Squares and Scares: Architectural utopias, literary dystopias and the carceral novel
Jonathan Charley
(Univ. Strathclyde, Glasgow)
Jonathan Charley, Senior Lecturer, Director of Cultural Studies, studied architecture in Portsmouth, London, and Moscow. After working in an architects and builders cooperative for seven years in London's East End, he completed his Masters at the Bartlett before gaining a research scholarship to Moscow. He submitted his PhD The dialectic of the Built Environment on the socio-spatial history of the Soviet Union after taking up a teaching post in the Department of Architecture at University of Strathclyde where he is currently Director of Cultural Studies. He was a founder member of GLAS, which both grew out of his design studio and has published and lectured widely on the politics and social history of architecture and urbanism. He has been an invited guest lecturer, tutor and examiner in over thirty other schools of architecture in Europe and further a-field. His research and scholarly activity has mainly involved the publication of written and graphic work, for academic journals, books and popular professional magazines. He is currently working with the Departments of English Studies and History on joint projects. The first of which looks into the relationship between literature and architecture, and has led to a book commission with Routledge for an edited collection of essays titled, Writing the Modern City; Perspectives on Architecture and Literature, forthcoming Spring, 2011. The second project aims to link the social and spatial history and experience of work in Scotland. Publications / Work The five selected projects indicate the range of media in which I work S.O.L, Spaces of Labour, Travelling Exhibition and catalogue that looks at the spatial history and future of work in Scotland. Launched at the Lighthouse, Glasgow in December 2010, Glasgow, Exhibition Catalogue, ISBN, 978-0-947649-50-0, 2009 See www.spacesoflabour.com Foreign Bodies-Corps Etranger Glasgow and Marseille, bi-Lingual illustrated book and interactive CD, 2004. This tells the tale of the rise and decline of the respective second cities of the British and French Empires narrated in the form of an exchange of letters as if the two cities are ancient men reflecting on their common and divergent histories. "Glimmers of another world: Questions on Alternative Architectural Practice," ARQ, Architectural Research Quarterly, CUP, Vol 12, No2, p159-171. An illustrated series of eleven questions and answers that examine alternative models of architectural practice and building production G.L.A.S (Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space) 2001-2005 was a temporary co-operative organisation of architects and teachers who published a quarterly newspaper, organised exhibitions and workshops in order to promote a radical rethinking of how we might characterise the capitalist built environment.
Abstract:
Some of the most powerful literary evocations of architecture are to be found in the rather loosely defined genre of dystopian literature in which the city assumes the importance of a character rather than merely providing a setting. For example it is impossible to imagine the emancipatory impulse of Zamyatin's We (1926) without the mathematical paradise promised by the Integral, in the same way as the ruinous city of slums and glittering pyramids is central to the anti-utopian message of Orwell's 1984(1948). This essay then explores the way in which dystopian literature uses technology and architecture as a narrative device to reinforce the political critique of social progress that all dystopian novels share.
At the heart of the discussion about architecture, literature and dystopia in the twentieth century is the often striking disjuncture between the way the architect and the writer depict the early modern city. In the machinery of orthogonal grid and gleaming tower, the architect sees the prospect of civilisation emerging from the ashes of the old city. The writer however gazes out with suspicion and trepidation and sees a world bereft of adjectives inhabited by numbered individuals in precarious technological landscapes. There was an historical inevitability about this apparent paradox. Architects confronted with resolving the environmental and physical consequences of war, revolution, poverty and urban migration, naturally sought radical solutions and projected ideal cities in which socio-spatial order and its technological organisation was largely seen as benign and benevolent. Here we can trace a lineage that connects projects like Fourier’s Phalanstery of the eighteenth century to Hilbersheimer's project for Berlin (1928), Bruce's Plan for Glasgow (1946), and onwards to the technological fetishism of the 1960s and 1970s explicit in the mass industrialisation of building production and the work of groups like Arcigram and the Metabolists.
As if in a mirror reflection, this working out of architectural reason was paralleled within literature with markedly different results. In the dystopian novel the development of the modern city is represented more as a 'journey into fear'. The city is panoptic and saturated with invasive forms of surveillance and control. Technology has not led to the liberation of human beings from need as dreamt of by the architect but has become an instrument of domination. The journey starts with the sparkling metal and glass crystal palace of Wells' The Sleeper Awakes (1899), passes through the 'vitrified streets' and 'history is bunk' of Huxley's Brave New World, traverses the hauntingly familiar city of Padukgrad in Nabokov's Bend Sinister (1947), before arriving at the deeply unsettling, 'end of time' urban nightmares of Ferenc Karinthy's Metropole (1970) and Saramago's Blindness (1995). It is a literary voyage that begins with scientific delight and ends in stifling claustrophobia.
As in the debates about science fiction, the literary representation of strange and disturbing cities is as much about the political and social critique of everyday life as our transportation to future and imaginary worlds. In this sense the dystopian novel can be understood both as a warning about the dangers of dictatorship and bureaucracy and more generally as a critique of the form and socio-spatial organisation of the European City. Finally, rather than seeing the spatial imagination of the writer and the architect as mutually exclusive and antagonistic, they are in fact indispensable to each other, such that when viewed together they enrich and deepen our understanding of the development of the twentieth century metropolis.


Ferriss: Visions of Utopia
Alexandra Ai Quintas (CIAUD/FA.UTL)

Alexandra Ai Quintas (b. Lisbon, 1961), graduated in Architecture, at the Faculdade de Arquitectura Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (1984). She has completed a Master in Architecture and Rehabilitation (FAUTL, 2001) and a post-graduation in Contemporary Art (FCSH-UN, 2004). She completed the PhD thesis in Architecture (2009) with an investigation on the Gesamtkunstwerk and the collaboration of Portuguese architects and visual artists in the 20th Century. She teaches at FAUTL since 1990 and has belonged to faculty’s Editorial Centre (from 2000 to 2009). Currently, she is also a researcher and a member of CIAUD, where she conducts different research projects on the issues related to drawing and the process of architectural design, and the relation between the different visual arts.
Abstract:
Hugh Ferriss has exerted an ascendancy over several generations of architects and has left figurative contaminations in popular culture of his own time. His drawings, published in 1929 in the book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, including perspectives of skyscrapers, have left a corpus that has imprinted a considerable influence in the settings of comics like Batman, with Gotham City, or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, by Kerry Conran. Ferriss's urban vision seems to reduce the contemporary city to a terrible disorder, establishing a universe explored in expressionist film Metropolis (F. Lang, 1927).
The structure of a Metropolis, to Ferriss, corresponds to the principle of zoning, taken as the concept developed by Le Corbusier. His utopia can be considered among the regressive utopias, not accepting F. L. Wright's Broadacre City.
The Skyscraper constitutes the mere expression of American culture and becomes the symbol of the ideological discourse on the Metropolis. It is considered part of the technological sublime as a product of our time, replacing the gothic Cathedral. Sketching in the work of Ferriss can be interpreted as some kind of intellectual program, a vision of urban reality and a bridge to the anticipation of future of cities, according to expressionist aesthetics. Drawing the Metropolis in perspective can be taken as assuming that its representation can be reached by classical means of expression. Ferriss, emphasises the traits and atmospheres of the metropolis, modelling very sharply the contrasts of chiaroscuro and reinforcing the solid edges of buildings.
The city created by Ferriss, the show-city is so strong an imaginary that it could be compared to other natural or cultural expressions of the sublime like the eroded forms of the Grand Canyon, great Water Falls, or even the temples in Angkor, in the borderline place where Science and Art could meet.


Divided Cities - Mythologies of Place and Nostalgic Utopias
Anita Bakshi (Clare College, Univ. Cambridge)

Anita Bakshi received her BA degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked in architectural design firms in Berkeley, Berlin, and Istanbul before starting her PhD in Architecture at the University of Cambridge within the context of the Conflict in Cities Research Programme. Her PhD research on Cyprus and the nature of urban memory in the divided capital of Nicosia focuses on the city's Venetian Walls and the United Nations Buffer Zone as symbolic locations in the Cypriot imagination, and as a prime example of the manner in which the Cyprus Conflict is remembered and forgotten.
Abstract:
This paper will explore the junction between architecture and fiction at the scale of the city, specifically addressing the creation of national myths related to the urban landscape in contested or divided contexts. Surveying these mythologies from Israel/Palestine, the Balkans, Tibet, and the German-Polish border cities, this paper will investigate the creation of national memories and their relationship to the urban environment. The second part of the paper will consist of an extended case study of Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus, exploring fictional constructions and embellishments of the city(s) - fictions that are created for political and national purposes; fictions that excavate in the past for imaginary cities that serve the needs of the present.
This paper will argue that myths coalesce around Nicosia’s core, a walled city now divided by an international border, because of historic associations related to city walls, and secondly, the circular city, the ideal city, is associated with notions of utopia - and utopia is inextricably wound up with memory. The walls, built by the Venetians in the 16th century, are related to Renaissance ideals and are a manifestation of a utopic vision for the future, however, the Nicosia’s walled city is a utopia steeped in nostalgia. According to Andreas Huyssen, it is utopia and the past rather than the future that defines the utopian imagination of today. So what is it that nostalgic utopianism is looking for? For Huyssen, these visions are about a desire to attain what cannot be had in todays world; “stable histories, a stable canon, a stable reality.” While these words certainly may have resonance in a number of contemporary contexts, situations, and urban environments, it is clear that they take on a different meaning in divided and contested cities where histories are anything but stable.


