January 8th, 2019, 7pm
University of Applied Arts Vienna,
Architecture and the Meteora.
On Cornucopian Instruments, Architectonic Dispositions, and Capital Concepts
Vera Bühlmann is a Swiss writer. She is professor for architecture theory, and director of the Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics ATTP at Vienna University of Technology (www.attp.tuwien.ac.at ). Together with Ludger Hovestadt she co-founded and directs the laboratory for applied virtuality at the Architecture Department at ETH Zurich, and co-edits the applied virtuality book series (Birkhäuser, Basel/Vienna, since 2012). After studying philosophy and English language and literature in Zurich, Switzerland, she obtained a PhD in media theory/philosophy from Basel University (2009). Her latest monograph is entitled Information and Mathematics in the Philosophy of Michel Serres (Bloomsbury, London: forthcoming 2018).
She is the author of Die Nachricht, ein Medium: Generische Medialität, Städtische Architektonik (Birkhäuser, 2014) and co-author with Ludger Hovestadt and Sebastian Michael of A Genius Planet (Birkhäuser 2017). She co-edited a special volume of Minnesota Review together with Iris van der Tuin and Felicity Colman on Genealogies of New Materialism (Duke UP, 2017), as well as the Metalithikum Books (all Birkhäuser, together with Ludger Hovestadt): Printed Physics, ( 2012), Domesticating Symbols (2014), Coding as Literacy (2015), Symbolizing Existence (2016). Among her publications are also Sheaves, When Things Are Whatever Can be the Case (Birkhäuser, 2014), A Quantum City (Birkhäuser 2015).
January 8th, 2019, 7pm
IN »LIEU« OF STATEMENTS, »ARTICULATION«
How can we find a novel understanding of human intellectuality in co-existence with artificial intelligence? The Sophistication Conferencesare dedicated to a basic kind of literacy in how to think about coding in the terms of a geometry of spectra and communication. At the core of such a literacy is a different relationality of time, nature, subject, and object. Our interest is in a philosophy of the transcendental objective, at whose core resides the question of »how to embrace what presents itself as an obstacle« rather than how to make it »go away«. We see in such a »digital gnomonics« a powerful framework for addressing computational modeling, machine learning and algorithmic reasoning in a manner that does not stage an antagonistic competition between human and artificial intelligence.
The Sophistication Conferences are organized once a year at the Technical University Vienna, as a cooperation between the Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics ATTP and the laboratory for applied virtuality at the chair for CAAD ETH Zurich, where we invite distinguished as well as young scholars from different fields to think about how such »architectonic intellectuality« affects our relations to the world at large – our institutions, as well as our ordinary daily lives.
The documentation of the past conferences are published on our YouTube channel ATTP TU VIENNA.
Download the full programme HERE
Watch the videos of the conference HERE
Download the abstracts booklet here, or watch it below:
download the flyer here
ARCHITEKTUR UND THEORIE – EIN SYMPOSIUM
3. Vernetzungstreffen der deutschsprachigen Lehrstühle für Architekturtheorie
1. bis 3. November 2018 an der Technischen Universität Wien
Im Anschluß an die erfolgreichen ArchitekturTheorieTage in Graz (2016) und Hannover (2017) wollen wir bei diesem Treffen die Wichtigkeit des Faches, und die Organisation zur Förderung dieser Wichtigkeit zum Thema zu machen: Wir schlagen für dieses nächste Treffen vor, ein experimentelles Format auszuprobieren das uns je einzeln wie auch gemeinsam Argumente zur Hand gibt, um unser Fach in der Wahrnehmung von Studierenden, KollegInnen, Forschungsförderung zu stärken.
