict mathematician and the funny uncle with an ocean of imagination. For me it’s been very difficult to separate these two personas and through this project I have not been able to be chose one name over the other, but just had to accept the fact that this man had two names, Charles Dodgson and Lewis Carroll.

There is a funny anecdote that relates to his anonymity as Charles Dodgson where Queen Victoria had been infatuated by the “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” demanded:

Charles was born in Daresbury as the third child and oldest son of reverend Charles Dodgson and Frances Jane (Lutwige) Dodgson. At an early age, it was evident that Charles had a great talent for mathematics and he was to follow in his father’s footsteps to attend boarding schools such as Richmond Grammar School and Rugby School.

-Send me the next book Mr. Carroll produces. The next book was unfortunately “An Elementary Treatise on Determinants”. The queen was not amused.


Or maybe Charles Dodgson would have been famous for his photography of children. Some might still claim that Charles Dodgson is one of the best photographers of children portraits during the early history of photography.

Henry Liddell, the father of Alice also died and a joint memorial was held for them at Christ Church Cathedral.

Moreover, it was most often through his pictures that he would meet with children. He would ask the parents or they would come to him to have their child’s picture taken. In the interaction with children, Charles Dodgson turned into his second persona. If he would be invited for a dinner, it would be common to find him in the nursery playing with the children instead of sitting at the dinner table. With children Dodgson was not troubled by his stuttering, which might also have been the reason why he never became priest that would have included the task of leading services and preaching in front of a larger groups of people. During his lifetime Charles Dodgson would keep many child friends, most of them girls in the age of 4 – 13. One of them was Alice. Dodgson would entertain with games, riddles, and funny letters. In addition, he had a great talent in storytelling and he would make up stories based on the child who was listening. In December 1897, Dodgson went to Guilford to spend Christmas with his sisters. In early January, he developed a feverish cold, which developed into severe bronchial influenza. He was sixty-five when he died. The same week, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832-1898


puzzle letter

to Gerogina Watson


Edith, Lorina, Alice Liddell

Alexandra (Xie) Kitchin_1876

Reginald Southey and friends _1857

Irene McDonald


by Charles Dodgson



Lorina and Alice Liddell

a golden afternoon

_the story about ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass’

showed it to a few friends and was encouraged to have it published. However, as he was questioning his own talent in drawing he approached the illustrator John Tenniel, which at the time was a well-known illustrator for the satire paper ‘Punch’.

It was the 4th of July 1862 when Alice 10 years old and her sisters Ina (13) and Edith (8) went on a boat trip with Mr Dodgson and his friend reverend Robinson Duckworth. Going up the river to Godstow, Alice asked Dodgson to tell them as story. As Duckworth later recalled:

- He ordered 42 illustrations.

‘ I rowed stroke and he rowed own in the famous Long Vacation voyage to Godstow, when the three Miss Liddells were our passengers, and the story was actually composed and spoken over my shoulder for the benefit of Alice Liddell, who was acting as ‘cox’ of our gig. I remember turning around and saying, ‘Dodgson, is this an extempore romance of yours?’ And he replied ‘Yes, I’m inventing as we go along.’

Dodgson was a very difficult client and demanded that everything had to be perfect! For the first edition, he himself paid Tenniel for the illustrations and MacMillian (the publisher) for the printing. Three years later, on the day since the amazing story was told on that golden afternoon, Alice received the printed edition. All the first edition copies had a red cover except for Alice’s that was bound in a white cover. But Tenniel claimed that the illustrations were badly printed and demanded to have them redone and all the books that had been sold and given to Dodgson’s child-friends had to be returned to be reprinted; even Alice had to give her book back. But, the cover could be untracked and be reused for the new book.

I also well remember how, when we had conducted the three children back to the Deanery, Alice said, as she bade us good-night, ‘Oh, Mr. Dodgson, I wish you would write out Alice’s adventures for me.’ He said he should try, and he afterward told me that he sat up nearly the whole night, committing to MS. Book his recollections of the drolleries with which he had enlivened the afternoon. He added illustrations of his own, and presented the volume, which used often to be seen on the drawing-room table at the Deanery.’

Despite the very mixed reviews in the press (some papers claimed that the book was terrible and probably harmful for children and some reviews meant it was a very good book) the rumour about the unusual children book spread across England and Europe. The German and French translation was published in 1869. Eventually Dodgson had made himself a small fortune on his children book.

Dodgson gave the manuscript to Alice as an early Christmas gift on November 26th 1864. While working on the manuscript, Dodgson had


Encouraged by his success Dodgson decided to write one more book about Alice: ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ When he again asked Tenniel to illustrate his Alice he was turned down. Apparently, the collaboration had been too demanding the first time. However, as Dodgson was persistent, he finally convinced Tenniel. This time he made Alice a little bit older, her apron was more stylish, and she was wearing striped socks that were very popular at the time. Moreover, this time she was wearing a head band that, in England, since then have been named an ‘Alice-band’. It has been told that Alice sold the original manuscript to America. In 1952, it was bought by well-wishers and was given to British Museum as ‘an expression of thanks to a noble people who had held Hitler at bay for a long period single-handed’. It was received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who called the gift an ‘unsullied and innocent act in a distracted and sinful world’. Today it is kept in the permanent exhibition at the British Library, London among the most valuable manuscripts in the UK.

key scenes

from alice’s adventures in wonderland

While reading the “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” I decided to make an exercise of paper illustrations. The purpose was to identify key scenes, and to investigate how I with as little means as possible could illustrate them. I realized that what is visually referring to Alice is in many cases certain colors, patterns and specific objects.


1. 2. 3.


the white rabbit down the rabbit hole drink me, eat me


Down down down.



t was all very well to say `Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. `No, I’ll look first,’ she said, `and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.




wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer today.’



