Vol. 5, No.2 December 2000


The Architect is dead! 
Long Live the Architect!






New Approaches to General and Vocational Art and Architecture Education
  1. General cultural architecture and art education as a prerequisite for harmonious development of material and intellectual culture of society
    The recognition of architecture as an environment and as a spatial order is based on the assumption that society must be culturally and architecturally educated, i.e. it should have both highly qualified professionals - architects, designers and artists, and clients who understand architecture, design and fine arts.
  2. Education as an ideal model of future practice
    Educational systems, including secondary schools and higher educational establishments, must be oriented to the future. In addition, the contents of general cultural art and architecture education must include not only features of the existing social practice and art and architecture competence but also social characteristics of the man and environment of the future.
  3. From the outlook of implementer to the outlook of creator
    Various models of outlook are given depending on the emphasis of education and disciplines studied. Allowing for regularities and specific features as may be revealed in school and university curricula, professional standards and programmes would enable the shift from training implementers to training creators - citizens of the future, citizens of the 21st century and the third millennium.
  4. Art and Architecture Semiotics as one of the major ways of perfecting vocational art and architecture skills
    Art and Architecture Semiotics is a synthetic science penetrating into the field of Arts and Linguistics, Information Theory, Psychology, Rhetoric, Visual Communication, Symbolism of the Artistic Language of Form and Visual Poetry. For understanding and working out his or her own artistic expressive architectural language the architect of the future would have to acquire knowledge of at least the fundamentals of this science; only then architecture would really become art.

(translated by the author)


(Kharkov, Ukraine)

The Architect is Dead? - It is Dull to Listen

The beginning of the outgoing century was imbued with eschatological mood. The XX-th century has buried poetry and novel, painting and theatre, love and family, private property and state. In the 20-ies, in Bauhaus, art history was abolished, and towards the end of the century the world history was also almost buried. Architecture has not become an exception. All this is called Modernism and has jolly well pestered.
Modernists are burying architecture and, accordingly, architects, beginning with Sullivan, for already more than a century refuse architecture in favour of engineering. But architecture, this obstinate essence, still does not allow neither to abolish, nor to dissolve itself in other kinds of activities, not even in those extremely "modern" and technically equipped ones.
Art of architecture has met a technological challenge of the century. An example of Pier Luigi Nervi remained in history as a brilliant exception, confirming general regulations: each technology development coil was successfully assimilated by architectural aesthetics. In the XX-th century this happened not only to technologies of building production - metal, reinforced concrete, prefabricated constructions, - but also to transportation and information technologies.
Architecture in the XX-th century, like Protheus, has taken different looks, throwing itself in turn from aesthetic Utopia of Art Nouveau and mysticism of Gläserne Kette to constructivists´ pathos of social reorganization, from revolutionism of Bauhaus to "Communities Architecture" conservatism and to post-modernism cankerous irony. This created the illusion for many people that architecture has lost its own matter. Nothing could go farther from the truth.
The author agrees with Karl Solger's look, who bound up the nature of architecture with diffusion of divine authority in a profane world: "This art aspires to give a dwelling of peculiar look to That One, Who has no need for it ... The highest and most general destiny of architecture ... is to rise a temple in God's glory". I think, this idealistic point of view is also very practical. Architecture thus understood can evidently neither be annihilated, nor even exposed to doubt. Having once arisen, it remains one of the fundamental institutions, constituting society as such.

(translated by the author)




No Education without Educational Background

It is the author´s idea and conviction that today a sustainable education for architects should include at least one year preparation, named BASIC TENETS. This with the aim that later, during design processes, classification will make sense and be sound. For one year the beginner has to face it all.
A main focus is on behavior in social situations. Basic tenets includes instruction into the outlines of cultural history and continuous training in sensibility for materials, surfaces and colours. It is not primarily about knowledge but about recognition which has to do with the art of hermeneutics.
The final exam could be a transition-exam to architecture, yet with no grades. It could be thought of as a dispute between students, thrown together to small groups by their teachers. The topic would spontaneously be given for discussion. The basic tenets would thus end with the permission for the actual course in architecture.
The author argues against life long professors within basic tenets. Basic tenets need urban indians on the average side with hearts curious about life.

