Architecture

GERRIT WEGENER

How Long is Now?

“Thinking about architecture, we are confronted with the heritage of former generations as well the questions of how to understand, act on, act with and further develop these structures and how to create today a vision of and for the future. My vision of an interaction with the existing building stock may be summed up with a poetically formulation by Mark Wigley, who names preservation a “forward-thinking celebration of life”. But how can we think forward and celebrate life while respecting the memory as testimony inscribed both materially as well as immaterially into architecture – without creating a death archive? In my opinion, the key to find possible answers lies in a better understanding of the presence of and in architecture first. The objective of my current research work is to re-examine its different dimensions as there are Architecture as thing (“Ding”) in its material presence, the presence for the beholder and Architecture as (re-)presentation of a(n ideal) future.

Based on thoughts of the Ontology of Things, namely inspired by E. Husserl, M. Heidegger and G. Böhme, I want to name the forms of presence ecstasies and distinguish spatiality, eidos, physiognomy and sensation. With the help of this concept I aim to pave a possible path to overcome in a first step the thinking in polarities as inside / outside, essence / expression, the thing as such / aesthetic effect or rationality / affectivity.

The  fourth of the ecstasies bridges over from the material realism of architecture as thing to its reception by the subject, understood as being sensitive for its perceptible presence and emotional impact. To perceive a building is as well to take part on its past and possible future. Looking back, there are traces of testimony in social as well as in historical dimensions. Looking forward, the present stimulates the imagination of the beholder. Thus we are thinking of the relationship of building and beholder via the ecstasies as a double bind, that tries to solve the above named polarities and, at the same time, helps to overcome the division between subject and object. Furthermore there are as well the sensitive qualities of a thing as there are qualities, which has been given by an act of creation.

All three mentioned forms of presence take architecture as a spatial thing out of time. But I suggest to understand architecture as architecture insofar as it gets identity from the event which will have taken place in or as architecture. The event defines the now of architecture. It is not only a confrontation of the person(s) involved and architecture itself but an interaction in and with architecture which gives the opportunity of an active (re-)appropriation of the existing object. An event cannot be planned or be foreseen. It will only be known when it will have taken place. Architecture as framework for upcoming events exists in the tense of the past perfect progressive. This framework is given by the existence of ecstasies. They are created in a process of design and development and can be seen as result of the production aesthetic. The ecstasies are inscribed into the three-dimensional reality of the present building. And they are received in sensitive affection by a beholder who gets into interaction. In result, I aim to open up an understanding of the perception of architecture as a whole of sensitive (ecstasies) and rational (language and semiotics) reception.

The now is longer than any single point in time seems to be. is related to space and temporality, as every single moment in the history of a building seems linked with every other moment in the past, present and future. The further construction of the building stock results in a continuous architecture (Weiterbauen), that allows to understand, write and read “architecture as the most living act of memory” (Jacques Derrida).”


 
After studying Architecture (Diploma) and Art History (Master’s  of Art) at the Technische Universität Berlin, Gerrit Wegener has been conducting research projects at the crossroads of Philosophy, Art History and Theory of Architecture. His doctoral  thesis was on Jacques Derrida  and his  writings on architecture. While seeking to identify and assess the contribution  of  Derrida to the Theory of Architecture, he further explored  the possible contribution of mainly  20th century French philosophy to architectural discourse. In  parallel to his academic work, Gerrit Wegener has been working  as a freelance architect, art historian and professional project manager with a focus on design and construction within existing structures, taking into account aspects of heritage and historical preservation.

