Embodiment of a Hyper context

Betreuerin: Arch. DI. Kathrin Aste,
Akademie der Bildenden Künst Wien, Institut für Künst und Architektur

Architecture – like art- requires an approach akin to experimental research. Following Albert Einstein who said that ‘’ Imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited‘’, our studio understands research in architecture as the creation of knowledge through the imagination.

Ever since the Academy of Fine arts was established in the 17th century it was a place where interdisciplinary research could blossom. It was a place that both perpetuated and gave discipline to the ability of imagination. As one research unit confronting the overarching semester theme, Architecture of Learning - Learning Architectures, our studio will explore the educational landscape of the academy, designing within the hyper context of a centuries – old institution, the history of its building, its institutes, its protagonists and their teaching ideologies.

We ask to which extent such a specific environment has influenced and continuous to influence the positions and perspectives of generations of architects and artists. We will barricade ourselves into the premises of the Academy until we have uncovered and disclosed the secrets of this place.

Exemplary for one of these hidden places, is the old dissecting theater on the lower ground floor, a completely preserved ‘’ Theatrum Anatomicum’’ Less prestigious but equally important is the life drawing room positioned on the opposite corner of the same level. In so doing, the architect of the Academy, Theophil Hansen, placed the study of life and death in opposition to each other thus creating an inner tension within the foundations of the school. Already in the days of Leonardo Da Vinci anatomical representations were an important part of the academic discourse, illustrating the human quest to understand the functioning and symbiosis of different parts of the body and their movements. At the academy, both spaces bear witness to the extension of such a quest into the artistic realm. They are testimony to the study of the body and emphasize the importance of the study of the relationship between internal structure and external form.

It is the aim of the studio to study and portray such intersections between different fields of knowledge, to analyze the complex interplay between disciplines, between art, sciences and architecture, taking the spaces of the Academy as the starting point.

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Institution: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Semester: Winter 2015
Titel der Arbeit: Embodiment of a Hyper context
BetreuerIn: Kathrin Aste, Lois Hehenberger

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