On the Interpretation of Architecture
Applied Interpretation
Vol. 13, No. 1, May 2009

Conceptional design, Editing, and Curator:   Eduard Heinrich Führ
Organisation, Editorial assistance, and layout:   Ehrengard Heinzig


Heidi Helmhold   Deterritorialization. The Faculty of the Humanities of the University of Cologne from the Point of View of its Users
Claus Dreyer   Interpretation of Architecture as a Semiotic Programme –
On Gregor Schneider's Cube in Hamburg 2007
Andrzej Piotrowski   Building as Unselfconscious Representation
Sven Martensen & Anne Gelderblom   Writing Choreographies into Space

Sokratis Georgiadis   Korai and Antefixes –
Metamorphoses of the Human Figure in Greek Architecture and their Interpretation
Henrik Hilbig   „Approaches of a New Architectural Style...“ Interpretation between Meaning and Action by the Example of Anthroposophical Architects from 1925 to 1939
Ulrike Seeger   Architecture of Relationships and Interconnections –
A New Approach Exemplified by the Central Railway Station in Stuttgart
Sabine Brinitzer   About the Complexity of Interpreting "Organic Architecture"

Alban Janson   “Presenting and Withdrawing”
The Villa Müller in Prague by the Architect Adolf Loos
Christine Neuhoff   The Villa Tugendhat by Mies van der Rohe
Canon und Autobiography
Ulrike Sturm   'Against Interpretation' –
Re-Visiting the Bauhaus Building at Dessau
Lukas Zurfluh   The ‘Flowing Space’ of the Barcelona Pavilion –
A Metamorphosis of Interpretation?

Silke Langenberg   Planned Design – Built Process
Architecture of the Sixties and Seventies
Matthias Korn   A Modest Proposal for Getting to Know Architecture: Destruction.
Gordon Matta-Clark’s Building Cuts
Zeuler R. Lima   The Reverse of the Reverse:
Another Modernism according to Lina Bo Bardi

Christine Neuhoff   The Myth of Vals
Jan Pieper   Critical Approach of the Architecture’s Periphery
Jörn Köppler   Interpretation and the Aesthetic Experience, Discussed at the Example of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin by OMA / Rem Koolhaas
Ryszard Sliwka   Sublime Phenomena:
Notes on the Architecture of the Horizon
Ryszard Sliwka   Genetic Architecture
Anna M. Eifert-Körnig   The Block Beuys
A Traditional Occurrence as Interpretation of Architecture
Katharina Lehmann   The Constructed Room
with its Effect on Reception and Experience of Perception
Fred Truniger   The Accumulation of Images –
A Cinematic Interpretation of the Landscape of England



___Heidi Helmhold
Deterritorialization. The Faculty of the Humanities of the University of Cologne from the Point of View of its Users

Faculties are part of ascribed academic power structures. Their localization on campus and their architectural coding are the result of a practical discourse which defines their modernity and otherness. The contemporary academic culture in Germany is focused on a dynamic constructive process, which produces hierarchical oppositions of excellence and non-excellence. At an increasing pace such processes take place at various university locations. In the following I will present the spatial pattern of a (non-excellent) academic landscape, the Faculty of the Humanities of the University of Cologne, its otherness demonstrated by several changes in name: Pedagogical Academy in the 1950s, Pedagogical College since 1965, Faculty of Education since 1980 and Faculty of the Humanities since 2006.
I suggest that architecture is reduced to a mere additive spatial container if its users cease to actively participate in the ascriptive performances of their house. Whenever a Ministry and the governing body of a university marginalize a faculty by continually submitting it to conditions of material scarcity, this will endanger not only the physical construction as the outer house; it will also destroy the academic culture of the inner house. As a result, the shaping of the cultural and social body ceases. Processes of identification disappear; physical and social reality are no longer constructed through activities at and with the architectural material. A sequence of deterritorialization emerges, in which insular space, escapism, seclusion and homogeneity lead to exclusion, academic ghettos and loss of academic culture.

