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Louis I. Kahn: Salk Institute, San Diego 1965. Fotografie: Heinrich Klotz, 1980, ARCH+ 216 (Heinrich-Klotz-Archiv, HfG Karlsruhe, Courtesy of DAM)
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The „Center for Critical Studies in Architecture. History, Theory and Media“ (CCSA) is a new research cluster of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (Art History Department), the Technischen Universität Darmstadt (Architecture Department) and the Deutschen Architekturmuseum. The combination of a university, technical university, and museum is unique worldwide. Through innovative study programs, postgraduate students from the faculties of architecture and art history can link their academic research in the field of architecture and architectural theory with curatorial and media-related questions, as well as with professional experiences. The CCSA reflects upon the history, theory and mediality of architecture as an intellectual and aesthetic challenge. The Center seeks to afford postgraduate students the skills to link theory and research expertise with interdisciplinary issues. At the same time, the center aims to expand discussions on the mediality of architecture, which have hitherto been mainly related to contemporary architecture, to earlier historical eras. Accordingly, the CCSA focuses on the history and theory of architecture from the early modern age until the present day. This is based on the awareness that the access to certain historical topics is always accompanied with a specific interest in the present, while substantial theoretical architectural research can barely be conducted without knowledge of the history of ideas. Therefore, architectural history and architectural theory are inextricably linked with each other. Only together do they become a complex, conceptually precise, and methodologically stringent discussion on architecture.