Dieses Format schlägt ein Rollenspiel vor: wir möchten Euch alle einladen, unser nächstes Treffen in Wien Anfang November 2018 in der philosophisch/literarischen Symposion/Gastmahl-Tradition zu begreifen, bei dem wir uns, mit unseren je unterschiedlichen Interessen und Anliegen, alle als „Freunde der Architektur“ treffen und das was uns begeistert/was wir wichtig finden, als Beiträge in der Form von 15-minütigen rhetorischen Reden (Oratorien) mitbringen. Damit würden wir nicht nur von der Wichtigkeit der Architektur sprechen, sondern auch jene der Architekturtheorie demonstrieren (da wir der Architektur gegenüber nicht sprachlos sind sondern von ihr auf unterschiedlichste Weise präzise, informativ, kritisch und mit einem Anliegen, bewahrend wie modernisierend, zu reden wissen).
Das Ziel dieses experimentellen Formats ist es, dass wir alle mit einem Bündel von starken und durchdachten Artikulationen von für die Architektur allgemein relevanten Themen, von herausfordernden und präzisierenden Formulierungen, von gewichtigen und auch tendenziösen Argumenten nach Hause gehen – mit besserem Verständnis des gemeinsamen Kräftefeldes in dem wir unser Fach vertreten.
Achim Hahn, Technische Universität Dresden
Christoph Grafe, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Gernot Weckherlin, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus
Jasper Cepl, Hochschule Anhalt
Karl R. Kegler, Hochschule München
Daniel Gethmann, Technische Universität Graz
Sophia Walk, Technische Universität Graz
Maarten Delbeke, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
Anselm Wagner, Technische Universität Graz
Susanne Hauser, Universität der Künste Berlin (provisorisch)
Christian Kühn, Technische Universität Wien(provisorisch)
Matthias Boeckl, Die Angewandte Wien (provisorisch)
Vera Bühlmann, Technische Universität Wien
Oliver Schürer, Technische Universität Wien
Mark Balzar, Die Angewandte, Wien
Donnerstag, 1. November: Abendprogramm
Freitrag, 2. November: Tagesprogramm und Abendessen
Samstag, 3. November: Vormittag, Gemeinsame Diskussion und Pläne, anschliessend Wien Exkursion
(Details folgen in Kürze)
Forum Vertigo: Code-Decode the World
The subject of this introductory session to the theme “Coder le monde” (Coding the World) is to draw up an epistemological and historical perspective of relationships that are both fundamental to and dependent on the evolution of techniques; binding code and art, reason and imaginary, symbol and meaning, human and machine.
The first panel, held by Vera Bühlmann, Pierre Cassou-Noguès and Jasia Reichardt, will address Algorithmics, Art, and Society.
Wednesday, June 14th, Centre Pompidou
"Quasi-Theory—Quasi-Project" is an installation conceived and realised by Giacomo Pala, Jörg Stanzel (Innsbrück University) and Riccardo M. Villa (ATTP) for the Unfolding Pavilion.
It will be on display May 25-30, opening days of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.
Our project is entitled: I NOURISH AND I EXTINGUISH. LEVER ET COUCHER.
by Pa.LaC.E (Valle Medina and Ben Reynolds) and ATTP (Vera Bühlmann)
Chambord inachevé is an exhibition organized by The Domaine national de Chambord and Dominique Perrault Architecture. More info here (soon):
View full post at: https://h-a-u-s.org
Our research group Humanoids in Architecture and Urban Spaces on the public TV station ORF: Interviews with Oliver Schürer, and with our robot Machina (Model Pepper).
Our part starts around 4:40s
Quantum Words on Architectonic Objects
Quantum. The unit of emitted energy. Circulating and translating between all things tangible and graspable. Quantum Words on Architectonic Objects are diligent articulations of ordinary things. They are distinctive for the architect ́s ability to offer a richness of detail and insight within no less than five hundred and no more than a thousand words of print. Short enough to be read while drinking an espresso and significant enough to delight the reader with the accepted diversion.
First in a series:
The Table in the light of Quantity and the Precious.
