Architecture theory in graphic narrative: The strange case of Mister X

John Biln

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This essay begins with a review of Mister X, a comic serial taking architectural modernism as its point of departure. The graphic narrative renders a dystopian view of architecture and urbanism, as well as a biting critique of the architect as theorist. Rather than demonstrating that architecture is mute and impotent, however, the Mister Xstory theorises architecture as unpredictably powerful and effective, albeit malicious. The essay examines four architectural failures suggested by the Mister X text, identifying how these limitations of the formal, material object of architecture are, paradoxically, its very possibilities for social effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-376
Number of pages27
JournalArchitectural Theory Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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