4. 5. 6. 6.


he went on growing, and growing...


the pool of tears the dodo the rabbit’s house

7. 8.

advice from a caterpillar pig and pepper

9. 10.





here was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it : a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’


the chesire cat a mad tea-party



heshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. `Come, it’s pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’




large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red.


11. 12.

paint the roses red the lobster quadrille

13. 14.





ill you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail. “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?


the red queen’s croquet alice’s evidence

what did he mean?

Looking for the meaning of Alice’s adventures there appear to be an endless of attempts from various groups, such as literary scholars, philosophers, writers, psychoanalysts such as Freudians and Jungians, mathematicians and many more...

about the Hunting of the Snark:

‌ still you know, words mean more than we mean to express when we use them: so a whole book ought to mean more than the writer meant. Charles Dodgson

About Alice:

“I can guarantee that the books have no religious teaching whatsoever in them – in fact they do not teach anything at all.” Charles Dodgson

LITERARTURE Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into 125 different languages. Remarkable for a children book - which can be compared to Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne that has been translated to 31 languages, and Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren to 58 languages. Comparing Alice to other heroines we find that she is of a different kind of heroine than in other children literature. In the Victorian period, it was also very unusual that the child-hero was a girl.

of her social status. as she knows the difference between mistresses and servants: ‘He took me for his housemaid…’

Let us compare her to other heroines we know. Cinderella is all good and the entire world around her is evil. Cinderella is a victim but from being good, she gets the prince.

There does not really seem to be a clear message within the story. Alice does not learn anything and repeat the same mistakes. Such as when she repeatedly insults the mouse she meets in the pool of tears and that she keeps on eating things in Wonderland without very much hesitation. This is also very unusual for a children book that especially from this time would be moralizing and prepares the child for the adult world. Which is a total contrast to the fables of La Fontaine and the folktales of the brothers Grimm that speaks its’ clear message to the reader.

She is well educated with her own governess: ‘(…) and I’m sure I can’t be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and--oh dear, how puzzling it all is!’ ‘The governess would never think…’

Another heroine we know is Pippi Longstocking. Pippi is a true anarchist in the adult world. In the books about Alice, we find the opposite situation. The world is in anarchy and Alice is trying to find some stability and reason in the situations she faces. As much as we want to identify us with Alice, it is clear that Alice is not any child in the Victorian era. Alice is a ‘lady’. She is well mannered among grownups well aware


`And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, `he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.’ the mad hatter, Alice’s adventures in Wonderland

PHILOSOPHY “And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going though the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further: she felt a little nervous about this; `for it might end, you know,’ said Alice to herself, `in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?’ And she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle is like after the candle is blown out, for she could not remember ever having seen such a thing.”

The work of Charles Dodgson also deals with topics that philosophers’ trough time been thinking about.

- Time - Names_medieval realists - Ethics - Justice

down the rabbit hole; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

- Personal identity - Mind and body_ Cartesian dualism - Dreams - What happen to the flame of a candle when the candle is put out?_ Pre-Socratics


The human being is “capable of various psychical states, with varying degrees of psychical states, with varying degrees of consciousness” The ordinary: “with no consciousness of the presence of fairies; the eerie, in which, while conscious of actual surroundings, “he is also conscious of the presence of fairies’, and lastly, a form of trance, in which, while unconscious of actual surroundings an apparently asleep, he ‘(i.e. his unmaterial essence) migrates to other scenes, in the actual world, or Fairyland, and is conscious of the presence of fairies. Charles Dodgson

PSYCHOLOGY There is nothing indicating that Dodgson where under the influence of any substances, but simply would get high on imagination.

Let us not forget that the pictures that Dodgson took of children should be seen in the context of the time they were taken in. It was common to take naked pictures of children and then send them to an illustrator that would add wing to the child’s back, making them look as small angels. And as a comment to the beautiful picture of Alice kissing Dodgson should be remembered that it was common to kiss children this way, a little bit like how children still will be kissed by old ladies.

The symbolism according to the Freudians is to me too violent and often far-fetched. Examples of this are that the rabbit hole and the lock and key are representing coitus and that the pool of tears is the water from where all life and babies comes from. Reading Freudian interpretations I am very much in doubt that if the purpose of the book was anything like this, Dodgson would ever have published it as he very much liked children.

In addition, Dodgson was a strictly religious man and even if he had “forbidden thoughts”, it would be must likely that he never acted on them. BUT, there is a but that makes me wonder… As we know the “real Alice” sold the manuscript, and there is nowhere to find any reason for this. What the truth is, we will probably never know.

Nevertheless, reading about the life of Charles Dodgson I in many different texts found a defensive attitude to the insinuations that Dodgson would have had any paedophilic tendencies. However, I have not so far found an actual text that really deals with this question. To me it seems that the different “defenders” are so smitten by the wonderful stories that Dodgson published and they would be almost dirty is these rumours were found to be true.


MME MARTIN: Quelle est la morale? LE POMPIER: C’est à vous de la trouver.

Ionesco, La Cantatrice Chauve

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9

THEATRE OF THE ABSURD The Theatre of the Absurd refers primarily to European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s ant the style of theatre that evolved from their work. Characteristic is the dialog where logical construction and arguments gives way to irrational and illogical speech. The plays describes that human existence has no meaning or purpose in a godless universe, and therefore communication breaks down. I don’t think Charles Dodgson would agree to the nonexistence of God, being born into a highly religious family during the Victorian era and also considering himself becoming a priest but I find other similarities between his work and the work of Theatre of the absurd. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland does as many of the Theatre of the Absurd have a circular structure, ending exactly as they began.


Tweedledum: I know what you are thinking about, but it isn’t so, nohow. Tweedledee: Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn’t it ain’t. That’s logic. Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedeledee in “Through the Looking-Glass”

LOGIC Dodgson was teaching mathematics to the boys at the university and logics to girls outside the school. He published in 1887 “Game of Logic” and “Symbolic Logic” in 1896. Where Dodgson usually had a very strict approach to teaching we find in his way of teaching logics the same playfulness as in the books about Alice.

achieved. However, the syllogisms presented by Carroll are not as easily solved. Starting with the premises:

I myself as a beginner in logics have been amazed by how easily he guides the reader through increasingly complex problems. Even though the books are over a century old I find the problems much wittier and more intriguing than any of the math books I have come across during my education.