Invitation to short contributions on:
English or German
mail to: vera.buehlmann[at]attp.tuwien.ac.at
Vera Bühlmann, Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou, Georg Fassl,
ATTP Technische Universität Wien August 2017
Architectonic Objects Digital Weather Conditions
Digital Fabrication, Smart Cities, the Internet of Things, Big Data, Rationalisation and the Digital Production Chain, Semantic and Object-Oriented Ontologies, Automated Process Design, and Parametrism as the "New International Style": Increasingly so, everything gets connected with everything else in a global kind of intellectual and entropic climate. The temporal currents brings us but modulations of the past. Intellectual tempests are cooking up here and there. Architectural ideas pour like rain from ideational cluster-clouds. Information floods are washing away the shores of long cultivated fields. Fresh breezes are local, recurrent, often they are pleasantly mild.
A building is what withstands the weather. The Quantum Words on Architectonic Objects series wants to cultivate the architectural object amidst this plenty of climatic influences. It reaches out to architects (and other intellectuals) in order to learn articulating what is precious about architecture.
What is an architectonic object? An architectonic object is an ordinary object, one we find exposed from what it may once have been conceived as. It may not have lost its mystical appeal altogether, but we have long learned to live with it – to live with it well, and this without fully comprehending it. The architectonic object is an object whose parts are elementary but mobile, whose components are modular yet can be measured (not only calculated), whose balances are asymmetrical and yet producing stability.
First in a Series of Architectonic Objects: The Table
The first Architectonic Object we would like to articulate in Quantum Words is that of The Table.
We sit at tables for having diner or breakfast. A table is the sine qua non of every banquet. It stands on four feet and levels a plane in between. A table erects a stable board in distance to the ground. Empty, the table provides the iconic site of modern, experimental methods of investigation. When organised into rows and columns a table provides the iconic site of keeping records, collecting data, organising knowledge. It feeds tax agents just as much as computers. The Round Table lives forth, from King Arthur ́s time onwards, as the iconic site for reconciliation. It is well known to facilitate a flat hierarchy among noble men. In the Symposium, the table manifests the fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion.
What open secrets, what precious stories, can we unlock from the role this architectonic object plays in the different architectural disciplines today? How are tables used in Structural Design? In Digital Architecture? In Building Physics? In Social Housing? In City Planning? in Baukunst? In Building Conservation? In Baroque Architecture? In Le Corbusier ́s machines-for-living-in? What does the table, as an architectonic object, afford in the different disciplines? what does it present, what does it exclude, what does it organise, what does it provide, what does it demand, what does it conserve?
On the Quantum Words Series
English: The Very Many and the Big Plenty: Quantity and the Precious
German: Das Sehr Viele und das Grosse Reichliche: Quantität und das Kostbare
How could "the many" possibly be "intensified"? How could something that is abundantly full be measured? How can we rationalise what is not determinably finite and scarce? what could possibly be the unit of such measurement, and even worse, how on earth should we think of the reference magnitude for such a unit? Linguistically speaking, we have here (with The Very Many and the Big Plenty) an intensive qualifier for the many, a measuring adjective for the abundantly full – is this not a sheer mess of category mistakes, a kind of a logical disaster? For any (classically) logical idea of objects, speaking of The Very Many and The Big Plenty certainly is not a phrasing that makes much sense.
Logical Statements (Definition and Order)
That ́s because logics is committed to an understanding of the static that is rooted in a notion of order. Logics deals with statements relative to either cosmical, metaphysical, ontological, or mathematical order. Motion and rest must exclude one another in the states that are at stake in logics, and the same goes for any other pair of, in a logical sense, contradictory notions. Our phrasings, in their paradoxical set ups, could hence not play a legitimate role in any logical argument.
Rhetorical Stasis (Consensus and Order)
Different from logics, rhetorics knew a term that specifically designates set-ups whose starting positions appear to be in contradiction with each other: If two opponents, for a combat in sophistication, enter debate with two competing lines of argumentation, what has to be established first is a middle ground between them. This, in rhetorics, is called Stasis. Stasis literally means a standing still. It designated a state of stability, in which all forces are equal and opposing, and therefore cancel each other out.