Paper in German

___Claus Dreyer
Interpretation of Architecture as a Semiotic Programme –
On Gregor Schneider's Cube in Hamburg 2007

Interpretation of signs and sign-complexes is one of the main tasks of applied semiotics. For architectural theory it is especially the “readability” and “communicative capacity” of the relation between form, function and meaning of a building, which shall be made obvious and understandable by interpretation. Usually the following problems are treated in this context:
Which signs and sign-complexes can be found in an architectural work, what do they mean and to which “fields of discourse” do they belong?
Which “codes” can be identified, in which combination or mixture do they occur and what do they signify?
Can single signs or codes be interpreted as “cultural symbols” and related to a special “milieu of symbols” (Norberg-Schulz) and integrated in an “overall-interpretation”?
The black “Cube” of Gregor Schneider at Hamburg 2007 is an example for this methodical approach and it should be demonstrated that it is the dialectical mixture and combination of sacred, aesthetical and ordinary signs and codes which makes this temporary building a symbol of the present multicultural discourse.

Paper in German

___Andrzej Piotrowski
Building as Unselfconscious Representation

Reductive categories and conceptual dichotomies, such as art versus science or creativity versus necessity, tend to structure architectural discourses again. They create an impression of clear distinctions and logical arguments. Designing and knowing architecture, however, has always been much more complex and epistemologically messy than what these tropes of communication imply.
My paper will propose that built environments have always participated in establishing thinkability of culturally shared thoughts. Without the total understanding architects and master builders have given form to attitudes and ways of thinking that verbal discourses have not yet been ready to articulate.
To substantiate this point of view my submission will focus on the Royal Chapel in Lublin, Poland, a small structure constructed in the Gothic style but decorated with Russian-Byzantine paintings. The structure is riddled with symbolic conflicts and that is why it is usually discussed as a provincial and imperfect example. I will show what one can learn from this kind of architecture.

Paper in English

___Sven Martensen &
Anne Gelderblom

London, Hamburg
Writing Choreographies into Space

The interpretation of architecture, as much as architecture itself, can hardly be thought without the body. In order to define the process of the interpretation of architecture more precisely, the text therefore seeks to analyze the relation between our moves and the built environment and to demonstrate that this relation is reciprocal. The text also aims to explain the impact of social conditions and denotations on the spatial organization of day-to-day routines and our social practices.
However, as they are constantly reconstituted through our practices, these social structures and denotations are subject to processes of change, allowing us to redefine our social and built environment. Through our moves, we create a relation to our built environment (Alkemeyer 2003) which we interpret with our practice, incorporating the social structures through the displacements and moves of our bodies (Bourdieu 1991).

Paper in German


___Sokratis Georgiadis
Korai and Antefixes – Metamorphoses of the Human Figure
in Greek Architecture and their Interpretation

The "human scale" has always been one of the basic premises of a humanistic conception of architecture. This conception eagerly sought its legitimation in the anthropomorphic foundation of column proportions passed down by Vitruvius. However, an archaeology that goes beyond the usual anachronisms of the Vitruvian matrix and focuses on the contexts in which the human figure was employed in an architectural function reveals that the Roman theoretician's anthropomorphic analogies were attributions post factum. A walk through the labyrinth of interpretations, but also of literary tradition and the material evidence available, shows that the application of the human scale to architecture was nowhere a motive of relevant practice, at least in those verifiable cases from archaic and classical times in which the human form was architecturally used in figurative representation rather than in the abstract shape of the column. The lines of flight of the investigation rather come upon the horizon of ancient myths about power struggles between chthonic and celestial forces to rule the world and man. These myths provided the raw material for a multiplicity of cult practices and rituals, which in turn proved to be the most important form-generating factors of an architecture that served as their container and background.

Paper in German

___Henrik Hilbig
„Approaches of a New Architectural Style...“ Interpretation between Meaning and Action by the Example of Anthroposophical Architects from 1925 to 1939

Juan Pablo Bonta’s study Architecture and its Interpretation described the process of canonicalising architectural significance, mainly from the point of view of a fixed separation between existing structures and subsequent attribution of significance by critical discourse. Little attention was paid to the architects. This is all the more astonishing, as the architects themselves are mainly responsible for the implementation of visions and significance in buildings by their own activities.
This complex process of translation between interpretation on the one hand, and actual activity – architectural design – on the other hand, is represented in a topic of architectural history that has hardly been addressed today, the first anthroposophical architects’ generation after Rudolf Steiner. A relatively tight collective of significance and activity in discourse with the everyday demands of contract principals, laws, and territorial restrictions, developed a canonical style using the partly disparate textural and visual basis of Steiner‘s work. Unlike Steiner’s buildings, this style may be regarded as a whole.