Natasha Jankovic

Architectural terRI(s)tories[1]:
mapping the process of city transformation

[1] Architectural stories about Rijeka’s territory

“Architecture represents one of the possible ways of how territory can be marked, but it is also a permanent trace of the process of its development. As a built form it is a sign in the ground, while as an idea it represents a trace of various approaches to its development within theoretical field. This research examines the significance and meaning of a single architectural gesture within the context of architectural narrative of the city territory by starting from the structural approach to observation of the territory and the method of post-structuralist analysis.
This research links and analyses: 1) the importance of the architectural gesture in the process of defining and developing the territory of the city, through 2) changing position from the phenomenological (formal, formative) to critical discourse of observing architecture, which examines 3) the potential of the interpretative narrative both of the architecture and the territory. With approach based on semantics and metaphors, the aim of the research of the territory and architecture as an element of its structure, is to ‘read’ some of the layers of the city (terRI[s]tories), which is considered as a cultural palimpsest, through processes and material layers of its changes and development.
This theoretical background and methodological apparatus was used in order do re-write 20.20 stoRIes of Rijeka (20 terRI(s)tories – Architectural stories about Rijeka’s territory from 20th century). More precise 20 terRI(s)tories as spatial sequencesfrom the period between 1920th (the year of Rijeka’s autonomy) and 2020th (the year when Rijeka will be European Capital of Culture) thematically grouped into different chapters were mapped with the aim of presenting some of the scapes – scenery views:  socialscapepowerscapevisionscapealterscapememoryscape and spaces of porosity (within differentscapes) of the Rijeka’s territory transformation. Reading of the terRI(s)tories should examine the potential of spatial narrativity within specific spatio-temporal context for a re-wRIting of a new stoRIes with(out) words or (new) objects by using of existingspatial sequences for future conceptions and actions.”

Natasha Jankovic is an architect, working in the filed of research, practice and education, currently in the position of research and teaching associate of the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Architecture,  where she obtained her PhD. So far, her particular research interests is given to the topic of the relationship between architecture and territory, architecture and nature, as well as city territory transformation. Publishes professional and scientific papers in national and international journals, books and conference proceedings. Participates in national and international exhibitions and architectural and urban competitions. Living in urban environments, she seeks to read some of the terri(s)tories (architectural inscriptions within the territory, written through architecture as a code of city structure) that serves as a document about the past processes of development; but she also wishes to mark the territory: by making an architectural gesture in a natural environment, in order to write some new terri(S)tory.

Between Intellectual and Sensory Reason: Towards an Epistemology of Architecture

Following last year’s course «Philosophy and Architecture: Inequality in the City» which took place at the IUC in Dubrovnik and engaged its participants in topics related to the political and urban implications of social injustice in cities, this year’s summer school’s  focus was on the double bind of architecture as a material practice and as an agent of knowledge production. Philosophers, art historians, theoreticians of architecture, likewise architects joint together in Dubrovnik tackled emerging topics of relationship between architecture and epistemology, their mutual influences and impacts.

Participants:

Prof. Joerg Gleiter, Prof. Snjezana Prijic Samarzija, Prof. Petar Bojanic, Prof. Vladan Djokic, Prof. Zoran Lazovic, Prof. Ludger Schwarte, Prof. Carla Danani, Prof. Giusi Struimmello, Prof. Katharina Borsi, Dr. Sanja Bojanic, Dr. Luka Skansi, Dr. Mateja Kurir Borovčić Kasper Lægring, Roberto Bonturi, Fabiana Sforza, Jelena Radosavljević, Miloš Kostić, Madeleine Jessica Kennedy, Jovana Timotijević, Jovana Stojković, Hana Samaržija, Juan Almarza Anwandter, Stefana Dilova, Mirza Vranjakovic, Julian Franke, Sandra Meireis, Andrea Weigt, Theresa Rauch and Adria Daraban.

Partners and sponsors:

Technical University of Berlin, University of Belgrade, ERSTE Stiftung, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Croatia.

Host: Inter University Center, Dubrovnik

 

 

Summer school “Between Intellectual and Sensory Reason: Towards an Epistemology of Architecture”

Program
Co-directors:

Snjezana Prijic Samarzija, University of Rijeka

Jörg H. Gleiter, Technical University Berlin

Petar Bojanic, University of Belgrade / CAS SEE University of Rijeka

Vladan Djokic, University of Belgrade

Focal Theme:

Throughout the history of philosophy, architecture has been widely referred to as a metaphor for conscious action and logical construction. For Aristotle the work of the master builder served as a metaphor for his philosophy of action, while Nietzsche used the metaphor of a “shaking tower of concepts” to visualize and make more comprehensible the precarious state of metaphysics. Yet architecture means much more to philosophy and critical thought than what the explanatory use of architectural imagery evokes. It was Kant who went beyond metaphor by claiming “architectonics is the art of systems”. As such, architecture is not only a cultural practice based on knowledge but moreover a cultural practice that serves the production of philosophical knowledge.

This course focuses on the double bind of architecture as a material practice and an agent of knowledge production. We will discuss the importance of architecture in the formation of thought. It will draw attention to architecture as a cultural practice between intellectual reason and sensual reason. It was Nietzsche who already emphasized the close interrelation between philosophy and architecture and insisted on the philosopher’s need for appropriate spaces for thinking. He held that after the death of God “we need some recognition of what above all is lacking in our big cities: quiet and wide, expansive places for reflection. Places with long, high-ceilinged cloisters for bad or all too sunny weather”.

