Design Studio 3 & 4: ArchiComicals 

Summer term 2021 & winter term 2020 together with Bart Lootsma and Giacomo Pala at the University of Innsbruck / Institute for Architectural Theory

Playfulness: The irony, the comical, the grotesque and the marvel, the fantastic, the joke, the gimmickry, and the absurd transformation of things. These are going to be the keywords accompanying us throughout this year’s Bachelor studio at architectural theory. Using those concepts and their performative functions, we want to bridge certain conceptual and socio-cultural ideas with architecture.  We will use them as tools to undermine stereotypes, develop ideas, and think about architecture as a discipline that produces cultural values, allowing the production of surreal, comedic and ironic realities. Furthermore, we are looking for a way to escape from certain limitations and single-sided forms of representation to produce very individual forms of critique.

The studio will consist of three parts. In the first we will work on architectural case studies and readings, learning how to understand a building through its representations and how to write theoretical texts. The second part will focus on individual interests, allowing the participants to develop the topic of their bachelor thesis. The third part, the figure theory, is going to merge the theoretical principles from the first two sections in the form of dolls’ houses. These small-scale architectural objects will physically embody the students´ contents. Composed as playful assemblages of images, forms, texts, figures, and ideas, they can become devices for exploring the development of speculative ideas, aesthetics, and forms, allowing students to learn a conceptual approach to architecture and enabling a dialogue between theory and design.

During the academic year, there will be various introductions and workshops on methods of architectural research and representation. The final outcome of both semesters will be the production of a research book and the figure theory in the form of a dolls’ house.

Design Studio 3 & 4: Hypnerotomachia Naturae

Summer term 2020 & winter term 2019 together with Bart Lootsma and Giacomo Pala at the University of Innsbruck / Institute for Architectural Theory

The term Hypnerotomachia comes from the history of literature. In 1499 an author named Francesco Colonna, whose identity remains mysterious to this day, published a novel entitled “Hypnerotomachia Poliphili”. This is a work that deals with a special kind of love dream – rather the struggle for love in a dream. In his dream, the main protagonist Poliphilo follows a path in which magical architecture and nature take on a special meaning. 

A mysterious architectural treatise, Hypnerotomachia Polyphili inspired many later architects. Most recently, Alberto Pérez-Gómez published a contemporary variant, Polyphilo, or The Dark Forest Revisited, An Erotic Epiphany of Architecture, in which the forest of the original version was replaced by a high-tech environment.  

In the Bachelorstudio 2019/2020, we deal with the dream of nature – whether it is our dream of nature in a world that is nowadays largely determined by humans, or the dream that architects have of designing a new nature, or finally the dreams of nature itself that it wants to realize. 

The relationship to nature has a long tradition in architecture, which is reflected in architectural theory not only in many treatises but also in architectural design in general in countless plastic motifs, such as ornamental decorations or the floral decoration of capitals. However, the spectrum extends to all sorts of mythical human and animal figures, such as carariatydes, turtles, snakes, elephants, etc. 

In the studio we will deal with this story, but above all we will develop speculative theories for the near future. In this future, not only texts but especially images and multimedia imaging processes (videos, 3D objects, etc.) on the Internet will play an important role. We will discuss different strategies and how to deal with them. The production of images, animations and 3D printed objects plays an equally important role in the studio as the production of images and the writing of texts.


Excursion to Japan, September 2019 together with Giacomo Pala at the University of Innsbruck / Institute for Architectural Theory

The excursion will go to Japan - Tokyo and Kyoto - in September 2019. We will explore, the architecture of traditional and historic Japanese temples, tea houses and gardens, as well as modern and contemporary Japanese architecture. In addition, we will take a look at the Japanese culture and art scene by exploring the most relevant places of cultural production. We will also visit some relevant architectural practices. At Tokyo University we will exchange experiences with teachers and staff. 

Design Studio M1: Production of Space and Heterotopia  

Summer term 2019 together with Bart Lootsma at the University of Innsbruck / Institute for Architectural Theory

The Master Studio offered by Architekturtheorie deals with architectural heterotopias: Constellations of spaces with specific scenarios, programs, atmospheres, lifestyles and freedoms that form spaces for specific subcultures, lifestyles and individuals.

The studio consists of 3 sections. In the first section texts are read together and summarized concerning spatial production and heterotopias. The second section explores specific space productions in Tyrol. There will also be introductions to various methods of urban and architectural research. In the third section, an architectural and urban development program is formulated for the researched spatial productions and heterotopias and possibly a type or prototype is developed.