Paper in German

___Ulrike Seeger
Architecture of Relationships and Interconnections –
A New Approach Exemplified by the Central Railway Station in Stuttgart

Traditionally, the interpretation of historical architecture is based on documents from the planning and construction phase and on the comparitative analysis of contemporary buildings, in the discussion of 20th century architecture this approach often supplemented by the autobiographical notes of the architects. Emphasis is typically on the facades and on the execution of individual rooms. Only rarely the interconnection of spaces is considered as reflecting the original intention of the architects. Employing the central Stuttgart railway station (constructed 1914-28 by Paul Bonatz and Friedrich Eugen Scholer) as an example the present contribution emphasizes the importance of room sequences and of the interconnection of rooms with different functions. One the one hand, the architects made full use of the expressionistic contrast between the human and the superhuman scale. On the other hand, they attempted, in the travellers’ interest, to minimize distances. In this respect, Bonatz and Scholer owed important suggestions to the advice of Alexander Rüdell (1852-1920). The role of this experienced state architect-engineer tends to be ignored in the historical accounts of 20th century architecture, which tend to concentrate on the artists.

Paper in German


___Sabine Brinitzer

About the Complexity of Interpreting "Organic Architecture"

Based on my scientific research in this article I will exemplarily show the interpretation of ‘Organic Architecture’ by analysing the writings, drafts, and constructions of Hugo Häring, Erich Mendelsohn, Hans Scharoun, and Alvar Aalto. Each of their positions bases on the theoretical fundament of a different interpretation of nature and resulting from this their drafts display specific interpretations of construction works. However, their subsequent written interpretations of implemented works are building more than only complex “parameters”. Due to those reasons the interpretation is claimed as critical revision.

Paper in German


___Alban Janson
“Presenting and Withdrawing”
The Villa Müller in Prague by the Architect Adolf Loos

This text is primarily about the careful observation and the precise description of architecture: The Villa Müller in Prague by the architect Adolf Loos will be treated as the subject of perception and concrete experience. Emphasis is put on the particular feature of architecture to create wholesome situations comprising also of the participants. It is not possible to describe and understand those situations by merely countable or measurable facts. What counts is the lively interaction between the spatial qualities of the building and the movement and living in it as experienced on the spot. Yet this experience would again be cut down to a reduced form, when restricted to some detailed purposes due to an individual interest. For this reason only a very general type of actions will be considered here, such as arriving, entering, circulating, going upstairs, sitting down, looking out etc. Even though architecture is usually perceived only incidentally, the effectiveness of the architectural means deserves a closer look. The way they convey their impact on our experience can be detected and described only by sharpened observation. Sometimes the verbal expression of those descriptions even demands slightly exaggerated formulations.

Paper in German


___Christine Neuhoff
The Villa Tugendhat by Mies van der Rohe – Canon and Autobiography

This paper will compare two different accounts of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat: on the one hand, the villa as a defined canon of modernism, and on the other hand as a lived autobiography. I will trace in how far these accounts correspond to each other, complement one another or contradict each other.
The aim of this paper is thus threefold: Firstly, by investigating into the establishment of the Villa Tugendhat’s canon in both the European and the American contexts, I want to elucidate the process of canon-formation and give an overview of the aspects mentioned and most frequently repeated with regard to the Villa Tugendhat. Secondly, based on this analysis, I will show that the canon was mainly established by the visual records of the villa, notably the photographic representations of the house, and not by the house itself. In contrast, the Tugendhats’ perception of the house and their lives, and the villa’s history after 1938 did almost not influence the canon. Finally, I will elucidate the role of the architectural critic with regard to the parallel existing accounts of the same building.