Including the Operations of a General Equivalent (Algebra and Money)
How exactly such rhetorical stasis is different from the kind of stasis at stake in logics, this is a large and unsettled issues of which we can perhaps say that it is transversal to philosophy at large. After all, is a notion of order not characterised in the same manner, as a state of stability in which all forces are equal and opposing, and therefore cancelling each other out? is this not why, from understanding the order of things, we can learn to manipulate them? Marcel Hénaff, the anthropologist, has recently caught up with the history of this conflict in his beautiful book entitled The Price of Truth (2003). This is why we aim at linking up with the interplay between quality and quantity.
Statues: Set Up to Keep Something Present
There is another context in which phrases of the kind we are dealing with here might be approached. We might conceive of the paradoxical topic the try to capture best as a kind of statue, literally the set up of something to be kept present, to be remembered, from stature, "to cause to stand, set up."
If such set ups were not logically consistent, so the Ancient Greeks knew already, they will not be capable of maintaining themselves. The stability they put forward, hence, would not be a stability at all: it is bound to corrupt, to degenerate, to become something unstable, something that is capable of decay. Such statues could still appear as beautiful though. Just like poetic verse could appear as beautiful. The Ancient Greeks had a word for this kind of beauty, they called those statues daedalus. Not because the mythical figure of Daedalus, the first architect purported by legend, would alone have been believed as capable of crafting them. But because the legendary first architect was the first to build statues from parts that were modular and mobile: Daedalus was the first to build mechanical statues, statues capable of transporting a certain condition from one situation to another, where the same condition appears, at first, as ill fitted, if not entirely out of place. Mechanics was considered as an art, in the sense that it required the kind of cunning that would translate, literally carry across or bridge, odd situations like Minos ́ wife wishing to mate with the bull that Minos, the king of Crete, had kept from Zeus by cheating on him.
Mechanics and Art, Nature and Culture
In mechanics, indeed, rest and motion need not exclude one another – quite the opposite. They are treated by the mechanic in a way that knows how to keep the balances between them in a variety of manners. The mechanic was he who knew how to distribute the weights between the sides of the scale such as to yield a certain effect repeatedly, objectively, intended and yet completely independent from his subjective will. Is the top of a spinning circle at rest or is it rotating? Problems like these are often treated by the first scientists. Mathematically, they could be rigorously described (by Archimedes for example, who remained one of the most inspiring influences for architects and artists alike throughout the centuries). But logically, they remained problematic. We have here, perhaps, the very theme that underlies the distinction between things artificial and things natural.
Architectonic Objects: The Whole Picture and The Mobile Partition
With our Quantum Words on Architectonic Objects we want to leave unresolved these philosophical disputes between what we could call The Whole Picture (logical order) and The Mobile Partition (mechanical order, rhetorical stasis, or crafted statues). We want to treat them in the Quantum Way: we seek to acknowledge that there must be a way to accommodate both perspectives, in like manner as in quantum physics, where we can measure the speed of a particle as well as its location, but not both at once.
How could we go about such measurement in architecture? Via objects. We cannot do so without a form of mediacy. Like the mobile statues once called daedalus, objects of the most ordinary kind are caught up in a contradictory activity too: the pot contains but also excludes. A floor supports but also lifts up from the ground. A roof covers but also exposes a structure to the weather. A wall separates rooms but also connects them.
Remembering ordinary objects in terms of their double facedness, we want to address them as Architectonic Objects: object whose parts are elementary but mobile, whose components are modular yet can be measured, whose balances are asymmetrical yet producing stability. An architectonic object is an ordinary object, one which may not have lost its mystical appeal altogether but which can be accounted for quantitatively.
The interdisciplinary research group “Architecture Humanoids Project” is researching issues of humanoid technology in human lifeworlds with a focus on architecture and urbanism. By correlating approaches of architectural theory, philosophy and computer engineering, the project is conducting architectural theory and philosophy driven experiments with Aldebarans Pepper, Romeo and some Naos.
Visit the new Blog here: h-a-u-s.org/
"Lasst uns Sophisten sein!"
Die Architekturtheoretikerin Prof. Vera Bühlmann im Portrait
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