Gendering Fantasia: Architectural/Literary Creation/Procreation in Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture
Sevil Enginsoy Ekinci (Middle East Technical Univ., Ankara)

Sevil Enginsoy Ekinci studied architecture and architectural history at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, by receiving a B.Arch in 1987 and a M.A. in 1990. In 2002, she completed her Ph.D. degree at the Graduate Program of History of Architecture and Urbanism, Cornell University, with a dissertation, titled “The Visuality/Orality/Aurality of Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture. With a focus on the workings of architectural historiography as a critical enterprise, her research interests range from the early modern architectural books to the architectural encounters between “east” and “west” in the fifteenth/sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. She has presented papers on these topics at many international conferences, organized by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), and Design History Society (DHS)); and published articles icluding the one, titled “Reopening the Question of Document in Architectural Historiography: Reading (Writing) Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture for (in) Piero de’ Medici’s Study,” and appeared in 2006, in Rethinking Architectural Historiography, edited by Dana Arnold, Belgin Turan Özkaya and Elvan Altan Ergut. Recently, in April 2010, she also chaired a session at the 63rd annual meeting of the SAH with the title of “Shifting Boundaries of Renaissance Architectural Historiography” which she aims to develop as an edited book project. She is presently assistant professor of architectural history in the Department of Architecture and the Graduate Program in Architectural History at Middle East Technical University.
Abstract:
This paper aims to discuss Filarete’s treatise on architecture, written in the early 1460s, by focusing on the concept of fantasia which denotes architectural and literary creation as a process analogous to procreation.
The concept reveals itself in Filarete’s definition of the collaboration between an architect and a patron as copulation. In this collaboration, the creation of a building is analogous to procreation through the attribution of the role of motherhood to the architect, and of fatherhood to the patron. The patron “conceives” the building with the architect, and then, the architect “carries” it for “seven to nine months,” before “giving birth” to it in the form of a model. During his “pregnancy,” the architect/mother’s task is to “fantasize” about the building/baby by “making various designs/drawings in his mind.”
Furthermore, the concept appears in Filarete’s narration of building an ideal city, Sforzinda, which forms the body of the treatise. In this narration, he presents himself to his audience and his potential patron with his fantasia, meaning his idea for that city. So, as an architect, his task is to “conceive” the city with his patron and to “give birth” to it in the form of a model. What is remarkable here is that as a work of fiction which records, in daily stages, the building of Sforzinda and the writing of this process, the treatise corresponds to the model of the city as a newborn baby. Then what lies at the intersection of building and writing is fantasia, as writing enables Filarete to “investigate and discover new fantasie and new ways of building.”
Accordingly, this paper aims to relate this discussion to the early modern theories of artistic and literary creation and to explore the place of Filarete’s fantasia within this context as a gendered concept.


‘I would like to live forever in this happy place with my divine Polia’
Fani Moumtzidou (Aristotle Univ., Thessaloniki)

Fani Moumtzidou graduated from the American College “Anatolia” of Thessaloniki and she lived for many years in Venice where she studied architecture in the “Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia” (I.U.A.V). She is also a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts (School of Visual and Applied Arts) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.Th.). In 2001 she successfully presented in A.U.Th. her Ph.D. thesis (specialization: 18th c. European History of Art). In order to advance her Ph.D. research she held a Greek state scholarship which she spent in Venice (Università Ca’ Foscari – Dipartimento di Storia dell’ Arte) being under the supervision of Prof. Lionello Puppi. For more than four years she worked as a curator at the Tellogleion Foundation of Arts of A.U.Th. having the responsibility of many exhibitions and of editing Exhibitions’ Catalogs. Currently she is working as an architect at the School of Architecture of A.U.Th., and at the Hellenic Open University. She taught History of Art at the Department of Archaeology and History of Art of the School of Philosophy - University of Crete (2002-2004 / Lecturer under contract), at the Department of Visual and Applied Arts of the University of West Macedonia (2006-2008 / Assistant Professor under contract) and from 2004 she is a Professor/Tutor of History of European Art at the Hellenic Open University- School of Humanities- European Culture Studies. She participated in many conferences in her country and abroad and she is the author of 18 articles on History of Art, of the essay “Dimitris Mitaras and the Representation of ‘Devious’ Violence”, as well as of the books “Goya, Theater and Carnival” and “Paolo Veronese: Myth, Allegory and Society”. Her book on Goya has been distinguished (in short list - category: essay) by the Committee of the Literature Awards - Ministry of Culture of Greece.
Abstract:
Published in 1499 in Venice, by Aldus Manutius, ‘Hypnerotomachia Poliphili’ (‘The Srife for Love in a Dream’) narrates the ventures of a young man, Poliphilo, in a utopian illusory/alluring world where he encounters his beloved Polia. This significantly studied ‘incunabulum’ is attributed either to a monk named Francesco Colonna (1433? - 1527) or to Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1471) and it is decorated with elegant woodprints by Francesco Griffo (1450-1581).
This paper focuses on a specific moment of the voyage of Poliphilo and Polia: their arrival to the mythological island Cythera and the architectural and landscape ‘wonders’ they meet there.
How is this imaginary ‘topos’? Which are the allusions of this renaissance phantasmagoria of a utopian place like Cythera? Could one link this renaissance ‘virtual world’ with ‘all fictional narrative’ and hypermodern ‘non places’ (Marc Augé), namely places of transition and desire?
Humanistic ideal city have been associated with serenity, love and peace and often with architectural ‘mirabilia’. Thus, Poliphilo’s Cythera can be regarded as an allegory of desire and fulfillment, in other words as a ‘locus’ of dreams.


The Secret Lives of Buildings: An experiment in building stories
Edward Hollis (Edinburgh College of Art)

Edward Hollis practiced as an architect until 1999, when he started lecturing in Interior Architecture at Napier University, moving in 2004 to Edinburgh College of Art, where he now runs the department of Interior Design. He is secretary of the Interiors Forum Scotland which has organised two conferences: Thinking inside the Box (2007) and Interior Tools Interior Tactics (2008). His first book, The Secret Lives of Buildings: from the ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in thirteen stories, was published in 2009.
Abstract:
The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip, was published in 2009. The book, written by the author of this paper, is anthology of folk tales about buildings, from the Parthenon, to the Holy House of Loreto, and the Berlin Wall.
The Secret Lives of Buildings was an experiment in narrative form. On the one hand, the structure of each of the stories sought to imitate that other narrative structure - the structure of the subject building – not only in space, but also as it developed and altered over time. This latter structure was compared to that of a folk tale that changes with every retelling; and writing the book involved developing a language and tropes that drew on the rich folk tradition, from the fairy tale to the urban myth.
This paper is an exercise in reflection. It will provide a critique of the writing of The Secret Lives of Buildings, setting the process in its critical context, and asking a very simple question: how can something as inflexible as language describe something as protean as a building?


The 'real' and the 'fictional' of obsolete industrial architecture
Maros Krivy (University of Helsinki)

Maros Kriv was born in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1981. He graduated in Sociology in 2005 from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2006, he has been working on his PhD. thesis about the political economy and aesthetics of empty urban space at the University of Helsinki. He presented his work at several international conferences and exhibitions (Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Japan).
Abstract:
In what is the problem of obsolete factories – the contemporary form of a haunted house – real and in what sense fictional?
Freud's understanding of uncanny, itself derived from Poe's and Hugo's accounts of haunted houses, is based on the ambiguity between familiarity and unfamiliarity. Abandoned factory is just this – full of rusty machinery and vast spaces that appear over-sized and disorienting once the use that justified them has disappeared.
This ambiguity is present also when we look at a factory as a 'black box' – it produces everything we need for a comfortable life, but we don't know and we don't want to know the details of this production. It is at the moment of its abandoning that the 'black box' is exposed together with the historical traces of the human labour and mass production.
In this sense, abandoned factory is real. The abandonment of the factory and its subsequent 'opening' can be seen as a psychoanalytical act of exposing the urban and capitalist unconscious. Abandoning of factories puts question to the fiction of eternal progress underlying the capitalist production of space.
Obsolete factories has served as the point of attraction in the literary and visual narratives (non-sites of Robert Smithson, photography of Bernd and Hilla Bechers, books of JG Ballard, etc.). Like Poe's haunted houses, they have served as a reservoir of unconscious fears and desires in the contemporary city, but also as a moment of truth of the capitalist production of space.
During 1990s, the narrative that art weaved around obsolete industrial architecture became appropriated, twisted and 'pragmatized' by local development consultants, city managers and urban leaders. 'Culture and creativity' became new imperatives in urban planning and marketing and convenient methods for programming the transformation of industrial architecture.
The real of obsolete factories has been transformed into the fictional and imaginary. The unconscious of the haunted houses has been suppressed by the new narratives, filling the dark spaces of memory and past into the bright lights of the future and 'culture'. History has been transformed into heritage and politico-economic conflict into cultural identity.


Stranger than Fiction
Alexander Eisenschmidt (Univ. Illinois, Chicago)

Alexander Eisenschmidt is an architect and writer, who currently lives in Chicago. He is founding principle of Studio Offshore and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he teaches design and history & theory. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (2008), his diploma in architecture from the University of Leipzig in Germany, and, before moving to Chicago, taught at Pratt Institute in New York and Syracuse University. His articles have appeared in journals such as JSAH, Arq (Architectural Research Quarterly), Zeitschrift für Zeithistorische Forschungen, and The Architectural Newspaper New York. Eisenschmidt is currently working on a book exploring the relationship between urban formlessness and architectural form, as well as organising and editing a collection of essays entitled Chicago in the World.
Abstract:
The urban Radio Broadcasts of Walter Benjamin participated in an especially productive exchange of ideas between architecture, urbanism, media, literature, and criticism. They explored the narrative conditions of the city as well as architecture’s fictional qualities. Benjamin, who described the metropolis as the generator of fictions, a laboratory of ideas, and ultimately, a place where all stories begin, offers an innovative reading of the city that guided and influenced architects and urbanists to come. What is at stake here is the invention of a new kind of cultural practice through the construction of alternative scenarios that one is encouraged to fabricate. Hitting the airwaves between 1927 and 1933, these broadcasts focused on the city as the origin of storytelling; often based on Berlin, they revisited the city’s glamorous and disputed areas. Benjamin established his broadcast at the intersection between the “real” environment of the city and the “fictional” space of stories by using architectural publications such as Adolf Behne’s Neues Wohnen – Neues Bauen (New Living - New Building, 1927), urban research documents like Das Steinerne Berlin (The Berlin of Stone, 1930) by Werner Hegemann, as well as literary works by figures such as E.T.A. Hoffmann to guide his explorations. Reflecting on particular urban conditions, describing architectural works, and, most interestingly, calling on the listener to visit specific sites within the city, Benjamin’s radio talks encouraged an active engagement with the city and its architecture. What urban scholars were observing from the air, Benjamin’s broadcasts transmitted to living rooms. The radio that had entered the listener’s everyday life became here the vehicle to render the city from within. For Benjamin, the existing city offers a multitude of possible stories – a position towards the city that is today more important than ever, reminding us that the city has it all, it is “Stranger than Fiction.”