Paper in English

___Ulrike Sturm
‚Against Interpretation‘ –
Re-Visiting the Bauhaus Building at Dessau

In her famous essay “Against Interpretation” Susan Sontag severely attacked the American art criticism of the 1960ies and pleaded for an alternative approach to art. Instead of suffocating the piece of art in a futile search for its meaning critics should rather focus on “how it is, what it is, even that it is, what it is”. The following essay is guided by Susan Sontag´s alternative approach and applies it to one of the most interpreted icons of “Neues Bauen” in Germany, the Bauhaus Building of Walter Gropius at Dessau.
Visiting the Bauhaus Building at Dessau without automatically, interpreting it as the icon of modernism, opens up new facets of its architecture. Looking at the building in a “non-interpretive” way means to describe it as “what it is” without referring to Avantgarde theorems. Surprisingly enough, Gropius himself gave a very down-to-earth description of his building, which was rather obscured by later critics as Sigfried Giedion and others. Moreover, explaining “how it is, what it is” reveals features of the Bauhaus Building which could even be classified as “traditional”.
These features, however, do not lessen the quality of the building, but add to it. Gropius combined conventional settings with modern techniques and this is why the impact of the building is much more complex and humane than most interpretations suggest. Julius Posener who visited the restored building in the late 1990ies was one of the few critics who were fully aware of these features. As Posener wrote emphatically, he “beheld the Bauhaus for the first time”, when he saw the restored building, although he had “known it by heart” from many photographs.

Paper in German

___Lukas Zurfluh
The ‘Flowing Space’ of the Barcelona Pavilion – A Metamorphosis of Interpretation?

On the basis of an analysis of texts and discourse, this article deals with the reception and interpretation of the specific spatial qualities of the Barcelona Pavilion after its reconstruction in 1986. Thereby two aspects are emphasized: on the one hand the importance of the possibility to experience space in order to describe and interpret it, on the other hand the understanding of interpretation as a steadily changing, discursive process.
The reconstruction of the Barcelona Pavilion has led to a differentiation and expansion of the before codified interpretation. A plenitude of characterizations took the place of the formerly codified description of the space as ‘flowing’, all of them having a commonness on a meta-level: they specify the spatial qualities in analogy to the different physical states of liquids – ranging from firm to fluid to gaseous. These apparently conflicting interpretations can thereby be conceived as continuously changing conception of the same spatial situation, even as an actual metamorphosis of its interpretation. They can lead us to a comprehension of interpretation, which is no longer interested in an irrevocable codification but in a dialogue of varying options to interpret spatial qualities.

Paper in German


___Silke Langenberg
Planned Design – Built Process
Architecture of the Sixties and Seventies

The debate on the quality of architecture in the sixties and seventies is still undifferentiated. The large scale and serial production of architecture difficultly open up artistic analysis. For understanding the “boom-buildings” different standards of evaluation seem to be essential, compared to buildings of earlier centuries. For example the historic importance is based on “the phenomenon of mass”, the architecture-historical value on the process-orientation of architectural concepts. Knowledge of the strategies for optimising processes and achieving economies, which control planning and construction in the 1960s and 1970s, are fundamental to the interpretation of the buildings.
In the sixties and seventies about 5 billion buildings with more than one and a half thousand billion square meters were constructed in the Federal Republic of Germany as the result of falling unemployment and increasing social prosperity. Parallel to economic growth, the population of the Federal Republic is growing – between 1950 and 1970 it jumps about 10 billion. Thus there was a need not only for higher standards of in the quality of the building stock, but also in a higher capacity overall.
The high demand for buildings allows the breadthways test of different rationalization strategies for the first time: to be profitable, serial production strictly asks for a high number of recurrent, identical elements; the employment of certain constructions, machines or formworks only pay off by developing great volumes. Furthermore ambitions of developing location-independent and flexible system-buildings appear. The planning-process is rationalised, and the building process is optimised in consideration of all related standards and eventualities.
The built mass of the sixties and seventies boom is remarkable as a contemporary phenomenon and important in respect of the visions of industrial mass-production. Nevertheless strategies of conservation have to be geared to criteria of sustainable management of the building-stock. Its chance of survival should be seen in the light of wider economic and ecologic interests including commercial real-estate concerns. The bigger part of boom-building is not to be conserved as a contemporary reference, but to be used and valued as a resource.