Participants:

Prof. Joerg Gleiter, Prof. Snjezana Prijic Samarzija, Prof. Petar Bojanic, Prof. Vladan Djokic, Prof. Zoran Lazovic, Prof. Ludger Schwarte, Prof. Carla Danani, Prof. Giusi Struimmello, Prof. Katharina Borsi, Dr. Sanja Bojanic, Dr. Luka Skansi, Dr. Mateja Kurir Borovčić Kasper Lægring, Roberto Bonturi, Fabiana Sforza, Jelena Radosavljević, Miloš Kostić, Madeleine Jessica Kennedy, Jovana Timotijević, Jovana Stojković, Hana Samaržija, Juan Almarza Anwandter, Stefana Dilova, Mirza Vranjakovic, Julian Franke, Sandra Meireis, Andrea Weigt, Theresa Rauch and Adria Daraban.

Seminars will start at 10.00 am in the morning with open end in the evening.

In order to leave enough time for the intellectual exchange presentations shall be limited to 20 minutes (students MA/BA) and 30 minutes all others.

The presentations will be followed by 30 minutes respectively 40 minutes of discussion.

An individually assigned moderator/commentator will help to guide through the discussions.

Timetable
Monday, 11th September 2017
10.00-11.00  | Welcome and registrations

Venue: IUC – Ul. don Frana Bulica 4, 20000, Dubrovnik

How to get there? 

11.00-12.00  | Welcome address of Directors of the Course

Presentation of all participants; setting the daily schedule

Time Title Lecturer
12.00

13.00

Opening session: Introduction to the course Prof. Joerg Gleiter
13.00

14.30

Lunch
14.30

15.30

Spaces of Reflection – where does philosophy take place? Prof. Ludger Schwarte

 

Comments: Prof. Snjezana Prijic Samarzija

15.30

16.30

Pages for thinking. From Corviale to “sensible wisdom” …. in a too short step. Prof. Carla Danani

 

Comments: Prof. Giusi Struimmello

16.30

17.00

Pause
17.00

18.00

Epistemic Implications of Neuroarchitecture Hana Samarzija

 

Comments: Prof. Carla Danani

Tuesday, 12th September 2017
Time Title Lecturer
10.00

11.00

The Acts of Project(ion) Prof. Petar Bojanic

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

11.00

12.00

A new rational aesthetic: notes on the culture of space Dr. Luka Skansi

 

Comments: Prof. Ludger Schwarte

12.00

13.00

Architecture, Space and Alienation: between Adorno and Lefebvre Dr. Mateja Kurir Borovcic

 

Comments: Dr. Luka Skansi

13.00

15.00

Lunch
15.00

16.00

Drawing the Knowledge of Urbanism Prof. Katharina Borsi

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

16.00

16.15

Pause
16.15

17.15

Knowledge Fields: Between Scientific and Design-Based Knowledge Prof. Vladan Djokic

 

Comments: Prof. Ludger Schwarte

17.15

18.15

Representations of the fragmentary in architecture Adria Daraban

 

Comments: Sandra Meireis

Wednesday, 13th September 2017
14.00

15.30

Reading Laboratory
Time Title Lecturer
15.30

16.30

Between Being and Becoming: towards a metaphysical reading of architectural signs Juan Almarza Anwandter

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

16.30

17.30

Nietzsche’s thoughts about Architecture Mirza Vranjakovic

 

Comments: Prof. Giusi Struimmello

17.30

18.00

Pause
18.00

19.00

Diagrams in Architecture: Agents of knowledge production? Julian Franke

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

Thursday, 14th September 2017
Time Title Lecturer
10.00

10.45

Mythologisations of Contemporary Belgradian Architecture Prof. Zoran Lazovic

 

Comments: Milos Kostic

10.45

11.30

Self-Managing Socialism and Urban Planning – The Case Study of General Plan of Belgrade 1972 Jelena Radosavljevic

 

Comments: Prof. Vladan Djokic

11.30

12.00

Pause
12.00

13.00

Exhibitions as Philosophy? Madeleine Kennedy

 

Comments: Hana Samarzija

13.00

14.30

Lunch
14.30

15.30

Exploring Ideas in your Senses. The capacity of imagination after Immanuel Kant explored in Oswald M. Ungers “City Metaphors” Andrea Weigt

