Philosophy for Architects

Lecture ❚❚❚❚❚ History and Theory of Architecture IX (063-0807-23)
Organizer: Institute gta
Lecturers: ❚❚❚❚❚ Michael Gnehm
Time: Autumn 2023 | Fridays 11:45–12:30
Location: HIL E 3

❚❚❚❚❚ This lecture course offers discussions on the presence of philosophical issues in the current discourse of architecture and provides tools for a critical assessment, and practical application, of arguments at the intersection of philosophy and architecture.
❚❚❚❚❚ Philosopher Sylviane AGACINSKI raised the issue in the mid-1980s whether philosophical concepts such as that of inwardness were not unthinkable before the spatially effective activity of architecture, just as the tomb cannot be separated from the idea of a soul. Other thinkers held that philosophy is groundwork per se, that is, a precondition also for the “fundaments” of architecture. A third branch tried to cope generally with the presence of architectural metaphors in philosophical writings.
❚❚❚❚❚ The lecture course discusses architectural topics around this kind of semiotic triangle in theory and practice with reference to (phenomenological) Presence & Absence, (digital and linguistic) Codes, the Subconscious, (female) Chora, and the (colonizing) Anthropocene along the lines of writers such as Homi BHABHA, Ethel CHARLES, Hélène CIXOUS, Jacques DERRIDA, Elizabeth GROSZ, Donna HARAWAY, bell HOOKS, Luce IRIGARAY, Julia KRISTEVA, Henri LEFEBVRE, Achille MBEMBE, Legacy RUSSELL, Isabelle STENGERS, and Victoria WELBY, together with their presence, or absence, in the current discourse on architecture.

Course Catalogue
❚❚❚❚❚ 22 Sept 
❚❚❚❚❚ 29 Sept  | Phenomenology
❚❚❚❚❚ 6 Oct  | Architecture & Language
❚❚❚❚❚ 13 Oct  | Digitality & Writing
❚❚❚❚❚ 20 Oct  | Architecture’s Psyche
❚❚❚❚❚ 3 Nov  | Phantom Limbs
❚❚❚❚❚ 10 Nov  | Models
❚❚❚❚❚ 17 Nov  | Epistemic Change
❚❚❚❚❚ 24 Nov  | Beasts & Buildings
❚❚❚❚❚ 1 Dec | Horizons of Time
❚❚❚❚❚ 8 Dec