Paper in German

___Matthias Korn
A Modest Proposal for Getting to Know Architecture: Destruction.
Gordon Matta-Clark’s Building Cuts

The paper deals with the somewhat unorthodox way of getting to know architecture by cutting it through. This procedure shall be understood in general as an alternative way of approaching a building. It will focus on Gordon Matta-Clark's artistic process, in which his working material consisting of abandoned architecture will play a leading role. I will explore the evolution of one of his most famous works, Splitting, from the first abstract sketches to the idea and the final execution. It will be shown what special interests were leading Matta-Clark towards Splitting, and which experiences and special ways of perception were the condition to generate his idea of cutting the house through. Further will be explored that his achievement lies in the production of a very close contact to the building. The cut frees inner invisible tensions within the house that were sensed unconsciously by Matta-Clark as it touches his inner self during the process at the same time.

Paper in German

___Zeuler R. Lima
Saint Louis
The Reverse of the Reverse:
Another Modernism According to Lina Bo Bardi

This paper proposes to reflect upon the notion of other modernisms, which tends to gain acceptance in contemporary architecture theory. Our theoretical and empirical analysis is framed by the work of Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, particularly by two houses she designed in the 1950s. The central hypothesis of the text is that the separation between central and marginal areas of architectural production presents a problematic framework to analyze modernism around the world. The notion of other modernisms intrinsically implies the limitation of the notion of critical regionalism. As Lina Bo Bardi operated both in Italy and in Brazil, she transcended this hierarchical division with contrasting aesthetic affiliations and hybridizing practices. The mutual exchange and influence between different realities provides a more nuanced relationship to consider otherness as an internal and not only an external condition of artistic and cultural manifestations.
Two theoretical propositions advance the points in this article. First, we analyze Lina Bo Bardi’s struggle with modernism as related to anthropologist Nestor García-Canclini’s discussion about hybrid cultures. Second, we analyze her conception of modernity with regards to anthropologist Timothy Mitchell’s definition of modernity as the vulnerable staging of history. As a foreign woman with key political connections, Lina Bo Bardi was the most disruptive other in the Brazilian architecture mainstream. Her life and work spanned between two continents and merged rationalism and popular culture. As she remained loyal to the avant-garde ideas of the Modern Movement, she critically proposed an alternative to the cosmopolitan, Corbusian branch of Brazilian architecture.
Lina Bo Bardi’s work challenged traditional dichotomies between rationalism and everyday improvisation. Her goal to bring popular culture into her conception of modernism emerged in the context of postwar Italian reconstruction and became a political critique of the inequalities of social and cultural modernization in Brazil. Her work represents more a reflection on modernism and modernity than a reflection on the meanings of tradition and the popular. Despite her struggles, Lina Bo Bardi was committed to the belief that the role of architects is not to turn away from design but it is to be involved in aesthetic, social and political negotiations. And as she negotiated between entering and leaving modernism, she demonstrated that the modern has no simple and fixed origin, place, or form.
Ambivalence and ambiguity are features that can be easily associated with Lina Bo Bardi’s work, but the same is true in regard to modernism despite its claim to universality. Instead of separating and resolving differences, her work highlighted the instabilities that are present in the workings of modernity and in the relationship between different cultural needs, values, and forms.

Paper in English


___Christine Neuhoff

The Myth of Vals

This paper challenges the widespread habit of praising Peter Zumthor’s bath for its site-related materiality and proposes:
Could it be that instead of the bath’s careful placing and its tactile sensation, it is the bath’s place effect and tactility effect which is paid reverence to?
Could it be that instead of the bath’s actuality, it is the bath’s photographic effect, its photogenic quality, which is paid reverence to?
With this paper, I will exemplify that the positioning of Peter Zumthor’s thermal bath within the discursive context of Mies van der Rohe, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Robin Evans and Heinrich Wölfflin reveals the bath’s kinship with photography and its operations on a visual level. The thermal bath will serve as a case study to identify effects of photography, notably the effect of photogenia in architecture.

Paper in English

___Jan Pieper

Critical Approach of the Architecture’s Periphery

The architecture’s Avant-garde gradually equals a secret society. The one, who is willing to engage with it, apparently is required to possess knowledge in philosophy, mathematics, and natural sciences and some enthusiasm for the application of advanced software. The question if this causes a gain for architecture remains open. In the light of those hermeneutic approaches many comments only paraphrase well-meant formulas provided to them by the architects. The professor for construction history and conservation of the RWTH Aachen, Jan Pieper, states the preconditions for his criticism on randomness of the forms and deals systematically with the spectacular Daimler-Benz-Museum. Behold, all the glamour is gone.

