The discovery of the first anti-psychotic drug, Chlorpromazine, opened the way for a series of changes in the treatment of mental illness. From 1950 onwards, these substances changed the landscape of mental illness: asylums were emptied, the straightjacket and electroshock treatment were substituted by a pharmaceutical wrapping. These psycopharmacological drugs would be the key to quickly remedy the symptoms that alter people’s mental well-being by regulating mood oscillations and affective disfunctions without looking into the causes or meanings of their alterations.

But what do medications mean and what relationship do we establish with them? The installing of science on a planetary scale includes a medical practice that conceives the body as an observable entity. Subsequently, pharmaceuticals are understood as agents with the capacity of unleashing predicted reactions; these however, also have a libidinal dimension in relation to this 'other' body, this 'altered' or sick body, awakening a series of expectations in those that take them. Medications are identified by what each person expects from them and in accordance with our imaginary: a medication that soothes, that excludes, that makes a date fail, that sustains me. In the same way as illicit drugs, pharmaceutical drugs allow one to travel past the limits imposed by the logic of reason, the senses, the bodies resistance and aging.

The theories of Beatriz Colomina are implicit in this piece, they point to the influence of clinical advances in the development of modern architecture. Our knowledge of the body, its anatomical and psychological functioning as well as our consciousness of hygiene will mold architecture and the urban space. Modernity, habitually understood in terms of functional efficiency or new construction technologies will however be sculpted by the medical obsession of our time.
If the architectonic discourses have associated from their beginnings construction and body, the body described today is a medical one that is reconstructed after each new theory on health.


1 His objective was to recall a discourse. The argument consisted in imagining a known or even imagined building but structured with precision. In concrete places within the same tour ʻagent imagesʼ could be located, that is, images that recall what was wanted to be said. Daniel ARRASE, Histoires de peintures, Éditions Denoël, 2004.
2 Eric LAURENT, Ciudades Analíticas, Buenos Aires, Tres Haches, 2004.
3 The practice of voluntary intoxication with recreational, therapeutical or magical intentions belonged in Europe to anyone until both the church and the state prohibited any self-experimentation; criminalizing, persecuting and privatizing knowledge that after the rise
of capitalism and scientific forms of production would become pharmaceutical patents.