(translated by Anette Sommer)




Design and Science
Architecture and the Idea of the University

An architect tries to classify his scientific work in order to relate it to designing, teaching and building.
Architecture has been represented as a full faculty at (European) universities for only a few years. In relation to the history of the institution, this is a new situation whose significance has not yet been fully explored. The wish to be recognized as scholars and scientists, which architects and artists have fought for since the beginning of modern times, has finally been granted.
Yet architects don't know very well how to deal with their new status. They are skeptical of the idea of scientific research, since an understanding of science adequate to architectural design is still far from being established. What is it, that architects working scientifically can contribute to universitas? How can design and research work as well as building and teaching be integrated into one another? Which priority should be given to these different activities?

(translated by the author)


(Kharkov, Ukraine)

Creative Educational Workshop in Kharkov TU

TheUkrainian architectural school is still translating the principles of the Soviet education of the 80-ies. By inertia and by tradition in the sphere of post-Soviet education today the mental stereotypes, produced during the long Soviet history, still prevail.
One of the first attempts of transformation of professional architectural education was undertaken in the middle of the 80-ies in Kharkov Civil Engineering TU. Pedagogic principles and results of this experiment were set as principle of the teaching methods at elementary stages of architectural education. In 1996, for alteration of training on elder courses, the Architecture Bases chair has founded a Creative Educational Workshop of applied architectural researches and experimental design. Its activity is based on the methods, worked out by the Soviet intellectual underground as far as in the 80-ies.
The article describes the educational sessions on framing the conceptions of small city centers development in a number of the cities of Kharkov region (i.e. Lyubotin, Dergachi) and also Mezhdurechensk (RF). Among the participants of design seminars were students and teachers of architectural faculty, workers of urban and public administrations, and also the experts of the International Institute of Urban and Regional Development.

(translated by the author)


(Kharkov, Ukraine)

The Concept of Designing and Architectural School

The decentralization of economy in the countries of East Europe transforms the institute of design before serving as socialist rules. The new functions of the designer see to the teacher by new architectural specialities. With their occurrence, a problem of organizational modeling of sphere of architectural professionalism is again made topical. The formation (training) perceives design efficiency in paradigmatic attitudes (relations). Based on the design approach it represents a methodological phenomenon of architectural school. Such in particular is the phenomenon "of urban environment". The basic concept of environment the approach - situation.

(translated by the author)



Architecture in the Focus of the Cultural Regulation System


Sense-Image Comprehension of Architecture

The existing content of social consciousness absorbing sense-image messages of every stage of its development creates a special paradigmatic integrity of separate semantic elements, possessing a relatively ordered freedom of sense formation.
The poetry of beauty of architectural form, coming into contact with the rough prose of life, turns into a specific armour of the cultural meaning - an artificial cover through which a sense-image structure is moved from the level of natural existence to the level of sociocultural reality. Time itself is realized in architecture and spatial organization, giving rise to a reality myth that, in its turn, shows the world an image of this reality, representing tame architecture and culture on the whole as a fixed image of social spirit.
A harmonious combination of all alternative particular elements, mechanisms and disciplines constituting an architectural process that translates ideal natural forms into ideal anthropomorphous forms that represent a combination of natural beauty and creative ideas with various ways of existence-conceiving perception of the society and with the whole cultural experience of mankind allows us to build new sense-image platforms for the future development of architectural reality.

(translated by the author)



The Problem of Creative Intuition in the Aspect of Semiotics and Possible Improvement of Educational Process

In the given work we do not try to translate creative intuition completely into the area of consciousness. The right of an architect to free creativity is inviolable, but we can foresee the result of a creative process with the help of the information about the object of creativity. We offer to create a database of architectural science, which is activated with the help of Semiotics. The database is a set of historical facts. The historical facts give various information on space. Semiotics investigates the essence of space as a complex Sign and creates a universal formula of space as an inquiry of the Database. The content of the answer defines the Structure of the Concept. Semiotics generates the architectural concept. The answer of the database forms the denotative skeleton of the concept and the nuances of the connotative meanings with the help of appropriate information.
The architect receives information about the quality of the object and the number of possible concepts and design decisions decreases. The prediction of perception is in inverse proportion to the quantity of design variants. The database and a semiotic key are the information device of the architectural concept. We suggest that the use of the information service of architectural science should be introduced into educational process in order to improve training of would-be architects.

