The boundaries of architecture have become increasingly ambiguous as the discipline has come to more fully embrace and contribute to adjacent disciplines. As with any evolutionary change, shifts in the field have been accompanied by traumas, breaks from beliefs and ideologies previously held to be canon. These breaks have not simply been the result of changes internal to the discipline but have also reflected and been fueled by changes in the broader sociopolitical contexts in which they have taken place. Trauma, however, is far from a fixed idea. While painful and destructive, it also presents the opportunity for change, growth, and deeper insight into the world and oneself.

Traumatic experiences deal with territory and with the body and mind. Trauma also belongs to the passage of time and is perceived through a range of senses. It is also formed from fiction, conjured from memories and stitched together into narratives.

For the current Offramp issue, we want to wade into the concept of trauma as it relates to architecture and its adjacent fields of study. Through trauma, we will investigate those controversial zones between the whole and the part, the personal and the collective, the shared and the divided, what is painful and what is comforting. This issue will be embedded with tension and relief. It allows for the stretching of possibilities. It addresses the full range of senses and disciplines.

Cover Image by Andrew Chittenden