Carroll concluded:

All cats understand French Some chickens are cats

Some chickens understand French Or, No fossil can be crossed in love; An oyster may be crossed in love Oysters are not fossils

Syllogisms can be traced back to the fourth century BC by Aristotle: All men are mortal All Greeks are men Therefore, we conclude that:

Carroll interest for logics is found in the books about Alice where the dialog many times seams irrational and impossible – but viewed with the help of his logic we learn that Wonderland is too logic!

All Greeks are mortal

His logic is shortly presented in the appendix.

This is a well-known example and the conclusion is easily


‘Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth.’

Dodgson had been interested by gravity and had calculated that it would take

42 seconds to fall through the planet!

MATHEMATICS The number 42 seems to be very special and is returning throughout the life and works of Dodgson. In the court scene in “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland” (that by the way has 42 illustrations” we find:

“At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his note-book, cackled out `Silence!’ and read out from his book, `Rule Forty-two. ALL PERSONS MORE THAN A MILE HIGH TO LEAVE THE COURT.” In “The Hunting of the Snark”, we find it twice:

Rule 42 of the Code, “No one shall speak to the man at the helm” “He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed, With his name painted clearly on each: But, since he omitted to mention the fact, They were all left behind on the beach.”

Did you notice that this is page 42?



After falling down the rabbit hole, Alice says:

“I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is – oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication Table doesn’t signify” If we would read these lines without paying very much attention we would think that Alice is totally confused. In every day-life we use numbers in base 10, where 42 means (4 x 10) + 2. However in if we use a number system with the base 12, as counting shillings and pence or with feet and inches we see: 9d. + 5d. = 1s. 2d. and 9in., + 5 in. = 1ft. 2 in, so ‘9’ + ‘5’ = ‘12’ Returning to Alice’s calculations, we note: In base 18 arithmetic, In base 21 arithmetic,

4 x 5 = 20 = (1 x 18) + 2, which we write as ‘12’ 4 x 6 = 24 = (1 x 21) + 3, which we write as ‘13’

Continuing this way: In base 24 arithmetic, In base 27 arithmetic, In base 30 arithmetic, In base 33 arithmetic, In base 36 arithmetic, In base 39 arithmetic,

4 x 7 = 24 = (1 x 24) + 4, which we write as ‘14’ 4 x 8 = 32 = (1 x 27) + 5, which we write as ‘15’ 4 x 9 = 36 = (1 x 30) + 6, which we write as ‘16’ 4 x 10 = 40 = (1 x 33) + 7, which we write as ‘17’ 4 x 11 = 44 = (1 x 36) + 8, which we write as ‘18’ 4 x 12 = 48 = (1 x 39) + 9, which we write as ‘19’

But now things go wrong: In base 42 arithmetic,

4 x 13 = 52 = (1 x 42) + 10,

which we write as ‘1X’ Alice was right!

...there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet...

the pool of tears, Alice’sAdventures in Wonderland

SYMBOLS Many of Dodgson’s child friends have witnessed on how Dodgson would make up customized stories to that particular child that was listening. In the books about Alice, there are plenty of codes that were especially meant for Alice. `Once upon a time there were three little sisters,’ the Dormouse began in a great hurry; `and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well’ Elsie was Lorina Charlotte (LC), Lacie was Alice, and Tillie was Edith’s pet name. Charles Dodgson identified himself as the Dodo (dodododgson), and is in the illustration wearing an academic sleeve. The Duck is referring to Ducksworth. The Monkey is very relevant, as the famous evolution debate was held in Oxford in 1860, when Darwinite Thomas Huxley told Bishop Wilberforce that he would rather be descended from a monkey than a bishop. The Darwinist Professor Daubeny kept monkeys in the Botanic Garden.


The brass firedogs in the fireplaces in the dining hall at Christ Church looks very much like the illustration of Alice with ‘an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk. ‘


alice’s adventures in wonderland

The Mad Tea-Party The text subtly reveals that the date of the party was 4 May, Alice’s birthday.

The Queen’s invitation to the croquet game The royal wedding between Edward and Princess Alexandra took place in 1863 and the royal couple spent three days at the Deanery at their end of their honey moon. Princess Alexandra insisted on a croquet engagement with the children in the Deanery garden.

Alice did have a cat named Dinah that would hide in the chestnut tree in the Deanery garden - very much like the illustration of the Chesire Cat.

The Queens’s croquet ground The Oxford Botanic Garden water lily house can be seen in the background.


through the looking-glass

Humpty Dumpty_ sits on an old Oxford college wall.

The mirror illustration looks very much like the home of Alice’s grandmother.

The red queen looks very much like “Pricks” (Miss Prickett) – the Liddell sisters’ governance.

The door is obviously the Norman door of her father’s Chapter House at Christ Church.

The carpenter’s hat illustrates the box like hats made out of a newspaper worn by the Sunderlands ship’s carpenters.


