Architectural Theory I

LECTURE WiSe 23/24

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    The lecture focuses on practices, methods and ideas behind concepts of modern architecture. Based on current issues, places, institutions, media, and events that have shaped debates about architecture, city, and landscape are presented. The aim is to understand architecture in its interconnectedness with other forms of cultural production and to make it fruitful for current discourses in architecture. The influence of historical developments on contemporary design processes as well as the relationship of architecture to other disciplines are central components of the lecture. The exercises introduce the methods of scientific work with archival research, the formulation of research questions and the writing of texts.

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella, Elena Ambacher, Grayson Bailey, J. Benny Hung, Jonah Marrs, Sophia Walk, Sarah Wehmeyer
    Lecture and Excercises: Design Methods. Architecture and Landscape
    Bachelor: 6 CP
    Mondays 15-18h | C 050


SEMINAR WiSe 23/24

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    Xenofeminism is a theory of emancipation based on the notion that technology can enable the breakdown of nature-culture dichotomies and can be a means of liberating people from their biological and social immediacy. As such, XF provides a framework for examining organizational systems of power and post-human perspectives, challenging current social and political systems and subverting the standard adversarial binary on which they are based. In terms of architectural production, this means re-imagining the practices involved, as well as redefining some of the discipline’s most basic elements, be they architecture, the environment or the human.

    In Xeno*Fem*Space we will discuss theories and approaches of Xeno-feminism in their relevance to architecture practice and explore methods that combine theoretical analysis and speculation, producing textual forms that operate with words, audio and video.

    This course will be held in English.

    Grayson Bailey, MA / MSc
    Seminar: Territorial Design / Gender & Space
    Bachelor + Master: 4 CP
    tuesdays 16-19h | A 209



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    The project in brief focuses on the formulation of research questions as well as methodological approaches to selected topics of architecture and the city, to visualization processes and to the effective power of tools in design. Based on self-selected topics, positions on the current challenges of architecture and urban design are to be developed. The seminar promotes interdisciplinary research methods and is interested in the interactions between architecture, art, culture and technology.

    Sarah Wehmeyer
    Freies Projekt kurz
    5 CP Master
    Tuesdays 13h | B 049

Politics of computational urbanism

SEMINAR WiSe 23/24

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    Ekistics, the science of human settlements, was founded in the postwar period by the Greek architect and urban planner Constantinos Doxiadis. Governments and humanitarian organizations that promoted the systematic survey and analysis of urban structures during the Cold War supported the data-based methods of Ekistics - not least against the background of their global economic interests. In the seminar, we will explore the political, economic, and environmental implications of data-based planning. In doing so, the material aspects of early "computational urbanism" will gain in importance, as will references to the history of smart-city discourse. Of interest is: How do Ekistics' approaches, which dealt with population growth, limited resources and ecology, relate to current computer-based planning? What media constellations condition urban planning and the scales in which it operates, then and now? And last but not least: What are the politics behind data-based planning? Participation in the excursion to Athens is recommended.

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella
    Seminar: Mediality of Architecture
    Bachelor + Master: 4 CP
    tuesdays 14-16h | B 063

Athens: data-driven urbanism

FIELD TRIP WinSe 23/24 von 23.10 bis 27.10

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    In the post-war period, architects used cybernetic approaches to imagine spatial planning as the interface between abstraction and concretion. The development of computational planning methods were part of these endeavors: As part of his office and research structure in the 1960s, the architect and urban planner Constantinos Doxiadis founded a computer centre in Athens and researched data-based planning methods that were supported by governments and humanitarian organisations within the framework of global and local planning policies. During this field trip, we will address cybernetic and contemporary data-based planning methods. We will visit buildings and districts in modern Athens and discuss them against the background of post-war debates on planning instruments, politics of space and control, and ecology.

    The field sites include: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (Renzo Piano Building Workshop), Jaqueline Tyrwhitt's experimental garden in Sparoza, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and the National Technical University of Athens.

    Prof. Nathalie Bredella

    The participant total for the excursion is limited to 10. Registration is open until the 31st of August at the Chair of Architectural Theory (Institut of History and Theory of Architecture) and at the following Weblink.

    Travel to and from Athens is self organized. The total payment for accomodation and public transport is 220 Euro.

    Questions to:

    First online question session to be held on 18th of August. Participants are highly encoursaged to take part in corresponding Seminars during WS23/24.


Architecture as Interface


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    Big data, smart city, google map use various interconnected media formats - hypermedia - that change the perception and planning of architecture and the city. The history of the technologies and tools underlying these platforms goes back to the 1960s: the Architecture Machine Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology addressed the question of what role architecture can play in the media configurations of information processing and how architecture brings together different media. The reading and research seminar is devoted to the practices, concepts, and modes of technological development explored by the AMG and develops experimental prototypes and reenactments of the MIT projects discussed. Part of the seminar is an Arduino workshop with Jonah Marrs as well as a cooperation with the TU Munich (Chair of Architectural Informatics).

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella
    Seminar: Urbane Architektur
    Bachelor + Master: 5 CP
    Mondays 17h | B 063

Organization's Hammer

SEMINAR WiSe 23/24

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    Digital techniques that condition architectural practice and that we take for granted today did not emerge in the late 20th century, but can be located in a transdisciplinary and transcultural history of craft, industrialization, and automation. In the seminar we will look at how craft processes become compatible with the demands of computer-aided architectural production and how the translation processes from the analog to the digital take shape. With a particular focus on the manufacturing techniques and knowledge cultures of weaving, knitting, and shipbuilding, we will examine the local, material, economic, and political contexts in which the developments of digital technologies are situated and inquire into the authors of these processes.Through case studies and reenactments, we seek to understand the interconnections of craft and computer-based practices and to expand the Eurocentric view of the histories of the digital. During the semester, guest lecturers will present their research, and introductions and discussions will be organized by students. Participation in an Arduino workshop is part of the seminar.

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella
    Seminar: Mediality of Architecture
    Bachelor + Master: 3 CP
    mondays 17-19h | A 209



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    The architecture of the car industry can be described as a medium of organization and distribution. Against the background of computerization in the post-war period, the seminar deals with the spatial-technical forms of production that have increasingly become intertwined with technical networks since the 1960s. Case studies will be used to test different research methods that focus on the dimensions of mobility and its infrastructures. The aim of the reading and research seminar is to examine and historically classify the material and social practices as well as the economic and political contexts of technical change in the automobile industry. Part of the seminar are excursions and a workshop at the TU Munich. The seminar takes place in cooperation with the Chair for the History of Technology at the TU Munich.

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella
    Seminar: Theorien aktueller Architektur
    Master: 5 CP
    Tuesdays 14h | A 209

Women in Computing @HfG Ulm


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    The seminar deals with the approaches to computing, cybernetics and environmental planning developed by women in the post-war period. How did they, as teachers and researchers at the HfG Ulm, shape the practices of information processing as well as the methods of production, representation and communication in architecture and design? The goal of this reading and research seminar is to examine the role of women in the early history of computerization using selected theories from architecture and media studies, gender studies, and science and technology studies. Part of the seminar is a workshop at the HfG Ulm, in which archival work as well as oral history methods will be tested.

    Prof. Dr. Nathalie Bredella
    Seminar: Entwurfstheorien
    5 CP Bachelor
    Tuesdays 9h | A 209