A Linguistic Cosmos: Walter Benjamin: Reading the City-as-Text and Writing the Text-as-City
Pinar Balat (TU Delft)

Pinar Balat, born in Ankara in 1986, completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in the Faculty of Architecture at Middle East Technical University. During this period, while developing her first insights, technique and knowledge on architecture, she also discovered her interests in the ‘city’ as a phenomenon, in the sociology and politics of architecture, and in cultures and languages. Her special interest on the theme of housing, due to her perception of it as the background of cities and as one of the main needs of humanity, led her to the Master in Collective Housing in La Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, where she became a part of the architectural, social and economic debate on collective housing. At present, she studies in Technische Universiteit Delft for the Master of Science Degree in Architecture, fusing the investigation on housing with the investigation on cities in a variety of contexts. In her academic life, she often reflects her personal research and professional interests on paper through academic and creative writing.
Abstract:
A city is a linguistic cosmos if the world is perceived as language, as is done by Walter Benjamin. It is an agglomeration of mute objects, the linguistic potential of which is to be translated into the human language of words by the attentive philosopher. A rag-picker is a person who collects rags and other materials from the streets for a livelihood, and it is in his image that Walter Benjamin “prefigures what it is to write a ?city? text in the modern epoch: the slow piecing together of words and phrases, insights and instances, into a montage or mosaic of modernity.” Besides writing about the metropolis with the attitude of a rag-picker, Benjamin also expects his readers to meander through his texts as a rag-picker to gradually assemble them, instead of a flâneur in search of amusement. A physiognomist studies the outer appearance of a person in order to understand his inner personality. Similarly, urban physiognomists study physical structures and the traces left on them by the city dweller, in order to read the unwritten ‘text’ of the city. Walter Benjamin, while he “seeks to present urban readings and decipherments of the metropolitan environment” by being the physiognomists of the city-as-text, gives the role of being the physiognomists of his text-as-city, to the readers. In Benjamin’s city writings that have transformed the city into a text and in which the text takes on the structure of the city, the reader does not only encounter the city-as-text but also the text-as-city. The task of discovering the phenomena of cities through literature, by following the guidance of Walter Benjamin is a two-fold one. Firstly, it requires the reading, analyzing, decoding and re-assembling of one of Benjamin’s texts adapting the role of the rag-picker and being the physiognomist of his text-as-city. Secondly, the task requires writing about a city, again adapting the role of the rag-picker, and this time being the physiognomist of the city-as-text. Eventually, while the unique linguistic cosmos of a Benjamin’s text is comprehended, the concealed linguistic cosmos of a city is deciphered.


Urban Scenarios: Gone Vacant, Virtual, and Violent
Graça Proença Correa (playwright, stage director/Graduate Center - City Univ. New York)

Graça Proença Correa, Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature and Performance Theory at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA; Master of Arts in Theatre Directing at Emerson College, Boston, USA; Licenciatura in Architecture/Urban Planning at Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. Author of plays (including Eleanor Marx, published by Campo das Letras), and translator of works by playwrights such as Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton, Alan Ayckbourn, Peter Shaffer, Moisés Kaufmann, Lanford Wilson, and Donald Margulies, all produced in Portugal. Stage director (with works presented at the Centro Cultural de Belém, at Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, and at Capital-Artistas Unidos, among other venues), set designer, and director of actors for television. She was a Fulbright Scholar, and has received fellowships and awards from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Eurocréation, Louisa Woods Memorial Fund, and Vera Mowry Roberts Theatre Fund.
Abstract:
Drawing on recent interdisciplinary critical approaches to landscape in the field of performance studies, and adopting phenomenological methods of sensory analysis, this paper explores the cityscapes expressed in three fictional works that share a Symbolist/post-Symbolist aesthetic: in the novel Bruges-la-morte (1892) by Belgian Georges Rodenbach, in the novel A Caverna (2000) by Portuguese José Saramago, and in the film Inland Empire (2006) by North-American David Lynch.
Instead of examining the three fictional cityscapes in terms of the usual modernist/post-modernist, industrial/post-industrial oppositional categories, this presentation adopts a micro-political and ecophilosophical perspective—in the light of concepts by French philosophers Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Jacques Rancière—to demonstrate that there are more aesthetic/political continuities than discontinuities among the three urban scenarios. All three urban fictions are striking examples of how physical space—as a medium of cultural and symbolic production—not only creates and sustains social identity, but also fosters micro-political imaginaries. The co-existence of the three fictional cityscapes in existing cities suggests a large number of fragmentary possible urban worlds, as well as creative gaps in our understanding of contemporary city space.


Architectural Postmodern World and Cities of Glass Revisited
Marija Lojanica + Jasmina Teodorovic (Faculty of Philology and Arts, Univ. Kragujevac)

Marija Lojanica was born in 1979 in Kragujevac, Serbia. In 2003 she earned her BA in English Language and Literature from the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade. Since 2004 she has been working as an English language lecturer, teaching creative writing, at the Faculty of Philology and Arts, University of Kragujevac. In 2007, she participated in JFDP (Junior Faculty Development Program) organized by the Department of Education and Culture of the United States and the American Councils; she spent the spring semester at University of Wyoming, where, mentored by professor Eric Sandeen, PhD, she conducted a research in the field of American Studies. As a student of doctoral studies at the Faculty of Philology and Arts, she is currently working on her PhD thesis (Deconstructing Identity of the Postmodern Subject in New York Trilogy by Paul Auster and Anthropological Trilogy by Borislav Peki?). Marija Lojanica has published numerous scientific papers and participated in many national and international scientific conferences. Major fields of her research are literary theory, interliterary relations and American and Serbian contemporary literature.

Jasmina Teodorovi was born in Kragujevac, Serbia. In 1998 she earned her BA in English Language and Literature from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad. Since 1999 she has been working as an English language lecturer, teaching translation studies, grammar and vocabulary at the Faculty of Philology and Arts, University of Kragujevac. During the academic year 2001/2002 she was engaged as an English Literature teaching assistant. Since 2008 she has been engaged as an official translator for the International Conference Serbian Language, Literature, Arts Bulletin, as well as the member of the Editorial Board of the scientific journal Nasle?e (engl: Legacy) at the Faculty of Philology and Arts. In 2009 she was appointed the Secretary of the International Conference Organizational Board Committee. As a student of doctoral studies at the Faculty of Philology and Arts, she is currently working on her PhD thesis (Utopian, Mythological and Historical Discourse by Julian Barnes and Borislav Peki?). Jasmina Teodorovi? has published numerous scientific papers and participated in many national and international scientific conferences. She is the author of the book Focus on Language, designed for the students majoring in English, published by the Faculty of Philology and Arts. She was also the coordinator of the Round Table Project (Post)modernism, Apocalypse and Literature held in May 2010 at the Faculty of Philology and Arts. Major fields of her research are literary theory, translation studies, cultural studies, interliterary relations and British/Anglo-Saxon and Serbian contemporary literature.

Abstract:
Within the Architectural Postmodern World Systems, Fredric Jameson raises the issue of the “inner” and “external” reality constituting a picture book, representing the textual “reality” of architectural design. Architecture of the cities, outer or inner places, the concepts of the “inner” and “external” become an idiosyncratic code and analogy, a neologism as a textual wrapper. Jameson asserts that the consequence of the wrapper: wrapped dialectic process is the strategy of the process denoting the paradox of the postmodern novum claiming its historical originality.
According to Michel Foucault the sites and architectural spaces-grids constitute the dialectics of mutual neutralisation and the invention of the set of relations that designate a mirror reflecting architectural hetereotopias as the utopian counter-sites. Such a place is New York City, the city of dreams and shattered illusions, or as Paul Auster would put it, “City of Glass”, that brings about a deep-rooted feeling of utter displacement, disorientation and Lacanian loss. New York’s urban mesh functions as both a prison and a map. Inherently irresolvable inner space: outer space dialectics finds it further literary representation in the never ending search of Auster’s characters for “the imaginary Edens” cradling within the megalopolis.


The Ambiguity of the Concrete: Architecture, Memory and Representation in W.G.Sebald’s 'Austerlitz'
Naomi Stead (ATCH, Univ. Queensland)

Naomi Stead is a Research Fellow in the ATCH (Architecture | Theory | Criticism | History) Research Group in the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of South Australia and a PhD from the University of Queensland. In 2009 and 2010 she was the convenor of two international conferences on Writing Architecture: Innovations in the Textual and Visual Critique of Buildings, and a book on the second conference will be forthcoming in 2011. Dr Stead is widely published as an art and architectural critic in Australia, writing regularly for Architecture Australia (of which she is a contributing editor), Architectural Review Australia, Monument, and Artichoke. In 2008 she was awarded the Adrian Ashton Prize for architectural writing by the NSW chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Her scholarly work has been published in anthologies such as Critical Architecture (Jane Rendell et al. eds, Routledge, London, 2007), Architecture and Authorship (Katja Grillner et al. eds, Black Dog, London, 2007) and Architecture, Disciplinarity and Art (Andrew Leach and John Macarthur eds, A & S Books, Ghent, 2009). She has been published in journals including the Journal of Architecture, OASE, Performance Research, and JAS: the Journal of Australian Studies. Dr Stead also maintains a number of 'para-academic' writing, exhibition, and art projects. These include the 2009 exhibition and catalogue Mapping Sydney: Experimental Cartography and the Imagined City; and the visual research project Documentation: The Visual Sociology of Architects, which investigates the ‘look’ of the Australian architecture profession.
Abstract:
'Austerlitz' was the German expatriate author W.G Sebald’s last book before his untimely death in 2001. Greeted with great critical acclaim, the novel was a profound meditation on history, memory, and loss: on the relation between haunted places and haunted people. Sebald’s larger attempt to represent and memorialise the lasting trauma of the Holocaust, in an oblique and understated rather than a literal way, led him to a new kind of literary expression; John Zilcosky asks the question 'where these works facts or fictions?... were they autobiographies, novels, short story collections, collages, or travelogues?' But what is most interesting about 'Austerlitz', for the purposes of this paper, is that this compassionate and graceful work of literary art makes so much use of architecture. The book clearly demonstrates the permeability and contamination between architecture and fiction. Architecture takes a central and highly unusual prominence in the text, demonstrating that fiction follows architectural form, as much as form follows fiction.
On one level, the presence of architecture in the novel is simple. The protagonist, Jacques Austerlitz, is an architectural historian, and the 'character' of this profession is central to the narrative. But the dream-like conversations in the book, composed of long monologues from Austerlitz retold by the unnamed narrator, take place in a series of highly charged and carefully evoked locations: a bar at Liverpool Street Station in London, a café in Paris, and various places in the city of Antwerp. But it is the less obvious ways in which architecture intrudes into the narrative – architecture as both the site for and the witness to past and imagined historical events – which are more profound, and more significant for the architectural discipline.
As the solitary figure of Austerlitz wanders through the remains of the Terezen concentration camp and meditates on the unspeakable tortures that took place there, he also ponders the theory of the design of fortified cities, as imagined spaces of safety and refuse, which are also technologies of war. As a representation, within the terms of literature, architecture here stands for the continuing, uneasy presence of history, the irreconcilable dislocation between past and present, and the ineffable loneliness of characters tortured by memories only half-remembered. Architecture is a carrier of memory and site of mourning, but also a setting and device for fictional and quasi-fictional narrative.
Throughout the ambiguities of Sebald’s work, his blurring of the boundaries between fact and fiction, it is architecture- in all its massive and solid facticity- which acts as an anchor tying the fictional narrative to the material world. This is underlined by Sebald’s famous use of images as ambiguous visual culture: blurred and vague uncaptioned photographs, whose meaning and role in the text is unclear, but which seem to pin the fictional narrative to the material evidence of history in the ‘real’ built environment.
In recent years, an enormous critical literature has arisen around Sebald’s writings (Patt, Long), and within this several scholars have noted the central role of architecture, in Austerlitz in particular. However, the vast majority of these scholars have come from a literary perspective. Russell Kilbourn, for example, relates the buildings in Austerlitz to mnemonic techniques – the ‘memory palaces’ historically used to remember complex rhetorical speeches. Such literary critics have examined architecture as metaphor, trope, and literary device, yet none have examined Sebald’s oeuvre from the other direction: asking what it could reveal for architecture and architects, for architectural history and its criticism. This paper will investigate how architecture has been represented and evoked in this work of literary fiction, and question what implications it might carry for the commemoration of traumatic histories in architecture and literature more broadly. It will also investigate the literary function of architectural spaces, and the relationships between architecture and fiction in this singular, profound case.


