Positions on Emancipation
Architecture between Aesthetics and Politics
Florian Hertweck with Nikos Katsikis (ed.)
"Positions on Emancipation: Architecture between Aesthetics and Politics", Lars Müller Publishers 2017
This book documents and reflects a debate debate held in Schengen in spring 2017, organized by Florian Hertweck, Nikos Katsikis, Carole Schmit and Sara Volterrani. It was an attempt at making explicit various trends in architectural thinking, all of which aim to liberate architecture from
the excesses of capitalism – and not from other disciplines
such as sociology, economics or geography.
While our era of constant crisis demands stronger social and political engagement, architecture has been largely characterized during the last decades by a lack of strong positions. As Kenneth Frampton recently highlighted, the emancipatory moment of the modern discourse has made room to a neoliberal indifference, whereas technological modernisation has kept unravelling. But a new tendency seems to stir up this unsatisfying situation. We can increasingly observe attitudes which try to address architecture and urbanism more directly engaged with the social and political development of our relentless urbanized environment. Against the postmodern or post-historic “anything goes”, these attitudes promote a concordance of conceptualization, methodological integration and critical action, interwoven with a renewed interest about the structural formation of spaces. A new social and political influence of our discipline is again claimed, without thrusting aside the aesthetic dimension of architecture. To what extent are these attitudes able to take into account the complexities of the socio-political, economical, ecological and cultural aspects of the production of space? Which architectural and urbanistic approaches might fulfil the postulated social and political ambition?
This book shows a passionate debate between some of the most eloquent protagonists of this new attitude and outstanding theoreticians: Anne-Julchen Bernhardt (BeL Architects), Arno Brandlhuber (brandlhuber+), Gilles Delalex (Studio Muoto), Manuel Gausa (actarquitectura), Rania Ghosn & El Hadi Jazairy (Design Earth), Adrian Lahoud (Royal College of Art), Bart Lootsma (University of Innsbruck), Markus Miessen (Studio Miessen), Can Onaner, Laurent Stalder (ETH Zurich), Peter Swinnen (CRIT), Pelin Tan, Milica Topalovic (ETH Zurich), Stephan Trüby (TU Munich), Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow), Paola Viganò (Studio).