The Laughing Girls
Laughing Girls

“The Laughing Girls.” Confabulations: Storytelling in Architecture. Eds. Carolina Dayer. Marcia Feurstein & Paul Emmons (London: Ashgate, 2017).

Though very little has been written about Douglas Darden (1951–1996) his work is well known, mostly for the exquisite handmade monochrome drawings displayed in various exhibitions and for his book Condemned Building, published in 1993. Less well known is that Darden was working on a graphic novel during the final six years of his life. Much bigger in scope than the ten short stories in Condemned Building, the 150-page graphic novel was planned in addition to at least 30 objects. The first dated material is from 1990, and at that time was already described as “an architectural novel” named in various ways, but most often as “The Laughing Girls.” By its very nature, the project questions the relationship between architecture, storytelling, and representation. This chapter will begin to propose that Darden’s particular act of building may yield an alternative mode of architectural agency.