Paper in German

___Jörn Köppler
Interpretation and the Aesthetic Experience, Discussed at the Example
of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Berlin by OMA / Rem Koolhaas

Based on Kant's classic definition of the human capacity for aesthetic judgment, this essay argues that the experience of such aesthetic objects as buildings always leads to an overarching reflection on meaning. Within this reflection the essay inquires about the possible positive relation of the single aesthetic object to a meaningful oneness of Nature. Following Kant we just cannot do otherwise than to reflect on this meaningful oneness in aesthetic judgment, because the latter describes the structure of this form of knowledge, and is not simply a discussion of the recognition itself. This would mean that every interpretation of architecture is set under the a priori of the reflection on meaning. This nowadays, however, includes a significant potential for disturbance because meaning itself seems to be only seen as problematic in modern thinking and so in modern building.
Would that then mean that all aesthetic judgments about contemporary modern architecture have to fail inevitably because of the absence of a positive reference to an idea of meaning and so only a non-meaningful world is unfolding in it? With the aid of the example of the new Dutch embassy in Berlin by OMA / Rem Koolhaas, it is argued that the character of the non-meaningful is an essential of the mainstream of contemporary modern architecture indeed. What manifests aesthetically here is the repetition of the abstract building principle of the classical modern age. Keeping this in mind helps to explain the usually more negative judgments of non-architects about such an abstraction-oriented contemporary architecture: such judgments are caused by the fact that the experience of a non-meaningful reality is equivalent to an exclusion of your own mental being out of this reality – because this mental being is always asking for meaning, and for the congruence of purely subjective ideas about meaning with reality. But it was just this question of the compatibility of the concept of freedom (of the subject) with the concept of nature (the reality) whose inevitable dissolution Kant has seen only in the non-conceptual aesthetic experience, specifically in the experience of the beauty of nature. With that „aesthetic turn“ Kant solved the modern aporias of the pure, conceptually based knowledge which, nevertheless, we nowadays still follow with the result of the afore-mentioned – but only apparent – aporia of meaning in our times.
Finally the paper points out that the possible positive conclusion on an objective-natural wholeness of meaning in the moment of beauty could be a starting point for a meaning-reflecting, critical interpretation of architecture as well as one for a meaning-defined idea of building. This would build up a perspective for sheltering the meaning-asking man.

Paper in German

___Ryszard Sliwka
Cambridge, Ontario (CA)
Sublime Phenomena:
Notes on the Architecture of the Horizon

‘Sublime Phenomena’ examines the question of limits in the interpretation of architecture, particularly with reference to the horizon. Two recent pavilions by David Adjaye frame the discussion. One of these pavilions was designed by Adjaye to house Olafur Eliasson's your dark horizon installation on an island in the Venetian lagoon as part of the 2006 Biennale. The other ‘horizon’ pavilion is a project that Adjaye recently constructed to frame horizon located directly between the sky and a body of water known as the Sea of Galilee. These works share some interesting similarities to Le Corbusier's development of a horizon of 'yearning' in his last projects, particularly the incorporation of the horizon in the design for his own (and his wife’s) tombstone at Roquebrune, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. In other aspects the approaches can be seen to convey rather different concerns. By comparing these examples, I hope to outline some of the key questions regarding concepts of immanence and transcendence and the capacity of architectural objects to evoke these limits.
The complex interwoven artistic, cultural, economic, political, and religious influences of Caspar David Friedrich's sublime depiction of landscape and horizon in Monk by the Sea (1809–1810) serve as a starting point for the discussion, since it is a work that closely embodies Edmund Burke's eighteenth-century treatise on the sublime and its subsequent affirmation in Immanuel Kant's discussion of the same subject in his Critique of Judgment (1790).
In addition, the introduction of the unsettling anecdote of the sardine can (at least to its author Jacques Lacan) is extended to explain in psychoanalytic terms something of the perceptual mechanism involved in the discussion of the sublime and its emergence in artistic discourse in recent years.
Both Adjaye and Eliasson rely on phenomenological descriptions that firmly embed any transcendental discussion of the horizon in a world of immanence. The significance of the horizon for Le Corbusier emerges from his writings and painting, yet operates in a cryptic personal mythology that ties him to ancient Greece and ideas of alchemy. Both Eliasson and Adjaye on the other hand, confine themselves to rather reticent and mundanely concrete descriptions of their installations. This is in a curious contrast to the extraordinary atmospheric and temporal effects created, together with the desires and epiphanies that experience of the work elicits.
While a discussion of the horizon in all three works can be discussed in terms of the sublime, the experience of what that means appears to vary with all three authors. My conclusion speculates that no one specific feeling is involved in the experience of the sublime, but that a broad range of different feelings may be involved on different occasions. Indeed the social and cultural context of the sublime may have a significant bearing on our experience. However, there is an aspect of the experience of the sublime as a limit-experience that binds us to our condition of being human, that we all recognize.

