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Architect murdered in his own building: Cognitive Dwelling by Paul Maich

Cognitive Dwelling is an architectural project with a murder mystery attached, told in the form of a photo story. It is the work of Paul Maich, who graduated from Dundee School of Architecture this year.

In the narrative an architect - ie Maich himself - is murdered in a remote building he has designed the day before it is due to be handed over to the client. The story is the culmination of what Maich calls his Cognitive Dwelling: a building based on his own experiences of other buildings that have been important in his life.

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The project is subtitled Transposing Subjective Experience and asks the question: "Can narrative be used to generate, explore and describe architectural form?"

The project came to our attention when it was featured in Building Design magazine's Class of 2007. Here we present the entire narrative: if you want to know more about the architectural thinking behind the project, you can download Maich's full project at the bottom of this page.

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The feeling of being observed deepened, a shift in the light, a scuffed footstep on the concrete... a shadow moved out of the darkness.The feeling of being observed deepened, a shift in the light, a scuffed footstep on the concrete... a shadow moved out of the darkness.
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The architect lies bleeding to death, staining the concrete floor... the blood flowing around him... the killer stands over him motionless... waiting.. for the struggled breaths echoing through the space to stop...

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Darkness falls as the killer escapes unseen from the building... he looks up to the library window... it is done... the architect is dead.

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The architect lies dead.. alone in the building he designed... the empty spaces are the only witnesses.

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The killer makes his getaway.

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The police arrive at the scene to investigate the claim that a body has been found and could be suspicious... the policeman waits... aware that the supposed killer could still be in the building.

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"Hello... is anyone there? It's Constable Rowland."

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"He was right... it's murder... Control, looks like the neighbour was right. Inform the CID."

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The CID and SOCO team have begun to record the evidence... looking for vital clues... wanting a quick arrest.

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The area is swept for evidence... the murder weapon is found not far from the building.

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The detectives speculate over the evidence presented... the whole building is analysed, every piece of evidence recorded.

"You got any thoughts Sir? There's almost too much evidence." "There's already three examples of different fingerprints... no blood here though..."

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We've got more samples of fingerprints here... that's six variations... including the victim...

The architect entered the building first, closely followed by the killer, taking a different route, staying in the shadows… the architect remained in the library, the killer fled the scene.201.jpg
The architect entered the building first, closely followed by the killer, taking a different route, staying in the shadows… the architect remained in the library, the killer fled the scene.
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Suspect 1: the insomniac
Suspect 2: the inventor
Suspect 3: the miner
Suspect 4: the amnesiac
Suspect 5: the recluse

Who committed the murder?

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Download Maich's presentation:

Cognitive Dwelling pages 1-4 (7MB PDF document)
Cognitive Dwelling pages 5-8 (6.1MB PDF document)