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Architecture in Visual Culture, A Porous System, and Some Attempted Order: Beginnings of the M+ Architecture Collection


This talk is titled in response to the title of the lecture series as a way of expressing an embrace of this tripartite framework, but also a realisation of its limits in the building of M+’s architecture collection. Collection-building necessitates a disciplinary focus, a principled identification of subjects for acquisition, and a methodological order informed by the museum’s remit. Yet, under the conditions of a lack in historical research on regional architectural developments, the existence of fragments rather than complete archives, the vying for materials by nationalistically-driven collecting institutions, and the reality of an increasingly cross-mediated world, this talk aims to bring out the inevitable “gaps” in subscribing to the more ‘classical’ framework in how M+ builds its architecture collection. Atop shifting grounds, it takes on a more porous system of navigating between collecting for historical research and interpretive display, between the local and transnational, between the canonical and non-canonical, and between architecture and other disciplines.


Landscapes of Justice: World Order and Media in the Nuremberg Trials, c. 1945


During four short months in the summer of 1945, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the US Signal Corps, IBM, and landscape architect Dan Kiley established themselves in Nuremberg to prepare for the International Military Tribunals. In Courtroom 600 Kiley fused modern landscape design and juridical architecture, reifying functionalist principles against historicist forms and symbolic visual languages. The objective was the production of international criminal law as a transparent rational system that made possible the translation of evidentiary input into adjudicative output. This lecture will examine the role of architecture and space in the double articulation of international law: both as a system that aims to deliver justice and as a just and international order in and of itself.


Attention Spans, Multiple Takes, and Possibilities that Seem Distant at First


The CCA is an institution that attempts to transform the thinking, studying, and producing architecture through exposing the field to curatorial approaches, processes of interrogation, and the rearranging of ideas in ways that respond to contemporary cultural contexts. The CCA Collection, international in scope, is held with the conviction that works and archives can contribute to contemporary debate in architecture, through new, flexible, and responsive systems (or ways of working) that re-think and re-order archival material inside different frames of reference.


Architektur – Bild – Körper. Visionäre Kraft der Ordnung und (Zer)störung


„Give me a gun and I will Make all Buildings move“, schreibt Bruno Latour mit Blick auf die scheinbare Statik der Architektur. An dieser rüttelt auch der bildgeschichtlich orientierte Vortrag, der das Thema der Baustelle und das Sujet einstürzender (Neu)Bauten dialektisch begreift. Welche ethischen und ästhetischen Vorstellungen von Ordnung liegen dem ‚vernunftgeleiteten‘ Prozess des Bauens zugrunde, aber auch der Zerstörung von Architektur? Sie wird im Moment des Auseinanderberstens zum Akteur, der terrore (Schrecken) mit sich bringt und den menschlichen Körper zur Angriffsfläche macht.


The Order of Libraries: Universities and Truth


At a moment when truth is a controversial topic, this lecture looks at its technical infrastructure. Beginning with OMA’s new Qatar National Library at Education City in Doha and rewinding history from there, the lecture will explore the architecture of libraries, and in particular of university libraries, as media systems. From the European and North American nineteenth century to the present, we will ask: What forms of order do libraries construct? And, what is the relationship between that order and the difficult but quite real production, maintenance, and distribution of truth?


Die Ordnungen haben ausgedient! Es lebe die Ordnung! Architektonik!


Architektonik ist für Kant die „Kunst der Systeme“. In aristotelischer Tradition steht das ‚Architektonische’ für eine (übergeordnete) leitende Zielsetzung menschlichen Handelns (in der Nikomachischen Ethik) und ist dementsprechend auch den Bedingungen der ‚Politeia’ zugeordnet. Nahe an der Architektur unterscheidet Kant zwischen einer blossen Anhäufung und einem gegliederten („artikulierten“)– architektonischen – Ganzen. In der Architektur liegen alle Möglichkeiten zwischen Mannigfaltigkeit und Ordnung, Norm und Zufall, öffentlich und privat. Ihr ist in exemplarischer Weise die Kompetenz zugeschrieben, sich darin zu orientieren und dementsprechend zu handeln.