Throughout the history of philosophy, architecture has been widely referred to as a metaphor for conscious action and logical construction. For Aristotle the work of the master builder served as a metaphor for his philosophy of action, while Nietzsche used the metaphor of a “shaking tower of concepts” to visualize and make more comprehensible the precarious state of metaphysics. Yet architecture means much more to philosophy and critical thought than what the explanatory use of architectural imagery evokes. It was Kant who went beyond metaphor by claiming “architectonics is the art of systems”. As such, architecture is not only a cultural practice based on knowledge but moreover a cultural practice that serves the production of philosophical knowledge.
This course focuses on the double bind of architecture as a material practice and an agent of knowledge production. We will discuss the importance of architecture in the formation of thought. It will draw attention to architecture as a cultural practice between intellectual reason and sensual reason. It was Nietzsche who already emphasized the close interrelation between philosophy and architecture and insisted on the philosopher’s need for appropriate spaces for thinking.He held that after the death of God “we need some recognition of what above all is lacking in our big cities: quiet and wide, expansive places for reflection. Places with long, high-ceilinged cloisters for bad or all too sunny weather”.
The the course will raise the consciousness for the fact that it is through architecture that the sensual and the cognitive are bound together. As much as it is a material and spatial practice, architecture is an intellectual practice enabling man to experience aspects of our world that are usually disconnected: intellectual reason and sensory reason. How do these “places for reflection” look like, and moreover what do we expect these spaces to look like today in the information age.