A boat beneath a sunny sky, Lingering onward dreamily In an evening of July-Children three that nestle near, Eager eye and willing ear, Pleased a simple tale to hear-Long has paled that sunny sky: Echoes fade and memories die. Autumn frosts have slain July. Still she haunts me, phantomwise, Alice moving under skies Never seen by waking eyes. Children yet, the tale to hear, Eager eye and willing ear, Lovingly shall nestle near. In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: Ever drifting down the stream-Lingering in the golden gleam-Life, what is it but a dream?


various interpretations

Lewis Carroll

original manuscript 1864


John Tenniel

comissioned by Charles Dodgson 1865







1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Arthur Rackham_1907 Tove Jansson_1966 Salvador Dali_1969 Annie Leibovitz_for US VOGUE_2003 Tim Burton_movie_2010 52






6. Walt Disney_cartoon_1951 7. ballet_music: Tchaikovsky arranged by Carl Davis,London_1995 8. CJ Lim_installation at Victoria & Albert Museum London_2009 9. Florencia Pita_installation at LAXART, Los Angeles_2007 10. American Mcgee’s Alice_computer game 53

looking for alice _studytrip autumn 2010

places to visit and things to see

Three of the world’s most popular books ever written are originated in the Oxford University society…

Starting this process I was determined to find a site to base my project upon. At the age of 16 I spent the summer in Oxford (I as well travelled to see a world I’ve experienced through fiction) and I was curious to do the same journey at the age of 28, almost the same age as Charles Dodgson, when he improvised the story about Alice.

- Lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) - Narnia by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) …and of course the books about Alice... I was curious to see if I could find the creative atmosphere in Oxford, whether it existed or if I should find a site elsewhere. Before leaving Lund I made a schedule of places to visit and things to see that relates to Alice.

cherwell west oxfordshire oxford


vale of white horse


south oxfordshire

county of Oxfordshire area: 2,605 km2 population: 639,700 population density: 246 /km2

Oxford - London distance: 90 km 1 hour by train


The list consisting of: The British Library, London_to see the original manuscript of ‘Alice’s Adventures under Ground’ …and in Oxford: - Christ Church University_the home of Alice and Charles - The University Museum_where the remains of the last dodo is kept - Magdalen Collage_the deer park that is represented in ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ - The Botanic Garden_that Alice and Charles often visited and I would look for the Ginko tree to pick a leaf like the one Alice had pressed in her diary, as I age 16. - Museum of Oxford_showing personal belongings to Alice and Charles - The Alice Shop_a shop that Alice often would visit to buy sweets and is illustrated in ‘Through the LookingGlass’

british library_london original manuscript

During the visit I realized that my building had to be placed in Oxford. Just arriving to Oxford by train was like a time travel arriving from London. It was easy to imagine the people in the streets wearing Victorian clothes and the cars and busses shifted to horses, and in my mind I was walking the streets 100 years ago. Even the possibility of a white rabbit running by suddenly didn’t feel very unlikely.

I found myself finding the proximity to the places that the book so obviously refers to so very important for choosing the site.


alice in oxford

museum of oxford museum of oxford

christ church christ church

the alice shop

sity mu seu univ m ersi ty m useu m



magdalen deer park magdalen deer park

botanic garden

alice’s home alice’s home

botanic garden





1. 2. 3. 4.

christ church_the home of Alice and Dodgson christ church_entrance to the deanery, home of alice christ church_home of charles dodgson university museum_the dodo






5. 6. 7. 8.

magdalen collage_deer park,the fawn in the second book the alice shop_pictured in ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ museum of oxford_dodgson’s pocket watch botanic garden


the site

site pictures

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

st. aldates_view towards north christ church_pedestrian entrance thatch barn_view from west christ church meadow_longhorn cows christ church meadow_view towards east pedestrian path_view towards north river thames or isis_view towards west salter’s boatyard_view towards west the new walk_view towards south the new walk_view towards north the site_view towards south the site_view towards north





1. 5.

st. aldates_view towards north christ church meadow_view towards east

2. 6.


christ church_pedestrian entrance pedestrian path_view towards north





3. 7.

thatch barn_view from west river thames or isis_view towards west

4. 8.


christ church meadow_longhorn cows salter’s boatyard_view towards west



9. 11.

the new walk_view towards south the site_view towards south




10. 12.

the new walk_view towards north the site_view towards north




site gates

the SITE _the site is situated within the University property - the area is closed of by gates at night.



cars and buses pedestrian



grass lawn meadow



horse chestnut tree weeping willow tree linden tree various deciduous trees






university buildings residential commercial/office community institutions



garden sheds


1. queen alice_door to the deanery 2. the queen’s crouqet ground_ in the background showing the green houses in the botanic garden 3. wool and water_today alice shop 4. humpty dumpty_typical oxford wall 5. alice’s evidence_animals 6. quote_first line in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

42 aspects of alice

1. site as parallell world 2. conversation with animals 3. the willow 4. sunken building 5. sunken entrance 6. faรงade as fabric 7. entrance behind curtain 8. mirrors 9. maze as typology 10. the chase 11. frozen time 12. improvisation as crystallization 13. the small door 14. the rabbit hole 15. a caucus-race 16. taking orders 17. swimming in tears 18. dancing with a lobster 19. big alice crying 20. the pool of tears 21. shooting up

22. jabberwocky 23. where to go? 24. feeling too big 25. feeling too small 26. tweedledum and tweedledee 27. curved floor 28. invisible room 29. a deep well in a hovering space 30. an endless space inside a very small space 31. upside down crystal tree 32. stairs 33. flower bed 34. the chesire cat 35. paint the roses red 36. walking on eggshells 37. room without walls 38. food 39. a mad tea party 40. croquet without rules 41. the finale 42. awakening



traffic tourists bells rugby and soccer

SITE AS PARALLELL WORLD _the surrounding noise is buffered by the trees so that the site is of a totally different sound nature and quality



O mouse!’ The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing. `Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,’ thought Alice; `I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.’

(quote & illustration_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2 & 12)



longhorn cows



grey squirrels


CONVERSATION WITH ANIMALS _the animals populating the site is a great part of the visit ref. St Mark’s Square_Venice, Italy where the pigeons are as present as the built architecture


(...) and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

(quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 1)



THE WILLOW _keeping the tree


The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)


T SUNKEN BUILDING _the building appears small from a distance



Down , down , down .

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)



SUNKEN ENTRANCE _in shadow - temperature, light change


various ‘Alices’ in blue dress / copper roof


FACADE AS FABRIC _copper facade relates to Alice’s blue dress


(...) she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door (...)

