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Externe Veranstaltungen

Elements of the City: Places & Spaces


In history catastrophes and crisis but also political paradigm shifts initiated gigantic urban campaigns both trying to adopt to the new situation and likewise taking this as an occasion to reorganize the society. Take for instance the Great Fire in London (1666), the earthquake in Lisboa (1755), Haussman’s modernization of Paris in the second half of the 19th century and of course the effects industrialization, war, colonialism, pandemics, turmoil’s and even terrorism had on city planning. With the reunification of the German states and the general change in global politics which made this possible, urban planning again entered a new chapter. At present we are witnessing a fundamental change in the way we are approaching urban space due to the pandemic crisis.

This online seminar is conceived as an ambitious discussion on the complex nature of urban space spanning from 19th to 21th century. It is going to focus on case studies but also takes seminal writings on urban phenomena from different disciplines as a point of departure.

Participants are expected to prepare for every single session and of course to engage in the discussions we are going to have on the materials presented. At the end of the semester an essay on one of the topics discussed must be submitted. Please note there will be no „Referate“  in the classical sense due to the online format. This seminar is rather based on joint discussions and exchange.

The Chair of Architectural History of the Art History Department of the Goethe University focuses in the Summer Semester 2021 on the question of the city and on urban studies. It invites students to consider urban history as an important interdisciplinary field of knowledge that shall not be detached from the histories of art and architecture.

History and Theory in Architectural Periodicals


Guest Lectures

05.05 Sarah Borree, “(Un)seeing Photographs in Der Baumeister 1925-1932″

Between 1925 and 1932, numerous articles published in German architectural mainstream periodical Der Baumeister featured references and remarks that either commented on photography more generally or the qualities or uses of specific photographs within the articles. Through a close reading of two articles, I develop the argument that in such remarks surface the authors’ uncertainty regarding the role of photography in architectural publishing and their relationship with photography more generally. I conclude the presentation by proposing that the underlying issues surfacing here have never been fully resolved and briefly address the implications for working with architectural photographs and researching architectural history through mass media.


19.05 Guest: Phoebus Ilias Panigyrakis, „The limits of criticism. Lewis Mumford and the Architectural Record“

Editor-in-chief of the Architectural Record, Emerson Goble was flat against criticism throughout his tenure of 1958-1967. In his opinion editorials characteristically titled “Criticism of criticism” he would denounce public criticism of buildings as hurtful to the profession. Doctors and lawyers don’t do that, why should architects? Despite that, Goble held high in his esteem the famed critic Lewis Mumford whose contributions in Goble’s Record were numerous, paid generously and in his own accounts, opened him to a selected audience of professional architects. This presentation will focus on the paradox of Mumford’s employment in the professional architectural journalism of the 1960s Architectural Record and comment on the competitive, financial and editorial reasons that shaped the relationship of the critic with his audience. The presentation will make use of notes and findings of the TU Delft PhD research titled Architectural Record: 1942-1967. Chapters from the history of an architectural magazine (2020).


07.07 Frederike Lausch, „The Staging of (French) Theory in /ANY/ – The Anyone Corporation’s magazine from 1993 to 2000“

The ANY magazine, published by the Anyone Corporation (founded in 1990), was published for the first time in May 1993. It began with an issue number zero to mark a beginning without value, which was entitled “Writing in Architecture.” The publisher Cynthia C. Davidson emphasized in the editorial that writing necessarily entails ambivalence and indecision, for example puns and ambiguities like the magazine name itself (ANY being an acronym for “Architecture New York” as well as meaning “some” or “whichever”). ANY was supposed to close the gap between popular magazines, academic writings and the less theoretical professional architectural journals. It was deliberately delimited from comparable architectural theory journals: „In the U.S. we had Oppositions, which dealt directly with interpretations of history, and then Assemblage, which fused theory and history. ANY viewed history more as a resource or a backdrop against which to test new thinking.“ (Davidson 2004) This new way of thinking, embodied by the so-called “French Theory,” becomes clear both in terms of content and graphics: an academic tone gives way to a playful, affirmative approach to intellectual fashions, and the overlapping of texts and illustrations leads to a visual spectacle.



Sarah Borree received her PhD in Cultural Studies from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) at the University of Edinburgh in 2019 and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Goethe University Frankfurt.

Phoebus Panigyrakis is an architect and PhD candidate. He holds a professional diploma from the University of Patras, Greece and teaches at TU Delft and Fontys Academy. Link:

Frederike Lausch studied architecture at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and the METU in Ankara and completed her PhD on Deleuze and the Anyone Corporation at the Goethe University, is currently a postdoc fellow at the RWTH in Aachen.



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Brazil Builds: Architecture and Utopia in the Twentieth-Century Tropical Americas


This seminar offers a critical examination on twentieth-century Brazilian Architecture. It intersects modern architecture, urban history and politics in Brazil. Instead of looking at the ‚canons‘ of modern architecture built in this country, whose images have been extensively produced and reproduced in books and lectures, this seminar aims to approach the subject by intersecting the very practice of architecture with the political shifts through the century. It deals with conflicting notions of modernity, militancy and political orientations, different interpretations of how people ought to live in cities, both individually and collectively, and the economic and political conditions that permitted certain urban projects to be successfully executed to the detriment of others. 

Museumsarchitektur in Deutschland
(19. / 20. Jahrhundert)


Mit der Französischen Revolution löste sich der Museumsbau endgültig aus dem Komplex des Schlosses und wurde zu einer selbständigen Gebäudegattung. Die Entwicklung der Museumsarchitektur vom „Kunsttempel“ des 19. Jahrhunderts zum funktionalen modernen Bau in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts bis zu den neuesten, sehr individuellen Museen der letzten Jahrzehnte steht im Mittelpunkt des Seminars. Daneben wird aber auch auf die Präsentation der Kunst, die sehr unterschiedlichen Museumskonzepte einzugehen sein.
Im Seminar soll ein Überblick über die Entwicklung des Bautyps Museum im Verlauf der Jahrhunderte erarbeitet werden. Neben der Veranstaltung im Seminarraum sind mehrere Exkursionen zu Darmstädter und Frankfurter Museen geplant.


Architectural History in Exile. Transatlantic Displacements (1914-1975)


This seminar intersects architectural discourses, narratives of displacement and representations of the Atlantic World. Writings, buildings and images made by émigré architects and architectural historians in the first three quarters of the twentieth century are discussed as critical cases in order to re-frame scenes, reconstruct narratives in the historiography of the modern movement and enlarge the geo-political and cultural boundaries in which modern architecture has been presented and represented. The incorporation of names, books and sites of the southern hemisphere and the ways these have been interconnected within the framework of North-South relations are here argue as being fundamental for building more complex histories and narratives in the field of architecture.

Der Architekt Paul Meissner (1868–1939) – Ein Ausstellungsprojekt


Paul Meissners war neben seiner Tätigkeit als Privatarchitekt auch als hessischer Denkmalpfleger und an der Technischen Universität Darmstadt als Hochschullehrer tätig. Sein frühes architektonisches Werk ist noch stark historistisch geprägt, später vertritt er den Stil einer gemäßigten Moderne. Das Œuvre umfasst sowohl Sakral- wie Profanbauten, aber auch technische Bauten, vor allem Brücken.