Time June 2010
Host Technische Universität Dresden, Sonderforschungsbereich 804 „Transzendenz und Gemeinsinn“, Teilprojekt Baugeschichte (University of Technology Dresden, special research field 804 transcendence and public spirit, subproject building history)
Partners Andrea Schaffar
At the beginning of 2010 a call was published for a conference about ”The architect as a rival of the creator”: It mentioned the claim of universality of architecture, “which makes the architect seem to be the one who knows everything, thinks ahead everything, and has the ability to act as a designer of the totality of live (Hans Poelzig). He constracts ex nihilo public spirit and embodies transcendence in his very own person […]”. Since the topic fit perfectly to the research we just did in the Modes of Design project, we delivered an abstract and were selected for participation.
Apart from one methodically oriented lecture in February 2010 at the University of Leipzig this was our first opportunity to present to the scientific community results of the Modes of Design research project and discuss them.
For the lecture, we had to contextualize the material collected during the research project. We started with a presentation of the project and of our methodical and theoretical approach and with a short history of Vienna housing. After that we delivered a typology of “transcendental ideas” which we observed in the field of housing in Vienna: community, form, market. We tried to show which actors (architects, developers) expressed these ideas in which ways with their work. We concluded with a short epilogue about authorship in architecture.
The discussions following the lecture brought several new ideas we could use for our work. We were invited finally to revise the lecture for a publication based on the conference (Hans-Georg Lippert, Anke Köth, Andreas Schwarting (Ed.): un|planbar Band 1. Weltbaumeister und Ingenieur. Der Architekt als Rivale des Schöpfers, Dresden: Thelem 2012 (un|plannable. World master builder and engineer: The architect as a rival to the creator)).
Why is this a reference text?
The lecture was an opportunity to discuss the material from the research project in an interdisciplinary context (from social science to cultural studies and history). The method of typology was used by us for the first time here and proved to be rather effective.