❚❚❚❚❚ on ANIMALS
Heller-Roazen, Daniel , “The Lesser Animal”, in Echolalias. On the Forgetting of Language, New York: Zone Books, 2005: 129–47.
❚❚❚❚❚ on the ANTHROPOCENE
Clarke, Peter B. , ed., Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, London and New York: Routledge, 2006: 223–5 (Michael York: “Gaia”), 238–42 (Kathryn Rountree: “Goddess Feminists”, “Goddess Movement”).
Coccia, Emanuele, “Don’t Call Me Gaia”, e-flux, 27 October 2023.
Grosz, Elizabeth, “Time Matters: On Temporality in the Anthropocene”, in Architecture in the Anthropocene. Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, ed. Etienne Turpin, Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press, 2013: 129–38.
Haraway, Donna J. , “Tentacular Thinking. Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene”, in Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016: 30–57.
Stengers, Isabelle, “Matters of Cosmopolitics: On the Provocations of Gaïa”, in Architecture in the Anthropocene. Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, ed. Etienne Turpin, Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press, 2013: 171–82.
Ursprung, Philip, “Vom Haus im Grünen zum grünen Haus”, Republik, 28 November 2020.
Agacinski, Sylviane , “Architecture et philosophie”, Le Cahier (Collège international de philosophie, no. 1 (October 1985): 25-7.
Coleman, Nathaniel , Lefebvre for Architects, London and New York: Routledge, 2015.
Coyne, Richard , Derrida for Architects, London und New York: Routledge, 2011.
Morgan, Diane , Kant for Architects, London and New York: Routledge, 2018.
Moriarty, Marilyn F. , “The Search for Common Ground”, in Critical Architecture and Contemporary Culture, ed. William J. Lillyman, Marilyn F. Moriarty, and David J. Neuman, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994: 3–9.
Norris, Christopher , “Jacques Derrida in Discussion with Christopher Norris”, in Deconstruction. Omnibus Volume, ed. Andreas Papadakis, Catherine Cooke, and Andrew Benjamin, London: Academy Editions, 1989: 71–5.
Rawes, Peg , Irigaray for Architects, London and New York: Routledge, 2007.
❚❚❚❚❚ on CHORA
Bergren, Anne , “Architecture Gender Philosophy”, in Strategies in Architectural Thinking, ed. John Whiteman, Jeffrey Kipnis, and Richard Burdett, Chicago: The Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism; Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992: 8–46.
Derrida, Jacques , “Khōra” [1987/1993], in On the Name, ed. Thomas Dutoit, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995: 87–127.
Grosz, Elizabeth , “Women, Chora, Dwelling”, ANY 1, no. 4 (January/February 1994): 22–7.
Robinson, Claire , “Chora Work”, ANY 1, no. 4 (January/February 1994): 34–7.
Vidler, Anthony , “Nothing to Do with Architecture”, Grey Room 21 (Fall 2005): 112–27.
Feyerabend, Paul K. , “Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge”, in Analysis of Theories and Methods of Physics and Psychology, ed. Michael Radner and Stephen Winokur, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970 (Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science; 4): 17–130, here 17–26 (Preface and Introduction).
Feyerabend, Paul K. , “Two Models of Epistemic Change” [1970], in Problems of Empiricism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981 (Philosophical Papers; 2): 65–79.
Ahmed, Sara , “Orientations: Toward a Queer Phenomenology”, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 12, no. 4 (2006): 543–74.
Allen, Jeffner and Iris Marion Young , eds., The Thinking Muse. Feminism and Modern French Philosophy, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989.
Burns, Karen , “EX LIBRIS: Archaeologies of Feminism, Architecture and Deconstruction”, Architectural Theory Review 15, no. 3, 2010: 242–65.
Burroughs, Brady, ed., Ahmed for Architecture Students, Stockholm: Gullppress, 2019.
Donaghy, Paige and Karin Sellberg , “Feminist Historiography”, in Gender: Time, ed. Karin Sellberg, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2018 (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks): 67–83.
Hay, Carol , ed., Philosophy: Feminism, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2017 (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks).
Rees, Emma , ed., Talking Bodies. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Embodiment, Gender and Identity, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Rogowska-Stangret, Monika , “Material Bodies”, in Gender: Matter, ed. Stacy Alaimo, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2017 (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks): 49–63.
Walker, Lynne , “Women and Architecture” [1989], in Gender Space Architecture. An Interdisciplinary Introduction, ed. Jane Rendell, Barbara Penner, and Iain Borden, London and New York: Routledge, 2000: 244–57.
Critchley, Simon , “The Reader: Derrida Among the Philosophers”, in Derrida and Legal Philosophy, ed. Peter Goodrich, Florian Hoffmann, Michel Rosenfeld, and Cornelia Vismann, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008: 21–32.
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari , What Is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
Gasché, Rodolphe , Geophilosophy. On Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s What Is Philosophy?, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2014.
Montero, Barbara Gail , Philosophy of Mind. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022.
Žižek, Slavoj , ”Taking Deleuze from Behind”, in Organs without Body. On Deleuze and Consequences, 2004 (2012): 41–9.
Abell, John , Freud for Architects, London and New York: Routledge, 2021.
Frank, Manfred , “The ‘True Subject’ and its Double: Jacque Lacan’s Hermeneutics”, in The Subject and the Text. Essays on Literary Theory and Philosophy, ed., with an introduction by Andrew Bowie, trans. from the German by Helen Atkins, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997: 97–122.
Hernández, Felipe , Bhabha for Architects, London and New York: Routledge, 2010.
Reinhard, Wolfgang , “Postkoloniale Intellektuellendiaspora”, in Intellektuelle im Exil, ed. Peter Burschel, Alexander Gallus, and Markus Völkel, Göttingen: Wallstein, 2011: 89–112.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty , “Marginality in the Teaching Machine”, in Outside in the Teaching Machine, New York and London: Routledge, 1993 (2009): 58–85.


Michael Gnehm