Ecocriticism: Architecture in (climate) crisis

Seminar Architectural Criticism (052-0815-22)
Organizer: Chair of Prof. Stalder
Lecturers: Antje Stahl
Time: Fridays, 11:45-13:30
Location: HCP E 47.1

Today, not only architects need to (re-)consider what sustainable design actually means and looks like. The new ecological imperative also forces architecture criticism to develop new criteria in order to understand the fragile relationship between buildings and the environment. Planet Earth is on fire – and architecture critics need to identify and hold those accountable who destroy and pollute our habitats.

In the end, architecture doesn’t simply show a pretty or ugly facade-face. Architecture is produces under very specific economic conditions, socio-political and racial power relations: Materials are mined, retracted and dismantled in large quantities, workers come from all over the world. Many of us might suspect that, in this way, countless crimes were (and are) committed. But hardly anyone takes the time to systematically uncover them. In the seminar “Ecocriticism: Architecture in (climate) crisis” we therefore want to develop approaches that have the power to change that.

In collaboration with The Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment of the New York Museum of Modern Art, a comprehensive reader was compiled. It locates ecocriticism in the history of architecture and conveys theoretical foundations. In addition, well-known journalists will introduce investigative research skills. Ultimately, participants of this seminar are asked to write their own reviews of selected buildings during the course of the semester – and last but not least to publish them ideally.


Antje Stahl