Architectural historians often manifest a strong design impulse in their writing. This essay traces the theoretical arc traversing Anthony Vidler's individual essays and book projects as the parabolic imprint of his historiographic design. Based on unpublished manuscripts of the architectural historian's preliminary book outlines, drafts, and reading notes on authors such as Émile Zola, Sigmund Freud, and Georges Bataille, the article follows the route from Vidler's early research on utopia, Claude Nicholas Ledoux, and ideas of the French Enlightenment to his later books on “the architectural uncanny” and modern spatial psychopathologies in “warped space,” foregrounding the continuity of Vidler's “historical project” from the Enlightenment to the histories of twentieth-century architectural modernism. The article closes with an overview of Vidler's two latest book projects (currently unpublished), “Architecture After the Rain,” an autobiographically driven reevaluation of architectural modernism in Britain after World War II, and “Second Best Utopia,” a compilation of essays on “Utopics” from Plato to Fredric Jameson that argues for the abiding relevance of utopian ideas in the present.

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