The Double-Bind of Fictional Lives: Architecture and Writing in George Perec’s Life, A User’s Manual
J. Kent Fitzsimons (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et Paysage, Bordeaux)

Kent Fitzsimons teaches architectural design and theory at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux. He holds a professional architecture degree from McGill University and earned Master and Doctor of Architecture degrees at Rice University. His research considers the relationship between social phenomena and architecture’s notion of lived experience, with a focus on body-based issues such as life phases, gender, and impairment.
Abstract:
Architectural design and novel writing both rely on fiction. This is obvious in the case of the novelist, but its stands pointing out that the architect, too, imagines invented situations in order to conceive environments suited for human inhabitation. Writing and architectural design share an underlying project: to produce sense by tracing the contours of human action.
French author Georges Perec’s 1978 fictional work Life, A User’s Manual provides material for reflecting on the implications of that project. Perec’s novel includes numerous stories that recount attempts to capture life through media that encode the knowledge of human experience. The colossal book itself pretends to encompass the history of a fictional Parisian apartment building. Perec adopts an oxymoronic stance that consists of coming as close as possible to everyday life while introducing an objective distance with it. Thus the novel includes uncommon annexes such as an index, a checklist of the stories narrated in the “manual,” and a table of contents. The “life” portrayed here can be observed in an organized and segmented way, according to devices that allow a vision of the whole. Perec’s work is therefore similar to an aspect of the architect’s work: drawings and models allow a simultaneous view of what would in fact be lived sequentially.
This view of fiction and architecture recalls Michel de Certeau’s distinction between a “conceptual” stance and real lived experience. In contrast to the “tactics” of everyday life, the distant “strategic” view taken by those with tools and knowledge produces unease. For de Certeau, “the fiction of knowledge is related to this lust to be a viewpoint and nothing more” and entails a dilemma: “The voyeur-god created by this fiction ... knows only cadavers.” This is the double-bind of writing and design: using traces on a page to correspond as closely as possible to human experience may ultimately impoverish life to the point that it is unliveable. Perec’s novel contains eruptions of death in moments where characters attempt to encompass the richness of lived experience. Reviewing architectural discourse reveals that the figure of death also haunts the desire to bring architecture close to life.


The Bernhardian Cachectonica: figures of architectural discomfort and distress in Thomas Bernhard’s fiction
João Borges da Cunha (Univ. Católica Portuguesa/Lisbon Consortium, Univ. Lusófona)

João Borges da Cunha, Lisbon born [1973]. Architecture Degree at the Faculty of Architecture of Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, qualification Good with a distinction. Post-Graduate in Communication Sciences Master Studies in the area of Contemporary Culture and New Technologies at the FCSH of Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Currently attending the Doctoral Programme in Cultural Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal.
Since 1999, he is Assistant Professor at the Universidade Lusófona of Humanities and Technologies, Lisbon, Department of Architecture (FAUGA), in the Integrated Master Course; presently being the coordinator of Arts and Representation Sciences Area, and regent of Digital Systems Curricular Units. National Certified Pedagogical Trainer in several Professional Training Centres, like Citeforma, Lisbon, teaching such disciplines as Geometry, Visual Arts Theory, Art History, Architectural Drawing with Computer Assisted Design, and Digital Systems Design – 3D Modelling and Multimedia Development.
Since 1998 works as architect, collaborating in several projects like Sony Plaza Expo’98, Lisbon, and the Portuguese Pavilions at Portugal à l’honneur au Salon du Livre, Paris (2000), and Liber Barcelona, International Book Fair (2002).
[2003] – Literary Prize Branquinho da Fonseca Jornal Expresso/ Fundação C. Gulbenkian, with the book «Amor de Miraflores», Lisboa: Quetzal, 2004.
[2005] – Short Story «Balão de Viagem» in “Quatro Histórias com Barão – pelo centenário de Branquinho da Fonseca”, Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2005.
[2008] – Revista Lusófona de Arquitectura e Educação: article «Metaphor and Crime - on the centenary of Adolf Loos’ “Ornament und Verbrechen”».
[2010] – Citeforma Newsletter Cite’informa : article «Professional training: from novel to travel» [A formação como romance e viagem].
Abstract:
In a short passage along George Steiner’s «Grammars of Creation» the author declares about the writer Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989) as being an «abomination “virtuoso”», meaning a state of mind present all through this writer’s work in which, you might tell, a “cataleptic” detestation of all things - people, places, words and moods - reflects a remarkable personality penchant. Not only a nihilistic vision of the world (a Weltanschauung), but especially a compulsive destructiveness about the whole construction of reality and things. So what interests the most is that even, if not mainly, architectural artefacts – houses, buildings and cities – appear in Thomas Bernhard’s fiction in a complete harmony with such a disposition. Therefore, this spirit points out to a constellation of space representations, you might call a “cachectonic” construction, because of their condition of ugliness, environmental distress, human discomfort, and physical ruin, granting to what Steiner also refers to as a “landscape of anguish”. All these bernhardian spaces pop up in our contemporary literary context in such a scandalous fashion, that they deserve to be put in contrast with a long tradition, according to which literature looked at architecture and urban sites as mythical subjects and sources of inspiration. Not only making them the centre of fictional and poetical elaboration, but also taking them as objects of high quality attributes. In such a degree that architectural typologies took literary terms (a “tower of wisdom”, a “castle in the air”) and famous towns became particular ones under a writer-name-mode adjective (the dickensian London, the joycean Dublin, the kafkian Prague, the borgesian Buenos Aires).
So what if architecture, in an age of aesthetical lure - when the buildings get higher, the houses come closer to plastic, the urban landscape is a remediation of public space and the living space is getting virtualized -, should have an artistic Nemesis, that being the representation of all those “récits d’espaces”, to use the words of Michel de Certeau, where sites cause disturbances, where homes oppress, where towns become hostile organisms? What if the reverse of an «architectonica in excelsis» should be a construction of a falling system, a production of a rotten commodity, the building of an ill structure and the formation of a diseased body space (like in “cachexia”): a cachectonica? That’s what the majority of Thomas Bernhard’s novels depict, and that’s what is worth aiming at and debate.


Mapping Interstices: understanding urban conditions through the lived experience of societal margins depicted in films
Nick Dunn (Manchester School of Architecture)