Paper in English

___Ryszard Sliwka
Cambridge, Ontario (CA)

Genetic Architecture

The forces of globalization on the environment in recent decades have rapidly consigned sentiments of wilderness to an endangered species list. Nevertheless, understanding our place in the world hinges on a reassessment of out relationship to the wild in the making of our built world. Genetic Architecture, a term in currency since the mid-nineties, may indicate such a shift from shift from strictly human-centred preoccupations. It embodies a specific design sensibility inspired by the growth of organic systems and shares many similarities with evolutionary, emergent, morphogenetic and cosmogenic approaches to design, as well as bio constructivism, bio-mimetics or bio-morphism. The emergence of these strategies, particularly among a younger generation of architects such as the 3deluxe group, Herault-Arnod and others, form the speculative basis for this essay addressing the question of Genetic Architecture in terms of perception and the integration of the wild as a cultural objective.

Paper in English

___Anna-M. Eifert-Körnig
The Block Beuys
A Traditional Occurrence as Interpretation of Architecture

Hesse’s State Museum of Darmstadt is under reconstruction. The Block Beuys, arranged between 1967 and 1970 by the artist’s own hands, is affected by this fact as well. Regarding the further conservation of the Block Beuys one needs to identify the pieces belonging to his work varying in those belonging to the architectural envelop. The article shows that the several approaches explain the perception of architecture in terms of Beuys quite differently. Does the architectural coverage imply an envelop, or is it related to the museum as a ‘construction-organism’ respectively to an institution? In case the environment is interpreted as ‘room for perception’, ‘room for action’ or ‘room for consideration’, the exposure to the work varies. The challenge of objectuality and occasionality is common in architecture and action art. Beuys’s artistic action is a particular form of the use of architecture. It transforms the real space into an artificial one. The spatiotemporal interlocking of museum and the eventful work turns out to be a provocation touching the museum’s self-concept.

Paper in German

___Katharina Lehmann
The Constructed Room
with its Effect on Reception and Experience of Perception

An application-oriented aesthetical rationality can provide information about the decoding interpretation of architecture causing its own content of perception that enters levels of view not being accessible through a purely workaday-view.
For the means of exemplification is consulted Gregor Schneider’s work Dead house Ur (Totes Haus Ur) that thanks to its dissected spaces represents architecture in extreme sense and makes the practice of perception in particular clearly feasible. In this context in the first part Martin Seel’s aesthetical practice of perception is exemplified illustratively. However, for the means of an aesthetical interpretation of architecture the second part explains Gilles Deleuze’s approach of the pleat.

Paper in German

___Fred Truniger
The Accumulation of Images –
A Cinematic Interpretation of the Landscape of England

The question raised in this issue of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land refers to the fact, that the world can be represented with many different means. Interpretation is representation charged with analysis and meaning. It always bears the imprint of a certain point of view – more or less objectivized and more or less stringently argued for.
Commonly, interpretation uses written or oral language as its medium. Owing to age-long refinement of its means in philosophy and literature, the human language has turned into the most precise instrument of representation at our hands. It's our language that is at the basis of our thinking. We are using it from our infancy to express our thoughts. Our whole way of seeing the world develops as a structure of meanings tightly bound to the possibilities language offers for our thinking. But language is not everything there is and not everything can be conceived through it.
This paper presents an alternative. It puts forward the film as a form of visual interpretation and introduces the film Robinson in Space (GB 1997), in which British filmmaker and architect Patrick Keiller narrates the contemporary landscape of England. Through temporal and geographical densification the film makes phenomena visible, which, for various reasons, are easily lost out of sight in the real topography.

Paper in German


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