(illustration and quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)




(illustration_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 1)


MIRRORS _the parts of the facade that are unveiled are covered with mirror glass


I should see the garden far better,' said Alice to herself, `if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path that leads straight to it -- at least, no, it doesn't do that -- ' (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), `but I suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, this turn goes to the hill, I suppose -- no, it doesn't! This goes straight back to the house! Well then , I'll try it the other way.'

(quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 1)


maze by Lewis Carroll

MAZE AS TYPOLOGY _frustration _questioning what direction to take _separation from the outside world _logic/illogic


(...) and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)


THE CHASE _in the building there are offered glimpses of other visitors, trying to reach where they are is not a direct path...


`If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, `you wouldn’t talk about wasting IT. It’s HIM.’ (...) `And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, `he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.’

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 7)


FROZEN TIME _controlled light the light tells us about the time of the day and by that we can estimate how long we’ve spent in aplace. If that is removed our sense of time is manipulated.



LL in the golden afternoon Full leisurely we glide; For both our oars, with little skill, By little arms are plied, While little hands make vain pretence Our wanderings to guide.

And ever, as the story drained The wells of fancy dry, And faintly strove that weary one To put the subject by `The rest next time-’`It is next time!’ The happy voices cry.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour Beneath such dreamy weather, To beg a tale of breath too weak To stir the tiniest feather! Yet what can one poor voice avail Against three tongues together?

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland: Thus slowly, one by one, Its quaint events were hammered out And now the tale is done, And home we steer, a merry crew, Beneath the setting sun.

Imperious Prima flashes forth Her edict `to begin it’ In gentler tones Secunda hopes `There will be nonsense in it!’ While Tertia interrupts the tale Not more than once a minute.

Alice! A childish story take, And with a gentle hand, Lay it where Childhoood’s dreams are twined In Memory’s mystic band, Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers Pluck’d in a far-off land.

Anon, to sudden silence won, In fancy they pursue The dream-child moving through a land Of wonders wild and new, In friendly chat with bird or beast And half believe it true.

(prefatory poem _Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)




...she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)


THE SMALL DOOR _the visitor has to be on his/her knees to have a look in one of the closets in the warderobe close to the entrance _looking at crystal formations


‘down the rabbit hole’

(title_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)


THE RABBIT HOLE _tilted shaft, light reaches the darkest part of the building


First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 3)


A CAUCUS-RACE _spiral wall that reaches to the chin of the visitor


‘Everybody says “come on !” here,’ thought Alice, as she went slowly after it: ‘I never was so ordered about in all my life, never!’

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9)


TAKING ORDERS _being forced to walk a specific path that is an obvious detour of where you are heading


As she said these words her foot slipped, and in another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water...

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)


SWIMMING IN TEARS _is a ramp gowing up/down between aquariums of chemical gardens




ill you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail, “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance? “You can really have no notion how delightful it will be When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!” But the snail replied, “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance— Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance. Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance. “What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France— Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance. Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”

(poem_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 10)


view_enetering the space

salt interior

DANCING WITH A LOBSTER _the feeling of being led in a dance and seduced by beautiful crystals only the legs (= of a lobster) can be viewed from outside


Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again .

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)


BIG ALICE CRYING _the rain is led into the building creating a “waterfall” of tears


‘the pool of tears’

(title_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)


THE POOL OF TEARS _the floor is slightly sloping towards the middle when raining the rain floods the floor within seconds


‘I must be shutting up like a telescope. ‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)


SHOOTING UP _’fake’ perspective




was brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

`Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!’ He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought -So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in thought. And as in uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came! One, two! One, two! And through and through The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head He went galumphing back. `And has thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! He chortled in his joy. `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

(poem and illustration_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 1)


JABBERWOCKY _balcony in a dark shaft


`Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ `That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. `I don’t much care where-’ said Alice. `Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. `-so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation . `Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, `if you only walk long enough.’

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)


WHERE TO GO? _homogenic space that overlaps and disolves


(illustration_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 4)




And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high,...

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1)




( illustration_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 4)


TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE _corridor divided by a glass wall


`Dear, dear! How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!’

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2)






peak roughly to your little boy, And beat him when he sneezes: He only does it to annoy, Because he knows it teases.’ CHORUS. (In which the cook and the baby joined):-`Wow! wow! wow!’ `I speak severely to my boy, I beat him when he sneezes; For he can thoroughly enjoy The pepper when he pleases!’ CHORUS. `Wow! wow! wow!’

(poem_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)


INVISIBLE ROOM _room as smell smells creates spaces and often trigger memories but even physical reactions this space is defined by a cloud of pepper dust forcing the visitor to sneeze


(illustrations_Through the Looking-Glass)


A DEEP WELL IN A HOVERING SPACE (the stripes are referring to the socks of Alice that was a very popular fashion in the 1870’s) mirrors on floor and celing with striped walls makes the room endlessly deep/tall


(illustration_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 2)




Then she began looking about, and noticed that what could be seen from the old room was quite common and uninteresting, but that all the rest was a different as possible.

(quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 1)




And so she did: wandering up and down , and trying turn after turn , but always coming back to the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before she could stop herself.

(quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 2)




This time she came upon a large flower-bed (...)

(quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 2)


FLOWER BED _inhabited by crystal flowers, colored crystals are growing from the walls


(illustration_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)


THE CHESIRE CAT _passing under a dark shaft the acoustics changes _feeling observed from above


‘She boxed the Queen’s ears - ‘ the rabbit began . Alice gave a little scream of laughter. ‘Oh, hush!’ the Rabbit whispered in a frightened tone.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 8)




‘And how exactly like an egg he is!’

(illustration and quote_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 6)




Who are YOU?

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)


ROOM WITHOUT WALLS _room as fog who are you in a room where you can’t see yourself and others? ...and where are you?



