Summer Semester 2021
Architectures, You and Me
Carsten Ruhl & Daniela Ortiz dos Santos
What type of narratives do we want to pursue while judging about the meaning of architecture today? Who is in Charge of Architecture? Which Histories shall be celebrated and constructed? And Through Which Medium? Although these may sound straightforward questions, answering them poses new methodological challenges. Our introductory course to architectural history adopts these interrogations as a point of departure for action.
If we accept the argument that architecture is the result of an intersection of cultural phenomena situated in space and time, this makes possible a series of critical positions towards the different dimensions and mediums in which architectural histories are constructed, celebrated, displayed, manipulated and forgotten.
It aims at not only intersecting the several temporalities and spatial framings, but also examining the conditions of possibilities, power relations and competing world visions in which the architectural discourse operates.
By proposing a combination of synchronic and diachronic approaches, this course investigates to what degree the architectural narratives and operations have affected societies’ constructs of remembered experiences of the past in the current process of the architectural culture, as well as the society’s relation with the building environment at large.
The title of this course was inspired in Sigfried Giedion’s Architecture, you and me. The Diary of a Development published by Harvard University Press in 1958, in which the author proposes an original examination of principles of architecture and a study architectural history as a history of spaces. This course does not necessarily focus on Giedion’s research objects. But his book serves as a reminder of the importance of imagination, the role of images and creativity in the research process as fundamental tools for challenging status quo narratives in architectural and urban history.
Lecturers Prof. Dr. Carsten Ruhl & Dr. Daniela Ortiz dos Santos
Tutors: Fiona Kania, Franka Schlupp, and Lara Tjokrodiredjo
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Art History Department