 

Comments: Prof. Carla Danani

15.30

16.00

Pause
16.00

17.00

Semiotics of Architectural: Detail between Rationalization and Representation of Architecture Milos Kostic

 

Comments: Prof. Giusi Struimmello

17.00

18.00

The Perception of Space on the Base of Atmospheres Theresa Rauch

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

Friday, 15th September 2017
Time Title Lecturer
10.00

11.00

Nelson Goodman, Exemplification and Critiques of Modernist Architecture Kasper Laegring

 

Comments: Sandra Meireis

11.00

12.00

“Abandoning Home” – aporia of displacement Jovana Timotijevic

 

Comments: Prof. Joerg Gleiter

12.00

12.30

Pause
12.30

13.30

The Presence in Public Space Stefana Dilova

 

Comments: Madeleine Kennedy

13.30

14.00

Closing remarks, distribution of certificates

 

MATEJA KURIR

Architecture as Ideology: the perspectives of critical theory (Benjamin and Adorno). An attempt

“The ideological attunement of architecture will be the key focus of the lecture, where the work of two promi-nent philosophers of critical theory on the topic of architecture, namely Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno, will be outlined. (more…)

JÖRG H. GLEITER in conversation with CAS SEE Fellows

 Architecture and Anthropocene

On the occasion of Prof. Gleiter’s visit to Rijeka, on 21st February, 2016, and after assisting at his lecture the previous day, CAS SEE Fellows had the opportunity to engage in a rather controversial discussion on Anthropocene, or more precisely, conceptual and epistemological issues of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate. Would it be possible to thematize the paradigm, which the chemist Paul Crutzen labeled as the Anthropocene, not only and exclusively by geologists, climatologists or physicists, to mention only a small range of researchers of scientific backgrounds, but also by philosophers, historians, sociologists, and legal scholars?

How the Humanities are responding to the huge and important shift grasping, conceptualizing and objectifying an era of human activity which is slowly lacking the human scale of things?

 

 

 

ALEKSANDRA DJURASOVIC

Rethinking large-scale development projects in Belgrade and Zagreb

There is one general question that motivated this research: To what extent global economic restructuring and neoliberalization influence urban planning processes in transitional cities? The main aim of this research is to look into the process of urban transformation in two different institutional contexts in order to deepen our understanding of how decision-making processes in the post-socialist Balkan countries have shifted from control-oriented regulation to planning approaches more open to speculative development. In order to observe and define transformative processes the research looks into two similar typologies of transition: the post socialist Serbia and Croatia. The main unit of analysis is the city and to be more specific, the large-scale projects in Belgrade and Zagreb, ‘Belgrade on Water’ and ‘Zagreb on Sava’, in order to analyze different urban transition processes in reaction to the general neoliberal trends. This research focuses on large-scale projects in order to understand the inner-relations between diverse public and private sector actors, and views large scale urban development projects as representative of neoliberal manifestations and interactions of diverse actors in the cities across the globe. The cases ‘Belgrade on Water’ and “Zagreb on Water’ in many ways exemplify new flexible urban development approaches.  While the ‘mega’ development project in Zagreb plans to incorporate different land uses (taking on a more ecological approach, which seems to be completely missing from the case in Belgrade) and involves different actors, both projects are similar in that they represent ambiguous and controversial waterfront development projects that continue to raise questions about flexible governance approaches, ownership, social inclusion, environmental risks, etc. The research uses qualitative research methods, mainly following a hermeneutic approach. The data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and documentary material collection – scholarly research, video footage, and local newspaper media. By using urban transition as the main focus of analysis, the research aims to implement a new methodology of analyzing transition by using path-analysis approach in these two cities.

Marcello Barison

Types of Spaces. Philosophy of Architecture.

Among the most promising conceptual articulations that constitute the contemporary philosophical debate, a prominent place is undoubtedly occupied by the intersection between philosophy and architectural theory. To date, though, there is no general philosophical approach that problematizes the architectural practice as such, developing an actual philosophy of architecture that, on a conceptual basis, discusses the fundamentals of the architectural practice and its aesthetic implications. On this basis, the research project − Types of Spaces. Philosophy of Architecture − whose general outlines I will present specifically seeks to remedy this gap. Instead of concepts, architects think in terms of lines, shapes, forms, environments, surfaces. Starting from this evidence, it is my intention to analyze ‒ while highlighting their philosophical implications ‒ some prominent ways in which contemporary architecture conceives and articulates space.