(translated by the author)




Between the Citadel and the Labyrinth: the Future of the Architectural Profession

The citadel has been the age-old symbol of intellectual power involving images of introspection and even mystery with respect to the heart or the soul (being), while the labyrinth denoted processual aspects of life such as initiation, growth and salvation (becoming).
Under modern conditions these symbols have become deformed and devalued, but they still are relevant as strong aspects of continuity in our architectural world of tension between professionalism and art. The castle perdures in the static dogmas of professional and practical standards while the labyrinth or maze is ambiguous in terms of rationalist reduction leading beyond the iron cage (Weber) to aimless 'neutral' design of equivocal elements and systems.
How do contemporary forces of deprofessionalisation affect the role of the architect? Can the profession widen its terms of reference to become the profession of 'lived space' that many have sought, but still seems so elusive in architectural production today?

Peter R.



Structuralism, Phenonemology and Hermeneutics in Architectural Education

This paper discusses the background to full-time architectural education, current subject teaching, the changing functions of the architectural studio, theories of architectural education and ideas emanating from various architectural schools in an attempt to arrive at a cogent course structure for the future. The conjectures range over the thought and relevant philosophical critiques of Glassie (Structuralism); Winckelmann, Hegel, Norburg-Schultz (Phenomenology); Gadamer, Heidegger, Schon, Perez Gomez (Hermeneutics); and Simon (The Sciences of the Artificial). The paper establishes a dialectic that enables the formation of a pedagogical structure and a curriculum relating theoretical knowledge, design teaching and architectural practice.



Architect of Spatial Hypertext: Search of Strategies

This report is devoted to the problem of comfortable autonomy for the life in post-industrial city´s architectural space. Historically the character of our relations with the space has been changed: from transformations of natural space to the stages of "virtual" world´s creation. The new opportunities of communication already destroy the structure of physical space and make it "virtual", transforming a real architectural landscape of a city into a network structure of central points and connections between them. This image corresponds to a structure of cyber-space or "world wide web". The modern city can be interpreted not as the calendar text of space but as "hypertext"-multilevel system of nonlinear space organization, having ability to self-development. What are the roles and functions of the architect in this situation: how could he carry out the task of providing the comfortable human existence in "condensed", non-stable space, neither coming back to the sphere of technological utopia of neomodernism nor to the nostalgia of neoclassics?

(translated by the author)



Architecture: Area of Competence or Area of Profession

At present the principles of world creation are undergoing profound changes: religion is taken into a synthetic mould; a person tempted by freedom of choice moves to one of the facets of his being - the cognitive facet that is synthetic from the very beginning. The only possible form of existence when there is no background, no religion and no past, is a rational structure. That is why existence becomes rationally structured. In this system there is no place for an architect as such, the area of his competence becomes reduced to professions interrelated with architecture. An art-critic or a design engineer is enough to keep up the informational and semantic potential of the space of existence. The rest is the matter of the system, global and rational.
Today, if an architect, an artist or a poet wants to be influential, he should turn to the power of the common people, this is the demand of the system. Hence, any creative activity is, as a matter of fact, a creative activity of people. For the architecture to win back its lost status it is essential to find new areas of creative work under the circumstances of the new system of new space of existence . Such is semantic modeling on the basis of statistical analysis of the text of the rational social structure and fundamental semiotic research in the field of form-building.

(translated by the author)


(Kharkov, Ukraine)

Training to Art Creativity as Evolutionary Process

The various forms of display of art creativity become the subject of analyse. Central in their line are techniques and methods of composite activity and actually the process of creation of art products.
The accent in preparation of the future specialist is offered to be transferred to the formation of system of art thinking aimed at self-development. The strategy of construction of a new educational course of composition is based on the theoretical-
methodological base and historical-genetic method of development of the last experience of an architectural trade.
The training of the architect for composite skills is carried out by development of the basic historical types of composite thinking and formation of a modern system of art concepts and images.
The conformity of various concepts and images about composition to various receptions, methods and means of composite work is opened.