Nick Dunn is principal Lecturer and Director of Studies for BArch at the Manchester School of Architecture. He is author of The Ecology of the Architectural Model (Peter Lang, 2007), Architectural Modelmaking (Laurence King, 2010) and co-author, with Richard Brook, of the forthcoming Urban Maps: instruments of narrative and interpretation in the city (Ashgate, 2011). His primary research interests are in the fields of visualization, modelling, mapping, pedagogy, representation in architecture, and urbanism.
Abstract:
Whilst contemporary urban landscapes may often be presented from above, the spatial organisation and fragments are actually consumed from below i.e. the lived experience of urban conditions. This contrast between the relatively static order of the system and the high degree of mobility and temporality of life on the streets reminds us of the duality of cities and their ability to shift between the objective and the subjective. As the sociologist Fran Tonkiss writes, “Alongside a conception of the city as defined by built forms or demographic facts, might be posed an alternative version that understands it in terms of modes of consciousness or experience. People’s experience of the city is not only or always determined by larger social or economic structures, but also fashioned by their individual perceptions, mental maps and spatial practices.” It is here that we are able to identify the narrative nature of these conditions with particular reference to moving images that may afford exploration and understanding of urban space and event as filmic mappings. The many benefits of mapping as an activity with which to engage and reveal characteristics of the city have been discussed, but relevant here is the use of films as mapping devices that describe transition, behaviour and event as described by Andrew Webber, “The mapping of urban space at once fixes locations and provides a basis for motion around them and along the channels between them. And the technology of the moving image is, in part, an advanced cartographic apparatus, combining the act of location and the enabling and tracking of motion and locomotion. …Such cinematic plot maps show the city as a place of movement both orderly and disorderly, a place of assignation and appointment, but also of random encounter and traumatic accident.” Since the development of film as a medium, it began with architecture as its central protagonist and connected us to the fabric of the city in a reciprocal if not always beneficial dialectic. Although the earliest filmmakers used stationary cameras, they very quickly developed methods for attaching their equipment to moving vehicles, affording the audience the sensation of a variety of transitions through space, cities and landscapes. The incorporation of tracking shots alongside panning and cut-up techniques enabled vehicular motion to be directly perceived and the montages of the urban landscape to be experienced. The significance and popularity of film as an art form and medium of communication has resulted in an intricate dialogue with architecture that has not only transformed our understanding of the built environment but our experience of it. This relationship has afforded us with the ability to view the moving landscapes within films as experiential mappings that have an inherent mobility that is psycho-geographic in nature. Writing about this mapping capability of films, the film theorist Giuliana Bruno asserts, “A frame for these cultural mappings, film is modern cartography. It is a mobile map – a map of geo-psychic differences and cross-cultural travel. A voyage of identities in transito and a complex tour of identifications, film is an actual means of exploration: at once a housing for and a tour of our narrative and our geography.” This theme has been developed further by François Penz who compares the legibility or disclosure of the urban landscape in films as complementary to the imageability that Kevin Lynch sought to identify in his early research on understanding cities. Furthermore, films have the capacity to render the city as a narrative in a reflexive relationship as described by Roy Strickland, “That story consists of people claiming, occupying and mapping urban form and space. In return, urban complexity enables people to construct highly personalised relationships with their environment that foster intimacy, social exchange, introspection and conflict…In cities, where exterior and interior, public and private, may be separated by little more than a wall or window, minor variations in form, down to the curb, sidewalk or step, can exert powerful influences on people’s behaviour, providing a rich vein for exploration in urban design.” Architecture has long held a fascination with film, keen to apply the terminology, visual motifs and techniques that filmmaking offers as being analogous, if not literal, to the direction of materials, form and light within the discipline. That a number of notable architects including Coop Himmelb(l)au, Rem Koolhaas, and Bernard Tschumi have previously embraced the glossary and methods of film as part of their descriptive and explorative modes of inquiry, the majority of such attachment only served as part of the many foibles of Deconstructivism. However, as Kester Rattenbury has discussed, whilst there may be similarities between the two, the interesting territory lies in the complementary differences. As a rich and evolving dialogue between the two subjects continues apace, the proliferation of educational programmes, research and related theoretical material expands along a number of different trajectories. Therefore it is important to clarify the position from which we are to consider films here. In this context films are narrative and interpretative tools that typically are concerned with spatial sequence, editing and revelation within the city. They use allegory, narrative and structural patterns to unfold ideas and tell a story. The story of how a space is used, in relation to character and action, may reveal a latent history of the role of space within the city. Space can even be used as a character, acting independently within the narrative itself and as such films may map a version of the city that is manifest of networks, urban subtexts and occasional nodal collision. Of particular significance here is the value of films as diagnostic instruments that afford us the opportunity to describe and understand urban conditions through the experience of them, with specific reference to the everyday in terms of our interactions with the built environment. As Paul Virilio has noted, “Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the classical depth of field has been revitalised by the depth of time of advanced technologies. ... The screen abruptly became the city square, the crossroads of all mass media.” However, this is not to suggest that such films necessarily need to adopt a stringent social realism in order to be useful, but rather that the content may facilitate a discourse that relates to the urban landscape. Equally, while much has been made of the speculative near-futures offered in films such as Blade Runner and The Matrix these detachments from the contemporary cityscape, despite providing subjects for fervent dissection, soon become as lumbered if not obsolete as the many sci-fi projections made for the year 2024 at Futurama II, New York World’s Fair, 1964-5. This is not to infer that films may not have any element of fantasy but rather that the negotiation between physical terrain and narrative is as lucid as our own. The architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer elaborates further as “Film can reveal to us architectures that exist only in the mind, architectures composed of sensation but also memory and imagination; and such film architecture yields insight into the perception of real architecture.” Indeed it is the ability of the camera to move through space and place that facilitates the articulation of these architectures, allowing us to perceive the lived experience of the films in a visually rich manner, compressing the complexity and density of information into an understandable sequence. This in turn may facilitate a more responsive architecture and urban design to emerge that acknowledges the lived experience of the city. The influential film theorist Ricciotto Canudo was particularly receptive to the lived experience that films could describe, stating that film “achieves the greatest mobility in the representation of life.” It is here that we may see the cogent parallel between films and architecture in their ability to articulate spatial and temporal situations i.e. the social and cultural activities and structures of life. With this in mind, three films shall be discussed: Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997), Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993) and Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006). These films have been selected as they each demonstrate particular aspects of contemporary cities and will facilitate the position proposed here - that films provide us with a mapping and descriptive technique that explicitly addresses the temporal features of the lived experience in cities. By analysing this information we have the opportunity to explore what still remains a significant knowledge gap in architecture and urban design in this regard. The contribution to our understanding of the physical and time-based characteristics of the urban landscape that films offers us should therefore further equip and enhance our strategies for responding to it.


Around Eisenstein’s Glass House: elements for a cultural history of transparency in film
Teresa Castro (Univ. la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3)

Teresa Castro teaches Film Studies at the Université de Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle and is a post-doctoral researcher at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Trained as an art historian in both Lisbon and London, she completed a PhD on Cinema and the Mapping Impulse of Images (ed. Aléas, Lyon, forthcoming), at the Université de Paris III. Her research focuses on visual culture issues (in particular aerial views and photographic and cinematographic atlases), colonial and post-colonial cinema and the relations between cinema and contemporary art. Some of her recent articles concern the Archives de la Planète (1912-1931), the notion of a cinematographic picturesque and the films of American filmmaker James Benning.
Abstract:
Taking Sergei Eisenstein’s unrealized film project Glass House as a theoretical starting point, this paper aims to outline a problematic history of glass architecture and transparency in film. Eisenstein’s Glass House was first conceived in 1926, during a stay of the soviet filmmaker in Berlin, where he was to attend the premier of his film The Battleship Potemkin. Glass House takes place in a completely transparent skyscraper, its inhabitants remaining paradoxically blind to one another. In Eiseinstein’s film project, only the camera is able to see. If the film’s script evinces Eisenstein’s interest in psychoanalysis, it also provides a commentary on capitalist societies: unable to respond to the masses need for communal life, they propel people into solitude.
If the Glass House project allowed Eisenstein to elaborate on cinema as an art of multiple points of view and entries, glass architecture and transparency form an integral part of early modernist architecture, as illustrated by Bruno Taut and Mies van der Rohe. The phenomenon fascinated filmmakers such as Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati, who explored transparency’s visual and fictional potentialities. Artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark or, more recently, Mark Lewis have also explored the optics of reflection brought about by glass architectures. We will focus on these different cases in order to identify certain tendencies and problems.


Filming Budapest: Peripheral visions between cinema and urban politics Levente Polyak (Moholy-Nagy Univ. of Art and Design/Budapest UT)
Levente Polyak is lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and at the Budapest University of Technology where he teaches urban studies and architectural theory. Levente has worked on urban projects for the New York, Paris, Budapest and Pécs municipalities, and as co-founder of the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, he has organized events dealing with contemporary urban phenomena, recently the Anatomy of a Street exhibition at the London Festival of Architecture. His theoretical work focuses on the intersections of art, architecture, urbanism, geography, radio and cinema.
Abstract:
Budapest was rediscovered in the 1990s by Hungarian filmmakers, who refer to the city with renewed enthusiasm. Budapest has not only been the locale but also the main character of numerous films made in the last decades and this process has been inseparably intertwined with the urge to reconsider the city’s identity and with the possibility to reform it.
While most of these films made an attempt to portray the city's post-socialist transformation, some went further than that. In their quest for an unorthodox image of the city, young directors chose to express their metropolitan belonging by making identifying marks disappear in their films. Seeking to discover the abandoned, haunted, peripherical spaces and lives, these movies contributed to bringing the margin into the centre of the Budapest imaginary. This generational project of discovery, however, has not taken place without any political consequences. Generally, the representation of a locale may play an important role in shaping the attitudes to that locale; therefore it is not surprising that moral considerations are introduced into the evaluation of a representation. Through these, the possibility of a specific novel censorship emerges with respect to representations of a locale: one that investigates whether the actual images are beneficial
or detrimental to the given locale. In this paper I propose to discuss three films that – while touring the world's festivals and movie theatres – had to face severe critique and censorship or enjoyed an avid enhancement of local politicians, depending on their relation to an urban vision projected by the city's official marketing. The District, an animation film de- and re-mystifying a stigmatised neighbourhood of the city and its violent multicultural character, and Kontroll, a feature film entirely shot in the Budapest underground transportation system, were both accused with intentionally deteriorating the fragile reputation of local communities and city services. Mobility, on the other hand, a short movie created for the 2001 Rotterdam Biennial of Architecture, in which the camera traverses walls and reveals the interiors of derelict buildings hosting alternative bars and crumbling apartments, was bought and re-edited by the City Hall's marketing agency to place it in the centre of its 2005 campaign of Budapest for the 'European Capital of Culture 2010' competition. Denounced as subversive or enhanced as innovative, moving images of an abandoned, haunted, peripheral Budapest did not remain within the realm of fiction but unintendedly entered politics. How do geographic and social peripheries become central in the urban imaginary? How are peripheral narratives of the city get institutionalised in a central discourse that attempts to dominate the image of the city? What is the consequence of these narratives for the city? Where are the intersections between the fields of cinema, city marketing and alternative culture? These are the questions that I propose to discuss in my proposed presentation.


Reel Houses of Horror: Emotions and Architecture in the 1960's Films Repulsion and The Haunting
Riley Triggs (Univ. of Texas, Austin)

