4108430: Semester abroad

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Semester:SS 16
Scheduled in semester:3
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:0.0 L / 0.0 h
Self-directed study time:840.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2014)


‘Philosophy of Architecture’ discusses and explains essential philosophical concepts within architecture and the various positions taken with regards to contemporary cultural phenomenas. This enables students to discover their own position within a philosophical debate and to place their work within a well-grounded understanding of philosophical concepts.
The first block starts with the comparison of fashion trends with architectural design connecting both with semiotic component analysis. The question is, whether and to what extent the analogy between architecture, fashion (popular culture) and language actually works. Possible answers arise from the examples given by Jencks, Baudrillard, Eco, Barthes, Alexander, Lynn and Barthes.
Architecture only becomes modern in its engagement with new media, and that in doing it radically displaces the traditional sense of space and subjectivity. Students should learn to understand their design in the same terms as drawings, photographs, writing, film and advertisements by developing new programs for their architectural models on the basis of philosophical texts (Koolhaas, Vidler, Foucault, Colomina) and film plots.
The third block deals with human attachment to landscape and how we find identity in landscape and place. Furthermore the lecture explores the relationship between innovation, medialisation (f.e. Bollywood in the Alps), individualisation and the new emerging ‘sportscapes’, it focuses on the impact of migration and globalisation on a territory (Latour, Deleuze, Appadurai, Hagerstrand) .
The fourth block is dedicated to the cross-fertilisation of technology, art, pop culture and architecture. The course starts with mainstream philosophy of the Sixties (Critical Theory, Mc Luhan, Marcuse) and provides students with a wider perspective concerning problems that come up in contemporary architectural debates.

Learning Outcomes

Professional competence

  • Understand philosophical concepts and their impact on own work
  • Explain competently, discuss and critique own work through oral presentations, writing or visual communication

Methodological competence
  • Identify key elements of problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • Develop activities and self-organisation that will promote learning

Social competence
  • Discuss and articulate ideas and information fluently

Personal competence
  • Assess own work and put it into a historical, theoretical and philosophical context


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree Program


Apparurai A.: Global Ethnoscapes, in: Modernity at Large. Cultural Dim. of Globalisation, New York 2005
Arnheim R.: The Dynamics of Architectural Form (Elements of Space) 1975
Barthes R.: Myth today, New York 1984
Barthes R.: The Language of Fashion, Sydney: Power Publications 2006
Baudrillard J.: The Language of Things. Understanding the World of Desirable Objects, New York 2001
Baudrillard J.: Simulacra and Simulations, New York 1983
Beck U.: Individualisation. Institutionalised Individualism and its Social and Political Consequences, London: Sage Publications 2001
Colomina B.: The Split Wall and Domestic Voyeurism, Princeton 1996
Colomina B.: Privacy and Publicity. Modern Architecture as Mass Media, MIT Press 1996
De Certeau M.: Walking in the City. Poetry and Semiotics (online document)
Deleuze G. & Guattari F.: The smooth and the striad space, from: A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, London: Univ. of Minnesota Press 2005
Eco U.: A Theory of Semiotics, New York 1976
Eco U.: The myth of superman. How to create a narrative (online document)
Foucault M.: Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias (Architecture, Mouvement, Continuitè) 1984
Koolhaas R.: Delirious New York. A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, New York 1994
Latour B.: The Reassembling of the Social. An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, New York 2005
Marcuse H.: One-Dimensional-Man. Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, 1964
Mc Luhan M.: Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man, New York 1964
Sassen S.: The Global City. Introducing a Concept (Elements in a New Conceptual Architecture), 2005
Vidler A.: The Architectural Uncanny. Essays in the Modern Unhomely, London: MIT Press 1996
Virilio P.: Bunker Archeology, New York: Princeton Architectural Press 1994