(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1&2)



related to Alice

tea _Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6 cakes_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6 lemonade_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6 orange marmelade_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1 oysters_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 4 lobster_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 10 mock turtle soup_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 10 leg of mutton_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 9

FOOD _different types of dishes that could be served in the café and should be manipulated


There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house,(...)

(illustration_Through the Looking-Glass_Chapter 3) (quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 7 )


A MAD TEA PARTY _50 m long public cafĂŠ table made of cast iron


Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 8)


CROQUET WITHOUT RULES _heavy giant qroquet balls are spread on the lawn pink associates to the flamingos


(illustration_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 12)


THE FINALE _mosaic on the front of the steps


`Wake up, Alice dear!’ said her sister; `Why, what a long sleep you’ve had!’

(quote_Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 12)


AWAKENING _waking up from a dream leaving the building the visitor is blinded by the sun coming up srom the shade


the building

model 1:500


site plan


room without walls jabberwocky

salt laboratory cafĂŠ

garden storage

big alice crying humpty dumty

taking orders

an endless space in a very small space a deep well in a hovering space

udside down crystal tree

feeling small stair a caucus race chesire cat

technical space

dancing with a lobster growing


where to go? flower bed

tweedledum and tweedledee

swimming in tears

pool of tears feeling big stair

curved floor

facade as fabric

wardrobe technical space reception area

entry stair

back office gardening space





long sections section aa_south/north section bb_west/east



he rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Down, down, down...











back office

garden storage

A -1,5

technical space

reception area

ramp 1:13



coat room -1,5






ramp 1:13

technical space /pump room




salt storage


ramp 1:13 -2



plan -2




2 5200












technical space








salt laboratory



technical space /pump room



plan -1












A air in






b B


garden storage


open kitchen





plan 0
























plan +0,5



level -1

level -2


level +0,5

level 0



hen she began looking about, and noticed that what could be seen from the old room was quite common and uninteresting, but that all the rest was a different as possible.










oor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again.






facades south & west east & north



here was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March hare and the hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over it’s head.

the crystals

_collaboration with the chemistry faculty, Lund University

chemical garden _from wikipedia

A chemical garden is an experiment in chemistry done by adding solid metal salts such as copper sulfate or cobalt(II) chloride to an aqueous solution of sodium silicate (otherwise known as waterglass1). A metal salt such as cobalt chloride will start to dissolve in the water. It will then form insoluble cobalt silicate by a double decomposition reaction (anion metathesis). This cobalt silicate is a semipermeable membrane. Because the ionic strength of the cobalt solution inside the membrane is higher than the sodium silicate solution which forms the bulk of the tank contents, osmotic effects will increase the pressure within the membrane.


This will cause the membrane to tear, forming a hole. The cobalt cations will react with the silicate anions at this tear so forming new solid. In this way growths will form in the tanks; these will be colored (according to the metal) and may look like plants. The crystals formed from this experiment will grow upwards, since the pressure at the bottom of the tank is higher than the pressure closer to the top of the tank, therefore forcing the crystals to grow upwards.

Sodium silicate is the common name for a compound sodium metasilicate, Na2SiO3, also known as water glass or liquid glass.

(Sodium silicate was also used as an egg preservation agent in the early 20th century with large success. When fresh eggs are immersed in it, bacteria which cause the eggs to spoil are kept out and water is kept in. Eggs can be kept fresh using this method for up to nine months. When boiling eggs preserved this way, it is well advised to pin-prick the egg to allow steam to escape because the shell is no longer porous.)


the process in the tanks

metal salt

membrane forms

water penetrates


membrane breaks

new membrane forms

chemical garden


artificial garden

crystallization_from wikipedia

The crystallization process consists of two major events, nucleation and crystal growth. Nucleation is the step where the solute molecules dispersed in the solvent start to gather into clusters, on the nanometer scale (elevating solute concentration in a small region), that become stable under the current operating conditions. These stable clusters constitute the nuclei. However, when the clusters are not stable, they redissolve. Therefore, the clusters need to reach a critical size in order to become stable nuclei. Such critical size is dictated by the operating conditions (temperature, supersaturation, etc.). It is at the stage of nucleation that the atoms arrange in a defined and periodic manner that defines the crystal structure — note that “crystal structure� is a special term that refers to the relative arrangement of the atoms, not the macroscopic properties of the crystal (size and shape), although those are a result of the internal crystal structure.

The crystal growth is the subsequent growth of the nuclei that succeed in achieving the critical cluster size. Nucleation and growth continue to occur simultaneously while the supersaturation exists. Supersaturation is the driving force of the crystallization, hence the rate of nucleation and growth is driven by the existing supersaturation in the solution. Depending upon the conditions, either nucleation or growth may be predominant over the other, and as a result, crystals with different sizes and shapes are obtained (control of crystal size and shape constitutes one of the main challenges in industrial manufacturing, such as for pharmaceuticals). Once the supersaturation is exhausted, the solid-liquid system reaches equilibrium and the crystallization is complete, unless the operating conditions are modified from equilibrium so as to supersaturate the solution again.


wall system :1 pipe nozzles water onto surface via gravity feed pipe nozzles water onto surface via gravity feed

salt water supply pipe from storage tank salt water supply pipe from storage tank

perforated floor perforated floor

collecting broken crystals collecting broken crystals storage tank

reuse of crystals

storage tank

reuse of crystals

wall system : 2

perforated floor

pipe nozzles water onto surface via capillary force

perforated floor

pipe nozzles water onto surface via capillary force salt water supply pipe from storage tank salt water supply pipe from storage tank

collecting broken crystals collecting broken crystals

reuse of crystals

storage tank

reuse of crystals

storage tank


test lab_artificial garden urea in water dropped on paper sculpture



chronology of events the life of Charles Dodgson


Undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford (January 24); Frances Jane [Lutwidge] Dodgson, his mother, dies (January 26).


Student of Christ Church (equivalent to a fellowship carrying a small stipend).


B.A., Christ Church, Oxford First Class Honors in Mathematics, Second Class in Classics.