Riley Triggs is a Lecturer in Design at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in architecture from Rice University. Currently he is researching the architect of his mid-century modern boyhood home and neighborhood and exploring the psychological relationship between house and inhabitant. He is also working on smoothing the interstitial space between virtual and physical environments in persistent online environments such as Second Life and Blue Mars as well as in augmented reality applications for personal computing devices such as the Apple iPhone.
Abstract:
In these films we find fully rendered illustrations of architecture that include the non-visible element of emotion that is essential in the becoming of architecture and place. In the 1960s, Situationist International member Guy Debord in his psychocartographic work imagined architecture’s “taking emotionally moving situations…as the material it works with.” Two horror films produced during the era of the Situationists fully engage this idea of an emotionally embodied architecture. The Haunting (1963) and Repulsion (1965) blur the boundaries of body and architecture by presenting architecture that has been transformed into an extension of the human psyche by the emotions of its inhabitants. Cinema is a uniquely sympathetic medium for expressing the relationship between our bodies and architecture. After a century of films, the horror genre in particular has become a ‘fantastic body language’ for our culture, and has joined other discourses to provide a language for imagining ourselves in the world. Films of the horror genre have tracked the progressive distancing of the body from buildings, which has been gradually extending the anthropomorphic analogy into broader domains until finally losing the body altogether as an authorial foundation for architecture. With this loss of the body from architecture, the relationship’s emphasis shifts to the non-physical attributes of human existence. Intellectual, psychological and emotional states become free to act independent of the physical body and can serve as a connection between human and building. Horror, Expressionism and Architecture In all of its genres, cinema has always acted as a laboratory for the exploration of the built world and the association of body to architecture, but no genre more so than that of the horror film. Both The Haunting and Repulsion are horror films in the canonical tradition of Romanticism and Expressionism that use this architectural element of the genre to suggest how close we can become to the architecture that surrounds us. The Haunting is a classic Gothic tale about Nell, an emotionally imbalanced woman trying to find her own place in the world, while Repulsion is a psychological thriller subjectively presented from the viewpoint of Carol, a woman descending into a sexually charged madness. Both films employ the notion from the Romantic Movement of the eighteenth century that emotions, both the subjective and the incoherent, could be transferred from human to objects outside one’s own being. The Romantic Movement also emphasized the creative expression of the individual and the need to find and formulate new forms of expression, which in the case of these two films become the architecture they inhabit. Around the turn of the century, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic work changed the basis for understanding the human psyche, which ultimately made it acceptable for the neuroses and private obsessions of the individual (as well as the collective society) to be subjects of study and to use such themes as topics in the arts. All of these factors combined in Expressionist film creating art forms that engaged the psychological state of artists and their characters alike. Influenced by notions of the sublime, Wilhelm Worringer defined Expressionism as the opposition of vital force to organic representation. Objects in Expressionism became direct links to the inner states of the minds of characters, often in the form of the built environment that fused the physical and the mental - a practice that was fully taken advantage of by the Surrealists and later espoused by the Situationists. Concerning itself with the human struggle to make sense of the world around us, Expressionism originated in Germany after the First World War. The genre is the product of people displaced within their own country and social order. The Haunting and Repulsion take the same theme where Nell is a woman without a place to call her own, having never lived away from family, and Carol is a literal foreigner in London and a female lost in her own sexually distorted environment. Characters in these Expressionist films grapple with their lives of displacement, which forms the films’ settings of horror. Historically found in various film settings, whether it is the madman's twisted reality in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) the foreign menace of Nosferatu (1922, dir. F.W. Murnau), the young nobleman's journey-of-self and the dehumanized conflict of owners vs. workers in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang), or the hazy dreaminess of Vampyr (1932, dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer), there is always a fundamental sense of “wrongness”; of the environment in Expressionist films that evokes horror in the audience. A sub-genre of Expressionism, the horror genre is present in cinema from the onset of the medium. From the beginning of film, people have seen their own nightmares projected in film. Fleeing from the Grand Café; in Paris, the first paying audience of L’Arivee d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (The Arrival of the Mail Train, 1895) were unintentionally terrorized by an ordinary event brought to life by the Lumiere brothers on a blank restaurant wall. Only a year later a bat metamorphoses into the devil in the first film of supernatural horror, Le Manoir du Diable (The Devil's Manor, 1896 dir. George Melies) that launched the popular horror genre. A particular kind of horror is found in this psychological terror of The Haunting and Repulsion, and it was first employed in the French film The Madness of Doctor Tube (1915, dir. Abel Glance), which contained distorted images of psychological effects. Often cited mistakenly as the first, a more famous psychological horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920 dir. Robert Wiene), introduced the use of projections from the id and emphasized irrational elements and unnatural treatments of architecture stemming from them. Roman Polanski was to employ this same id projection in Repulsion some forty-five years later. The highly stylized sets of distorted perspectives, sharp angles and twisted architecture of Dr. Caligari were intended to portray the splintered psychology of its title character. The film architecture of the horror genre is utilized as a means to externalize these internal emotions and to deliberately disturb the conventional notions of space (and time) as an indicator of distorted perceptions of the character’s own disorientation. This makes the horror film an apt setting for exploring the possibilities of a dynamic architecture affected by the movement of emotions between body and building. The Haunting and Repulsion both represent an intimate relationship between human and architecture where the emotions of humans are embodied in the architecture. The films are useful to look at together as they represent two different modes of embodiment. In The Haunting the embodiment is presented as an objective occurrence that manifests itself in the world for all to see, while in Repulsion Carol’s inner emotional turmoil is seen becoming embodied in the architecture of her apartment within her mind as a purely psychological manifestation which she must endure on her own. Through the classic horror genre of these two films, we can see a representation of how human and architecture are connected beyond the physical interplay of our bodies into a bilateral exchange of emotion.


Staging Memories
YinHua Chu (Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, Univ. Westminster)

Triggered by her personal experiences of travelling between different cities, Chu YinHua found her images of ‘cities’ are blended because of the constant movement, and the association of memories has provided her a sense of intimacy in any foreign city. She considers that it is crucial to develop various methodologies to ‘observe’ urban life in order to design an organic space, because the perception of a city is comprised of various layers of images which is difficult to sustain as a single image.
She therefore employs the medium of photography as the method to discover different ways of seeing, examining how still images may be sliced, fragmented, and frozen from the flow of time, and how the camera device becomes the bridge between the ‘image in the mind’ and the ‘image in front of the eyes’.
Chu is PhD Candidate in Photography at Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster, UK. Her photographic projects have been published in magazines and worldwide exhibitions, including 2008 Biennale National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, 2009 London Design Festival, 2010 Fringe Art Bath, 2010 Italy Cuneo ZooArt. In 2009 she has been invited as the Exchanging Artist from Taipei Artist Village to Tokyo Wonder Site.
Abstract:
The city in our actual experience is at the same time an actually existing physical environment, and a city in a novel, a film, a photograph, a city seen on television, and so on. On the other hand, a story draws on the relationship in the cityscape of city, and projects these relationships onto the landscape of a person’s mind. Fictions belong to another time-space which is far from our presence – through imagination, spatial boundaries of cities are dismissed, and things that do not exist in the physical environment can deliberately be made to appear and flash up, which also influences our vision of the physical environment. The city, therefore, becomes transparent, because through imagination, our minds become free and move between different cities, across the solidity of time and space.
I propose to explore the dream-like experiences of architectures and the domestic in different cities. I use mise-en-scène in photography as the methodology to examine the detail of architecture and the domestic in order to find its hidden secrets, the secrets that exist in our memories, fantasies and imagination. My attention is to search for locations of memory – memories that disturb the idea that the past necessarily had to lead to the catastrophe of the present.
My experimental photographic projects will show how imagination and dreams can be related to the physical environment of cities, including architecture and domestic interiority. This approach of representing cities in photographic practices will add some variables to the standard operations and provide new dimensions to the photographic imagining of urban geography.


Territorial Journeys in the Magic Circle
Sean Pickersgill (Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design, Univ. South Australia)

Sean Pickersgill is a Senior Lecturer at the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia. He has published and exhibited work on the intersection of digital aesthetics, game environments and architecture since 2000. His doctoral work at RMIT concentrated on the philosophical aspects of the sublime and horror in representations of architecture.
Abstract:
This proposal aims to investigate a series of ideas and effects that converge in the domain of game space, specifically the cities, spaces and topologies of computer games. Whilst there has been considerable academic literature on the methodological interests of, respectively, digital architecture, game studies and the aesthetic effects of digital and filmic narratives – there have been only occasional attempts to bring these fields of discussion together.
The proposal Territorial Journeys aims to reflect on this. I take the position that digital game environments represent and enhance issues of programme, materiality and narrative defined by their physical architecture, the game environment, and their narrative architecture, the manner in which the game is intended to be experienced. In addition there is a relationship between the techniques of digital modelling that contemporary architecture uses to create visionary architectural projects and the ludological requirements and effects that are the defining functional aspects of computer games. These work together to create the narratological aspects of computer games that are currently the subject of debate within game studies.
That many computer games involve a ‘narrative’ condition is acknowledged by most commentators (Jenkins, Juul, 2003, Aarseth, Frasca), however there is little appetite for the game experience to be defined by what they see as a form of ‘interactive literature’. Under these definitions, computer games are principally a systemic process of task/reward behaviour that is enlivened by the addition of exceptionally vivid graphic effects designed to create a sense of immersivity, or telepresence, in the player. Every game is an exercise in negotiating and ‘exceeding’ the physical and moral territory of the game landscape. Thus the predominant game experience involves a combination of ethically and morally hazardous circumstances with extreme physical difficulty.
However within conventional game paradigms those that attempt to increase the amount of ‘story’ in the game, or to define progress by the engagement with a structured and directed plot, suffer the criticism of impeding those aspects of game play that are viscerally frenetic, repetitive and reward orientated.
In part this is a function of the juvenile literary tastes of the target audience for most computer games. Whilst there has been considerable thematic reinforcement of the science fiction and fantasy genres in games such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. in which game-play rehearses and expands upon events contained in the original literature, most major titles have fairly simple thematic plots. Even quite complex games such as the Grand Theft Auto series (Rockstar Games), World of Warcraft (Blizzard), Everquest (Sony) or those games classed as adventure games such as those created by Cyan (Myst, Riven, Uru).


The Machine Stops
Nathan Freise + Adam Freise) (designers, graphic artists, and filmmakers), presented with Shiouwen Hong (School of Visual Arts, New York)

Nathan and Adam Freise grew up in Union, Missouri and currently reside in New York City. They both received their B.Arch (Bachelor’s of Architecture) and Minor in Art History at the University of Kansas, Lawrence in 2004. Nathan earned his M.F.A. in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2009. Adam earned his M.ARCH 2 in at Columbia University in 2008.
The Freise brothers are designers, graphic artists, and filmmakers working with video, CG, and animation to create digital narratives. Their short films are highly influenced by their background in architecture and design and interest in experimental environments. Stylistically, their pieces range from a flat two-dimensional graphic quality to a more cinematic aesthetic and explore themes of technology and design through both still and moving images.
In 2007 they were awarded as two of Chicago’s "Visionary Young Architects". They both trained under international architect, Jean Nouvel, in Paris France and have also worked in a handful of architecture offices in Chicago as designers and digital illustrators. The Freise Brothers are continuing to explore the relationship of digital design, narrative and cinema in their current and future works.
Shiouwen Hong - Freelance Digital Compositor & Styleframe Artist, self-motivated and passionate about motion and graphic, mainly working on film, broadcast, and commercial projects. With over 3 years of experience in Graphic Design and a year in Motion Graphic, I amproficient in the related software packages and always eager to learn more. She enjoys working and problem-solving with a team in an idea-driven environment.
Abstract:
This project is two-fold, consisting of a research paper and a self-produced short film based on English author E.M. Forster’s short science fiction story, The Machine Stops, Forster’s story is a visionary science fiction tale of two people living in a dark technological utopia/dystopia, which he has deemed as “the Machine”. The characters, Kuno and Vashti, have differing opinions about the world which they live in; the plot follows their interaction and conflict as their society comes to a sudden collapse. Forster raises themes of man’s role in the midst of a technology-dependent built environment that are seemingly more relevant today than when it was published in 1909. At first glance, Forster’s stance seems clearly pessimistic as the society eventually caves in upon itself, defeating itself in its pursuit of an undefined “progress”, though there are subtle details written that suggest Forster has faith that mankind will eventually re-transcend their own creations and live harmoniously. The idea that technology is severing communication rather than assisting is a major theme in the story. Forster’s “Machine” takes the abstract idea of technology and invention and manifests it into a literal, physically inhabited architecture. This has many interesting implications, especially in 2008 looking at the story retrospectively. Throughout architectural history, especially the Modern period, there are numerous examples of the machine acting as architecture and vice versa. What effect did the machine in the built environment have on its inhabitants during this period? How does Forster’s cautionary parable foreshadow what was to come later in the 20th century? Is this truly the theme of Forster’s work? Is he adamantly opposed to technology and believe it will lead to man’s demise, or is it something else that causes the collapse? The research to follow is focused on the connection of the collapse of architectural Modernism with the fictional collapse of Forster’s “Machine”. Within my work I am primarily concerned with Modern era architectural and technological themes and how certain theories centered on the “machine in architecture” can support a cinematic vision of the before-mentioned short story. I am also investigating experimental architecture and design techniques as they apply to cinema and animation, focusing on the conceptual processes involved in formulating complex spaces and their relationship to cinematography and other artistic areas of time-based media production. These are the primary areas of my concentration.