(translated by the author)



Is Architectural Training a Thing of the Past?

Why is it that a limited entry has been imposed on a subject, for which only half of those graduating actually seek and find employment in their respective profession?

While architects manage successfully to perform various professions, others move from outside into the field of architectural activities, taking on such tasks as project controller, etc.

Transformation in the image of a profession.

So what is the role for which architectural studies should be training? Should the aim of studies be to train? Would it not be better to place education in the foreground? Is not the attractiveness of studying architecture precisely the fact that a classic, design-oriented architectural course of studies can be regarded as one of the best currently available training opportunities towards becoming an autodidact with particular skills in the fields of visual and verbal presentation.

There are two strategies from which to make a choice.

The introduction of shorter courses of study leading to the Bachelor title is a reaction to the short-term demands currently being placed on the availability of human resources conforming to minimum technical, economic and design standards.

Conversely, countries such as the USA, Great Britain, France etc. are sticking with their system of a rather long, education-oriented form of architectural training without any practical reference points and without any forms of specialisation. These countries place architectural training explicitly in the service of an export offensive within the field of architectural service provision.

Comparison with reference to:

  • Minimum standards of architectural training as per UIA 1999,
  • EU architecture guideline
  • Architectural study reform commission 1985, basis of the current Dipl.-Ing.
  • Group interests

Demands on the amendment to the Higher Education Framework Law

  • That the Dipl.-Ing be preserved
  • That a postgraduate Masters course be offered which is also open to architecture graduates

(translated by the author)



The Ace in the Architect´s Sleeve

Today no architect can be an expert in all fields related to architecture.The special abilities that seperate him from all other professions in the building trade belong to the field of aesthetics. Therefore designig is the most characteristic occupation of the architect.
Nevertheless is design competence based almost exclusivly on personal experience, neglecting the existing body of design theory.
This paper promotes the importance of design theorie as a key-qualification for the survival of the archictectural profession.

(translated by the author)



The Flexibility of the Modern Educational Process in Architecture

Architectural education improvement in many aspects is determined by the change of the professional consciousness. It manifests itself in a new correlation of conscious plans and levels, widening of the conscious focus, renovation of self-consciousness. As a result of this the renovation of the professional thinking takes place.
The dynamic interaction of two development lines: socio-professional, connected with external factors (the society order, practical needs, widening of the informational field) and educational-professional, reflecting internal logic of development (academic basis of education, traditions of schools) influence the flexibility of the architectural-educational process. Peculiarity of the process in the modern Russia is connected with more high speed within socio-professsional line, while stable improvement suppose the active counter influence.
The latter is shown in a principal methodology (for example principles of environmental intuitivism, ecological-psychological approach and method of compositional modeling in the Ural architectural school).

(translated by the author)

The essays are open to discussion for 6 months. Remarks, comments or criticism by readers can be added to each essay. The authors then may rewrite their essays during these 6 months of interaction with readers. After this period the articles will be frozen but still available in the net.
The editorial staff keeps all rights, including translation and photomechanical reproduction. Selections may be reprinted with reference:
( Wolkenkuckucksheim, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land, Vozdushnyj Zamok >/theoriederarchitektur/Wolke<) if the editorial staff is informed.
Issue 1/96:Architecture in the Realm between Art and Everyday life
Issue 1/97: Modernity of Architecture. A Critical Recognition
Issue 2/97: Architecture - Language
Issue 1/98: Architectonics and Aesthetics of Artificial Worlds
Issue 2/98: Architecture and Home. A discussion of Heideggers essay `building, dwelling, thinking` (1951)
Issue 1/99: Design Creativity and Materialization
Issue 2/99: A New Cultural Landscape Working and Living Environments for the Future
Issue 1/00: Identities, spaces, projections: World exhibitions and Architecture