1855 Sub-Librarian of Christ Church Library (February); Bostock Scholarship (May); appointed Master of the House (June); appointed Mathematical Lecturer (August; takes up post in January 1856). 1832

Born (January 27) at the Parsonage, Daresbury, Cheshire, eldest son and third child of Charles Dodgson, perpetual curate of Daresbury, and Frances Janenée Lutwidge.


At Richmond School, Yorkshire.


At Rugby School.


Matriculated (May 23) at Christ Church, Oxford, but unable to take 1862 up residence as insufficient room for undergraduates at that time.


Takes up photography, his main hobby for twenty-five years (May 1).

1857 M.A., Christ Church, Oxford (February 5). 1861 Ordained deacon, Church of England in Christ Church Cathedral (December 22).


Story of Alice’s adventures told to Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boat trip to Godstow (July 4); manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under

Ground begun soon after.


Publishes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (July) but immediately withdrawn and reissued with improved illustrations (November).

1866 Sheets of the suppressed edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) bound in Oxford and shipped to New York for sale by D. Appleton and Company, with a new title page dated 1866 (before August).

Eastbourne for first time (July); occupies rooms with the same landlady annually until 1897.


Gives up photography (last photograph taken on July 15).

1881 Takes early retirement from mathematical lectureship. 1882

Curator of Common Room at Christ Church (December).


Publishes A Tangled Tale.

1886 Publishes facsimile of Alice’s Adventures Under-Ground.

1867 Journeys through Europe to Russia with Henry P. Liddon (July to September).


Publishes The Game of Logic.


Publishes Sylvie and Bruno.

1868 Father dies (June 21); siblings move to “The Chestnuts,” Guildford (September).


Publishes The Nursery “Alice.”

1892 Room.

Resigns as Curator of Common

1869 Publishes Phantasmagoria, collection of humorous and serious poetry. 1871 Publishes Through the Looking-Glass (December).

1893 Publishes Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. 1896

Publishes Symbolic Logic: Part 1.

Dies at Guildford (January 14) 1876 Publishes The Hunting of the Snark 1898 and is buried there. Three Sunsets (April). and Other Poems published posthumously (January). 1877 Takes summer lodgings at


The game of logic - Pages n9, n10

Page 1 of 2 2010-10-05

the board and the preface for the Game of Logic


Page 1 of 1


the game of logic

how does it work? (summary in short by Robin Wilson, “Lewis carroll in Numberland”_2008)


rom now on, any statement, whether a premise, a conclusion, or any other assertion will be called proposition.

Example: I have no birds less than 9 feet high In the second of these forms: No birds that belong to me are less than 9 feet high (….) or more complicated: Happy is the man who does not know what toothache means. In the form: All men who do not know what toothache means are happy men (….) The reason for douing this is so he could work exclusively with these tree types of proposition, which we may express in symbolic form as:

Some x are y

No x are y

All x are y

The object x and y should be of the type, such as birds, cakes, persons, or puppies; in the language of logic we call such a collection the universe. When explaining syllogisms, Carroll found it helpful to introduce pictures to represent propositions. Each of these pictures, which he called Biliteral diagrams, has the form of a square representing the universe. As he remarked to his young readers, “Let us take a Universe of Cakes.” (Sounds nice doesn’t it?) This square is then divided into four smaller squares. In the top row are the objects x (such as new cakes), and in the bottom row the objects that are not x (not-new cakes). Similarly, the left column contains the objects y (such as nice cakes) and the right column the objects that are not y (not-nice cakes). Each of the the four smaller squares now refers



y x



and y

x, not-y


nice cakes

new nice cakes

ot-new nice cakes


x and y

y, not-x

not-y new cakes

x, not-y

not-x not-y

y, not-x


not-nice cakes

new nice nice y cakes

not-nice new not-nice x not-y

new not-new not-newx


not-x not-y

nice y

nice cakes

nice cakes



not-new not-new not-nice not-x cakes

not-new not-x

Some n So

to a certain collection of cakes – for example at the top right are the new not-nice cakes.

Some newhere cakes nice not-nice In order to represent propositions an these diagrams, Carroll used a red counter, denoted by •are , tonice indicate the Some x are y

cakes cakes presence of an object, and a grey one by •, to indicate its absence. For example he illustrated the statement “some new cakes are nice” by placing a red counter in the top-left corner, and the statement “No new cakes are nice” by placing a not-nice grey counter there. More illustrate such propositions about objects x and y in a similar way. newgenerally, we can new new cakes


nice nice cakes

new y not-nice cakes new not-new not-new nice cakes x not-new cakes not-nice cakes not-new not-x

not-nice not-nice cakes

nice y


not-new not-nice cakes

new x

not-nice not-ynice new 1


nice y not-nice 2

x 5

6 wholesome

not-new not-x

not-new not-x 7


4 No new Numbering the board N No new cakes are nice unwholesome


Some new cakes are nice Some x are y


No x are y

nice y

To illustrate the statement “All new cakes are nice”, Carroll first replaced it by the two equivalent propositions “Some new cakes are nice” and “No cakes are not nice”, and then placed two counters in the appropriative corners:

nice y

new x

nice y

not-nice not-y


new x

not-nice not-y nice 1



new 5 x wholesome

2 6

ce y

No new cakes are nice No x are y

nice y

not-nice not-y

1 new

new x not-new

not-new not-x



All new cakes are nice All x are y (‌..) We can illustrate Carroll’s method for sorting out syllogisms by working trough his first example: Some nice cakes •are unwholesome No nice cakes are unwholesome Here, the cakes are described in three ways as new, nice, and wholesome, so we need to divide up the board in three nice





2 5


6 wholesome




8 unwholesome



Numbering the board




Transferring the inform

ways, giving a trilateral diagram:

the top half represents new and the bottom half not-new; the left half represents nice and the right half bot-nice; the centre represents wholesome and the rest unwholesome. nice


1 new

n 1

2 5

209 wholesome






6 wholesome

7 8 not-new Notice that the common description wholesome appearsin the centre. So, if we number the sections of the boardnot-new as shown, then new corresponds to the upper regions, 1,2,5 and 6; nice corresponds to the left-hand regions 1,3,5 and 7; and wholesome corresponds to the central regions, 5,6,7 and 8. For example, region 6 contains the new not-nice unwholesome 3 the not-new 4 (“Remarkable untempting cakes!�, wholesome cakes, and region 4 containes not-nice unwholesome cakes as Carroll observed).