The Spectacular Distortions
Jimenez Lai (Univ. Illinois, Chicago)

Jimenez Lai is currently clinical assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and the Leader of Bureau Spectacular. He graduated with a Master of Architecture from University of Toronto. Previously, Lai has lived and worked in a desert shelter at Taliesin, AZ, and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout on the piers of Rotterdam. Lai has received mentions in competitions in Japan, Europe and the US. Professionally, Lai has worked for MOS, AVL, RE X, OMA /Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and New York. In February 2006, his drawings Noahs Ark, in space was featured on archinect.com and in 2007 he was the recipient of the LeFevre Fellowship.
In April 2008 his project Phalanstery Module opened at Materials & Applications in Los Angeles. The installation by Lai, Point Clouds, opened at the Extension Gallery in Chicago in January 2009. Lai has been involved as a participant in group-exhibitions in New York, Boston, Athens, and Toronto. His drawings had been published in 306090, Conditions, Fresh Meat, Beyond and Candide.
Abstract:
Distortion is the alteration of an original shape or form. Contrary to logic that requires meticulous precision; unmanaged distortion is sometimes a desirable condition in the practice of architecture. The direct relationship between fiction and the distortion of facts is the most powerful tool in the
fabrication of culture. Fiction, in my practice, is deployed as a generative strategy to unpack thoughts on architecture and the distortion of facts. The manga-style graphic delivery compacts criticism with layers of conversations within the discipline into singular yet legible images. The short stories offer a fresh point of view and reveal many architectural problems; and some are tested out as physical installations. The translation between the fake to the real presents a fluid transition from a non- measurable idea and a tangible object. Specifically, the spaceship storyline within my work concentrates ideas about scale, projection, perception, preferences and uniqueness. Phalanstery Module, for example, was an early built project that tested the lack of gravity and renders all orthographic drawings a single-projection. Point Clouds is another story that studies the limits of parametricism and its relationship with the limits of human body. The ability to isolate issues in a vacuum is the greatest power in fiction. It expands the rules we accept, and distorts familiarity in exchange for formal evolution.


The Critique Of The Architecture Of Gated Communities Through J. G. Ballard’s Literature
Zeynep Tuna Ultav (Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, Izmir Univ. of Economics)

Zeynep Tuna Ultav received a bachelor degree in Architecture from the Middle East Technical University in 1999; graduate degree in Architecture from the same university in 2002 with the thesis entitled “Reading Manfredo Tafuri: Architecture and Utopia Design and Capitalist Development”, and PhD degree with the dissertation entitled “Reading J. G. Ballard in the Intersection of Architecture and Science Fiction”. Currently tutoring at Izmir University of Economics, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. Her research interests include “architecture and literature”, “utopia”, and “theory of interior design”.
Abstract:
Regarding the representation as well as the employment of architectural spaces within the medium of literature, the search for methods of exploring novel relationships between the two realms, architecture and literature, appears to be inevitable. Thus, the aim of this paper is to develop an original approach to the relationship between architecture and literature as different media through reading the New Wave science fiction of J. G. Ballard (1930-2009). In this respect, the study will be structured on the idea of the potential contribution of literary texts to the critical discourse on the phenomenon of “suburbs” as “gated communities” in the specific field of architecture. The method for such a study will be constructed via the tools of discursive material on both the concept of “gated community” and the spatial formations within literary texts. The main objects of the study will be the relevant novels of Ballard that are Running Wild (1989), Cocaine Nights (1996), Super Cannes (2002) and Kingdom Come (2006) as case studies to establish a basis for the formation of the theoretical part, supported in this study through architectural discourse.
Suburban environments can be interpreted through the discourses of “gated community” in the way that they are founded in the periphery and welfare is provided by perfect physical conditions with exaggerated security precautions as well as a critical approach that concerns the negative social effects of such physical constructions. Ballard’s discourse can be read as a dystopian approach in terms of displaying several issues in these settlements such as “sense of non-place”, “insecurity”, “pseudo-sensitivity to nature”, “fragmentation of life”, “alienation”, and “class segregation”.
Sense of non-place, also discussed through Marc Auge’s discourse, is displayed in the sense that those spaces have no connections with local values, the result of which damages the quality of being a place. The identity of these settlements is intended to be established through the exaggerated idea of “security” rather than qualities inherent to a “place”. The aspect of security in gated communities is put forward by the critical discourse in 1990s as being false. According to Marcuse, the walls express the social status, privilege and welfare rather than function as a security precaution. In other words, the walls are designed to grant a different identity to the gated community they enclose. In the Pangbourne suburb in Running Wild, the security mechanism with the cameras all around does not record at all, but its existence makes people living there feel as if they live in prison. The Eden-Olimpia of Super Cannes, designed to create a gated community fulfilling its needs far away from the metropolitan, is also surrounded by a security system as in Running Wild. Security in Cocaine Nights is perceived as an element threatening life by the protagonists and the cameras are personified ironically. At the same time, this system is seen as the one that restrict freedoms. The pseudo-sensitivity to nature is a problem that can be traced in Super Cannes as well as in Jacobs’ discourse. The relationship established with nature in Super Cannes is as functionless as the other decors in the city. This idea justifies Jacob’s discourse in which she mentions the idea of becoming closer to nature in suburbs as being false and schizophrenic.
In conclusion, the study is expected to contribute to the re-production of the knowledge of the themes and consequences of the concept of gated communities within architectural discourse proposing the effective use of literary strategies in architectural discourse. Thus, reading Ballard’s literature helps to develop an original point of view revealing the over-exaggerated phenomenon of crime as a consequence of such physical environments, which can hardly be discovered within architectural discourse itself.


Welcome 2D Future - Comics and the transmediatic construction of the City of the Future
Luis Miguel Lus Arana (Univ. Navarra/G.S.A.S., Harvard Univ.)

Luis Miguel Lus Arana is an architect and urban planner. In 2001, he obtained the degree in Architecture, Urban Planning and Design from the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra, after complementary studies in the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia. In 2002 he joined the PhD program in the University of Navarra, and in 2008 he completed a Masters in Design Studies in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, focused on the area of Theory and History of Architecture. In 2008-2009 he returned to the Harvard GSD as a visiting fellow in order to complete most of the research for the PhD dissertation “The Dreamt Cities”. His work has been published in several Spanish and international magazines, and he has been invited as a guest critic and reviewer in the Rhode Island School of Design, the Boston Architecture College, the Universidad Europea de Madrid and the Universidad Nacional de San Juan in Argentina. Among other awards and honors, he has received the First Prize in Architecture Studies (Spanish Ministry of Education, 2001), the Extraordinary End of Studies Award (E.T.S.A. University of Navarra, 2001), the Fundación La Caixa Fellowship for postgraduate Studies (2005), the Dimitris Pikionis Award (Harvard GSD, 2008), The Real Colegio Complutense Fellowship at Harvard (2008) and the Fundación Caja Madrid Fellowship (2008).
Abstract:
The paper “Welcome 2D Future - Comics and the transmediatic construction of the City of the Future” fits in the context of the broader research on the construction of urban utopia in comics and the mass media of the ongoing PhD Dissertation "The Dreamt Cities: The Voyage through Utopia, the Construction of the Imaginary" (School of Architecture. University of Navarra), which deals with two parallel targets: On the one hand, the mapping of the cross relationships between comics, cinema and architecture in the construction of the image of the city of the future; on the other, the development of an Atlas that groups, describes and catalogues an extensive selection of the futuropolises created in the comic books since the 1950s.
This short essay develops a narrative of the phenomenon through the description three significant moments of the transmediatic construction of the urban imaginary of the future: Winsor McCay, Metropolis and panoptic vision; Métal Hurlant, Blade Runner and the advent of Cyberpunk; and Schuiten’s and Peeters' Cités Obscures.
With this threefold narrative, the text seeks to establish, on the one hand, the fundamental role that comics have had in the visual construction of the city within the mass media and, through them, in the very conceptualization of urban space within disciplinary architecture. By ending with the alternative, ucronian universes of Les Cités Obscures, the essay will outline the role that a low-budget, low-tech (inevitably 'lowcult') and two-dimensional medium such as graphic narrative can still hold in a world ruled by the virtual reality of the digital media, and in providing alternative ways to the current widespread exclusively-high-tech vision of the future.


The Vibra Sequencer
Inês Lopes Moreira (FA.UTL)

Inês Lopes Moreira (Lisbon 1978) Graduated in Architecture from Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa in 2002, and MsC in Urban Strategies from Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Austria, under the orientation of Prof. Wolf D. Prix, in 2007. Between 2001 and 2008, has collaborated in several architecture studios in The Netherlands and Austria. In 2008 moved to Lisbon, where she has been developing projects and cooperations in the fields of architecture, urbanism and transdisciplinary crossings. Currently is a PhD student in Urbanism at Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, researching on the impact of the increase of connectivity in the morphology of Lisbon’s metropolitan territory.
Abstract:
The desire of the coalescence of the cities of Vienna and Bratislava, a dream pursued and long discussed in the last thirty years, launched the conditions for the creation of an urban scenario, a fiction or a prediction of the future. The Vibra sequencer is an abstract machine, an experimental design exercise, which explores the role of the architect/urbanist in city and regional planning, while dealing with the large amount of variables that are unpredictable, placing the work in a limbo between predicted reality and fictional future scenarios.
Why and how can Europe’s closest capitals – Vienna and Bratislava – growth together? How does Vibra look like and who wants or needs it? How can we induce the growth of the cities in a determined direction and what are the forces and tools for producing this growth? What is the role of the architect in planning at this large scale and which are the consequences of doing it? How can we predict the future of these cities, and how consistent are the possible scenarios? These problems melt into the main topic of the workflow, conducting a research and reflection about cities, their actors, strategies and visions for an undetermined future. In order to answer it, the cities were understood as complex networks of different layers interacting at various levels, taking in account the fragility of future predictions inherent to the act of planning at this scale.


