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Datum | 24.11.2008, 19.00 h
Ort | Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Hauptgebäude, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Wien, IKA Vortragssaal R211a, 2.OG

Vortrag von Peter Trummer, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe “We built this city” am Institut für Kunst und Architektur Wintersemester 2008/09.

 

Projected Neighborhood Model, Associative Design – Urban Ecologies, Phoenix Arizona; Second-Year Research Program directed by Peter Trummer; Project by Mika Watanabe & Lin Chia-Ying, the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. (Foto: Peter Tijhuis)

 

Within the lecture, Peter Trummer will present the research he has developed over the last 5 years on the development of architectural knowledge in the field of associative design techniques within the domain of urbanism. The lecture is based on the hypothesis of Felix Guattaries "three ecologies" and will present mainly the research project on Phoenix Arizona.

Today we live in what Michel Foucault defined as the bio-politics or bio-power era. (1) 'Life and living being are at the heart of new political battles and economic strategies.'(2) For Foucault the concept of bio-politics is a problem of what he calls Govermentality (3), the totality of institutions and practices that affect the behaviors of our populations within their territories. What is new, in what Foucault presented in his lectures at the Collège de France, is that for the first time in our history, life as a species and its productive requirements have moved into the heart of political struggle. Sustainability is one of them.

What it means to think in terms of populations and what effect it can have on the practice of architecture and urbanism is what I would like to unfold in this lecture.

In his book The Three Ecologies (4), written in 1989, Felix Guattari sketches a scenario of the earth driven by the forces of, what he called in the late eighties, Integrated World Capitalism (IWC) or what is now known as globalisation. Beside the tremendous impact on our environment, 'domestic life is being poisoned by the gangrene of mass media consumption; family and married life are frequently 'ossified' by sort of standardisation of behaviour; and neighbourhood relations are generally reduced to their meanest expression … It is the relationship between subjectivity and exteriority - be it social, animal, vegetable or cosmic - that is compromised in this way, in a sort of general movement of implosion and regressive infantalization.'(5) He sees that our political groups and executive authorities are incapable of giving answers to the homogenisation of our daily life. He formulated an ethic-political alternative what he calls 'ecosophy', an ethico-aesthetic aegis between the three ecological registers: social ecology, mental ecology and environmental ecology.

Having this thesis in mind, that we cannot separate culture from nature, I have moved my focus of research in the last couple of years on the edge of the city.  There where the city is growing and where the instruments of planning become directly applied on the raw landscape. After Madrid and the Jiangnan River Delta in China, I went to Phoenix Arizona in the States (6). The reason to choose these cities was based on their particular regimes by which they extend their cities and their specificity of their natural ecology.

In Phoenix the two conditions, the culture of planning and the governing of planning are of extra ordinary specificity. On the one side there is the regime of planning determined by the culture of subdivision and the other there is the natural beauty and harshness of the desert ecology.

Peter Trummer is an architect and researcher based in Amsterdam. He is Head of the Associative Design Research Program at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam and writes his PHD on "population thinking in architecture". He received his Master Degree at the Technical University in Graz by Guenther Domenig and finished his postgraduate Study and the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam in 1997. He is a former project architect at UN Studio, cofounded Offshore Architects before establishing his own practice in 2004. In 2007 he was Guest Professor at the Technical University in München, Germany. He lectures, teaches and is invited as a critic internationally, including at the Berlage Institute, the AA in London, the University for Applied Art in Vienna, the UCLA & Sci-Arc in Los Angeles and at Rice University in Houston. Recently he has published Essays in AD, Arch + and Volume.

Footnotes:

1.) Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, Palgave MacMillan (New York), 2007, first published by Editions du Seuil/Gallimard 20042.) Maurizio Lazzarato, From Biopower to Biopolitics, http://www.generation-online.org/c/fcbiopolitics.htm3.) Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, Palgave MacMillan (New York), 2007, first published by Editions du Seuil/Gallimard 20044.) Felix Guattari, The Three Ecologies, Continuum (New York) and The Athlone Press (London), 2000, first published in France in 1989 by Editions Galilée.5.) Felix Guattari, The Three Ecologies, Continuum (New York) and The Athlone Press (London), 2000, first published in France in 1989 by Editions Galilée.6.) see the second-year research programme by Peter Trummer, Research Report Nr.14, Associative Design - Urban Ecologies, Phoenix Arizona, Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 2007/2008.

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WE BUILT THIS CITY…

Architects build Cities, how?
Can we reduce the city as simply a collection of buildings, or do we need to distinguish between architecture and urbanism?
How can we ignore one if we are conceiving the other?
Is the city a system of buildings or is it a complex system, which allows for buildings to be arranged in an orderly or chaotic manner?
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Some cities are more expensive t han others, why? | Some cities are easier to get around, why?
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Some cities are dormitories, why?
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Some cities are grounds for experiments, why?
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Some cities are…

The lecture series 08/09 will explore the question of urbanity, and what makes the city of the 21st century a ground for another urbanism: We will debate the future possibilities of the metropolis. If Manhattan was the model of a retroactive manifesto, what could be the future of our urban living? And who is to build it?


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