Numbering the board


The object is to eliminate the centre and obtain a bilateral diagram representing the conclusion. To do this, we look at the propositions one at time, starting with any negative ones. In general, we consider negative statements first, since they are enable us to place grey counters with certainity. The second proposition, No nice cakes are unwholesome



1 new

2 5


6 wholesome


not-new 3





Dealing with the nice cakes

This tells us that none of the cakes in the left half (the nice cakes) lies in the centre (the wholesome cakes). This means that region 1 and 3 are empty, and we indicate this by placing grey counters in these regions: Next we consider the first proposition, 1 Some new cakes are unwholesome


not-nice 2

This tells us that some of the cakes in the top half (the new cakes) do not lie in the centre. We can indicate this by new 5 6 a grey counter There are no cakes here), so placing a red counter in region 1 or region 2. But region 1 already contains we must place our red counter in region 2:







Dealing with the nice cakes



1 new

2 5

6 wholesome


not-new 3

8 unwholesome


Dealing with the nice cakes Finally, we transfer the information to the bilateral diagram at the bottom of the board in order to obtain a connection between the new cakes and the nice ones. The top-left square corresponds to regions 1 and 5 above; we know that region 1 is empty, but we can say nothing about region 5 – so we do not know with certainty about this top-left square. Similarly, we do not know anything with certainty about the bottom-left or the bottom-right square. But the top right square corresponds to regions 2 and 6, and we know that some cakes lie in region 2 (whether or not there are any in region 6), so there must be some cakes in the top-right square. The result is as follows:







not-new 4

Transferring the information to the smaller square 211



not-new The conclusion is that Some new cakes are not nice Transferring the

information to the smaller square

There is further comment to make. Sometimes we do not know on which of two adjacent regions should be placed; in such case, we place it on the boundary line between them. For example, consider the single proposition Some wholesome cakes are new nice














Dealing with ambiguity Here the red counter must be placed in region 5 or region 6, but we do not know which, so we place it as follows until we have more information: (…..) After a bit of practice, the above method becomes quite simple to apply. However, we can shorten the discussion by introducing some symbols. Let use the letters x = new cakes,

y = nice cakes,

z = wholesome cakes

and denote their opposites with dashers: x’ = not-new cakes,

y’ = not- nice cakes,

z’ = unwholesome cakes

Then our syllogism can be written more concisely as Some x are z’


No y are z’

s 212


Some x are y’

the carpenter’s hat _how to make it yourself!



C Björk & Eriksson, I-K Eriksson, Sagan om Alice i Verkligheten, Rabén & Sjögren, Stockholm , 1993 M Batey, the World of Alice, Pitkin Guides , Hampshire , 1998 L Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, MacMillian, London, 1865 L Carroll, Alice’s Adventures under Ground, a facsimile, the Folio Society, London, 2008 L Carroll, Symbolic Logic, MacMillian, London, 1897 L Carroll, the Game of Logic, MacMillian, London, 1887 L Carroll, the Hunting of the Snark, MacMillian, London, 1876 L Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, MacMillian, London, 1871 M J Davies, Alice in Waterland, Signal Books, Oxford, 2010 M Esslin, the Theatre of the Absurd, Penguin Books, London, 1961 S Kwinter, Architectures of Time. Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture, the MIT Press, London, 2001 R Phillips, Aspects of Alice, Penguin Books, London, 1974 R Wilson, Lewis Carroll in Numberland, the Penguin Group, London, 2009


cut here Âť

cut here Âť


believe there is a strong desire to travel places you have experienced trough fiction. A good example of such desire is the castle in Elsinore, Denmark, known as the stage for Shakespeare’s Hamlet or famous balcony in Verona, a supposed place where the scenes from Romeo and Juliet took place. Although Hamlet never existed, tourists visit his castle every year, trying to turn fiction into reality and bringing the story to life. Through literature, we can get a mental picture of past life and architecture. Literature has also in many cases been inspired by architecture. - But what if architecture could be based upon fiction and its imaginative worlds? A writer uses the language to construct words that in combination becomes sentences. The sentences construct a text. In our contemporary Western society-written text has a central role as a tool for daily communication such as signs, labels, newspapers, or legal documents. It is important that these texts are highly precise and do not leave any room for any interpretation. Obviously equally important for society are other types of texts, which try to explore other purposes, such as literature and poems. Such kind of texts trigger our imagination and trough reading we feel that we become someone else, or visit places we did not even knew existed and for a while we escape our own reality. I have chosen my project to be driven by the books ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ by Lewis Carroll. This choice was neither dictated by the fact that it is being recently discussed in the field of theory of architecture, but for the very simple reason that they are dear to me since my childhood. Although I am aware that the fact that Lewis Carroll’s text is a very good example of text without specific purpose made it a text of great importance in the field of architectural theory and education. They are filled with nonsense, philosophy, emotions, and imaginary worlds. As an architect, my language consists of solids and textures. By composing this architectural language I can create light, shadows, sounds, silence, scents and voids. In my thesis project I am interested in exploring this language such as the poet does.

degree project by Felicia Guldberg Master Program of Architecture, Lund University examiner: Christer Malmström tutors: Tina-Henriette Kristiansen & Pawel Szyhalski

Alice as Architecture  

master degree project in Architecture 2011, Lund University, Sweden

Alice as Architecture  

master degree project in Architecture 2011, Lund University, Sweden