Metamorphosis. On the Role of Fiction in Architectural Education
Gijs Wallis de Vries (Faculty of Architecture, Univ. of Eindhoven)

Gijs Wallis de Vries teaches Architectural History and Theory as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Eindhoven (Netherlands). I graduated as urban designer in the Faculty of Architecture in Delft in 1983. In 1990 I completed a PhD on Piranesi in Eindhoven. In my Masters and Graduation studios I address the densification of city and landscape. My research topic is the ‘landscape turn’ in urbanism and architecture. I am interested in escape as a powerful motive for the experience and design of landscape as ‘the outside’ and ‘the other’ of the city. My research borrows spatial concepts from various disciplines (architecture, urbanism, cultural geography, philosophy, literary theory). I have published in professional and academic journals such as Archis, Blauwe Kamer/Profiel, Forum, De Gids, Kunstlicht, Oase, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (IASTE). As author, contributor and/or editor I produced books issued by 010 publishers, Thoth, SUN, Bélin. I presented at conferences of IGU (cultural geography), ACSA, IASTE, and at Cerisy, and Eindhoven (Tectonics). Papers have been or will be published in proceedings. Currently, I am writing a book on Piranesi’s ‘Vedute di Roma’, and another book that constructs from Piranesi’s ‘Campo Marzio’ a theory of architectural landscape.
Abstract:
My paper proposes a debate on the role of fiction in design pedagogy. Fiction can steer the world on a more sustainable course, if only by confronting us with the unpredictable, inevitable, and inescapable. According to Richard Rorty literary fiction started in the 19th century to rival with science and religion, questioning their truths and multiplying their perspectives. ‘The great virtue of our newfound literary culture is that it tells young people that the only source of redemption is the human imagination.’ Fiction acts in a complementary way to design by heightening the sense of reality and instilling a sense of possibility (Musil).
To read novels (or to watch movies or to see plays) can make students aware of the way people use rooms, buildings, streets, cities, and landscapes. The question is whether the ‘logic of fiction’ (Sollers) and its magic power to mirror the reading subject can result in architectural principles, in design criteria, in a poetics of space. I will present some designs of architectural students who took inspiration from, for example, Rushdie, Kafka, Burroughs, or Cyberpunk, applying it in designs for, respectively, renovation of urban blocks, temporary reuse of an empty leather factory, an urban monastery, and a resort on a mine debris hill. I will also discuss an ongoing studio that develops descriptive, retrospective, and prospective representations of the Via Flaminia in Rome.
I will conclude with a few remarks on the exchange of fiction with space. Contrary to a global design culture that promotes the forever new, literary culture sharpens the senses for the existing environment. A poetic realism may inspire a local metamorphosis of space. The tabula rasa planning, typically realized in the ‘banlieue’ (and now decreeing its demolition), must be abandoned in order to ‘do with’ what there is (Certeau) and enjoy the tabula plena.


Writing Place - “Prescription” as an operational concept in urban research and practice
Klaske Maria Havik (TU Delft)

Klaske Maria Havik, Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, is an architect and writer. She studied architecture in Delft and Helsinki, and literary writing in Amsterdam. She writes regularly for various magazines in The Netherlands and Nordic countries and is editor of architecture journal OASE. Her architectural and written work combines an experiential reading of the city with an academic and theoretical approach. In Delft, she currently teaches the master diploma studio Public Realm , master seminars on City and Literature as well as courses in architectural theory. As part of the Public Realm research group, she edited the anthology Architectural Positions: Architecture, Modernity and the Public Sphere, SUN Publishers 2009. Her on-going PhD research Writing Place aims at developing a literary approach to architecture and urban regeneration. Poems of her hand have been published in a number of Dutch poetry collections.
Abstract:
This paper presents a view on the reading of places and discusses the potential of scriptive design methods. It discusses how literary techniques offer valuable ways to become aware of how people use, experience, imagine and remember places. I argue that Lefebvre’s concept of lived space, experienced and lived through by characters, evoking memories and imaginations, is the space that we encounter in the evocative descriptions of places and spaces by literary writers. Literary writers are skilled to ‘read’ places and spaces on different levels, and in more evocative ways than authors in the field of architecture theory or social sciences. In today’s society, it becomes an urgent demand for architects and urban planners to take into account lived aspects of place. When looking for a bridge to allow lived space to play a role in urban and architectural research and practice, I thus consider the possibility that such a bridge can be a literary one. The use of literary instruments to understand and engage spatial qualities in architecture provides a means for various disciplines to work together.
Literary description confronts us with a certain ambivalence concerning subjectivity and objectivity, individuality and collectiveness, and fiction and reality. I propose that this ambiguity of literary description, which might at first sight complicate a productive relationship between literature and architecture, is precisely its strength. The gaze of the literary writer enables us to shift between these seemingly binary oppositions, illustrating that in fact, the lived experience of architecture is a matter of both.
Although literary descriptions of urban and architectural spaces have undeniably had an impact on the consideration of the city and architecture, they have seldom been directly instrumental as design tools. After all, the descriptive nature of literature is far removed from the prescriptive character that typifies the design disciplines. The step towards ‘realisation’, in the sense of generating built results, thus needs more than a mere descriptive approach. In my current research work, I therefore propose a triad of interrelated concepts, which exceeds mere description. Together, the concepts description, transcription and prescription offer a framework to understand and use the connection between architecture and lived experience.
Prescription is the act of prospecting, predicting, or constructing new situations. In literature, the construction of new worlds is not uncommon. Especially writers of magic realism and surrealism combine their world-view with imaginative power. New worlds may be based on existing ones (Italo Calvino’s Invisible cities), describe future worlds (George Orwell 1984) or construct new accounts of the world (Saramago, Harry Mulisch). Often, such literary world-views offer a critical account of society. Indeed, when applying the concept of prescription to architecture, one should discuss the position of the architect designing for an unknown future. By definition, architects construct their imaginary account of the future world of which their built projects will take part, and they have to deal with chance and indeterminacy.
In this paper, the notion of prescription will be defined in relation to time, chance, and indeterminacy. The act of creative imagination serves as a means to approach these issues, in literature as well as in architecture. The literary concept of chronotope, as introduced by Bakhtin, serves as a starting point for a theoretical exploration on the “time-places” that architects construct through imagination. Uncertainty is seen as a potentially productive factor for the design of urban futures. Prescription then leads to a form of urban scenario planning. Finally, the paper draws on the operational potential of prescription for architectural writing, research and practice. As examples of architectural prescription, the critical and imaginative practices of avant-garde groups such as Situationists International, Archigram, and Superstudio will be discussed, while the “paranoid critical method” of Rem Koolhaas will be interpreted as a fundamentally prescriptive approach.


Making through Destruction: Disorderly Architecture and Vandalism
Irene Hwang (Partner, Constructing Communication (CC) + John Szot (Design Principal, Studio John Szot/Partner, Brooklyn Digital Foundry)

John Szot began his private practice in 2004. His work in building design seeks to expand the operating territory of architecture by looking beyond accepted means and methods. His work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Portland, and the Netherlands.
John is also the technical director and a co-founding partner (with Brian Lemond) of the Brooklyn Digital Foundry, which was established in 1999. The studio pairs innovative design expertise with cutting-edge technological knowledge, and has worked for clients in the design, arts, and fashion industries.
Abstract:
Our proposal for a building in New York’s SoHo district seeks to transgress propriety and practicality by introducing pathological phenomena – namely the activity of New York’s prolific street-writers – into the building design process. Although architecturally malignant, vandalism constitutes a rich and integral aspect of our experience of the built environment.
Even in a derelict state, a building continues to engage space and to shape experiences regardless of its condition. The pathogens that cripple and kill buildings also create opportunities for new architectural experiences. Since such anti-architectural activities are at odds with the architect’s traditional pursuit of perfection, the principal challenge of the SoHo Project was to devise an alternative means of engaging these subversive agents, while avoiding the liquidation of value that occurs when they are inevitably sanitized under conventional architectural practices.
Narrative subsequently becomes the primary staging ground for the entire proposal because it provides the sufficient structure to sustain the complex demands of the project’s development and its unfolding. Thus, in our story, the building’s natural life cycle is inverted: it is built, it is destroyed, and only after its architectural demise, can it finally be completed.
The project’s success is highly dependent on the narrative’s plausibility. So, in order to fully understand the implications of the building’s exposure to pathological activity, we are constructing the narrative as a high-fidelity, visual simulation. The validity of such a simulated experience hinges on its ability to avoid simplification and to deliver the highest level of accuracy and authenticity possible.
Like vandalism, crowdsourcing is viral and organic in nature: it is the perfect platform for establishing a connection with the very individuals responsible for the pathological elements that this project seeks to engage.


The Struggle for Representation: An Architect Inside Mark Z. Danielewki's ‘House of Leaves’
Stylianos Giamarelos (MArch NTUA, Dept. Philosophy and History of Science, Univ. Athens)

Stylianos Giamarelos was born in Athens (1982). Architect NTU Athens (2007), MArch “Design – Space - Culture”, NTU Athens (2009). Co-curator of the Greek National Participation at the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture and co-editor of the book "Athens by Sound" (Athens: futura 2008). He provided assistant lecturing in Architectural History and Theory courses, coordinated by Prof. Panayotis Tournikiotis, at the School of Architecture, NTU Athens, for 2 years (2008-2009). He is currently studying Philosophy and History of Science in the University of Athens, while translating Dalibor Vesely’s Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation in Greek, edited by Ass. Prof. Vassilis Ganiatsas, to be published in 2010 by NTUA Press. Member of the editing board of 'Architektones', Journal of the Association of Greek Architects, since December 2009. He has presented papers in 4 international architectural conferences (amongst which the 23rd World Congress, UIA Torino 2008). He has participated in group exhibitions of Architecture and comics. He has also been awarded with the 1st prize in the Essay Category of the 26th National Literature Competition (2007) and has earned a Distinction in the “Young Artists” category of the 7th National Comics Competition (2007).
Abstract:
This paper intends to focus on the relationship between spatial experience and its textual representation. It is an attempt to explore a certain kind of interrelations that can possibly be established between the domains of architecture and literature, as well as the way in which such a procedure could reach a point of informing the design process.
When reading Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000) as a constant effort to represent an existing space that -by its very nature- is non-representable (an abyss that incessantly transforms and mutates), the book essentially becomes a sum of spatial records collected in a written form that in turn constantly tries to overcome its own representational boundaries through severe textual deformations. By adding a temporal dimension to the novel relations emerging between text and text-as-image (taking into account the rhythm along which the pages are turned and the way in which the textual configurations succeed one another), the architect inside the House of Leaves ends up with three videos that form a kind of time-based spatial diagrams. Thus, the textual deformations that enable the text to be perceived as image constitute a book that acts as a relentless generator of time-based spatial diagrams.




Guest Speakers Committees Program Abs / Authors Comments Event Pics Sponsors