40 616 Body and Space Morphologies: Catharsis


Passed foundation level (bachelor in architecture).

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

The autumn 2015 elective course on "ARCHITECTURE AND FILM; MORPHOLOGY OF BODY AND SPACE #X"

Course content

Body and Space Morphologies is a research based teaching program that offers a new master studio in architectural design. The studio derives from the already established Body and Space Morphologies elective course series on Architecture and Film and strives for a creative open and individual driven new architectural content with a clear focus on architectural space and body and how this architecture understood as morphology relates to nature/culture/society.

The course will investigate in autonomous architectural phenomena and conditions, create awareness for how we as individuals and as a group of individuals relate to architectural space and body, and try to find a meaningless meaningful closeness in that relationship.

The semester starts by reflecting the past and current times with their socio cultural changes as well as various artistic practices and tries to identify and discuss changes that had determent our reading of architectural space and body as instrument to influence our way of living. We will be critical to ideas, work on primary architectural properties, make discoveries and develop them into distinct architectural interests toward a new nature, culture, and architecture.

CATHARSIS (spring 2016).
Students are to develop their own personal programs in relation to a social construct, a built autonomous construct and a desired connection to nature/environment. The topic for the first Body and Space Morphologies studio course is CATHARSIS; an inspiration to “release The New Collective as a relief from strong or repressed emotions”. How to free a desire driven emotive new collective, or how to conceive architecture in response to such a collective, is the task for this semester. The studio will work on the subthemes of “expression, language and the inexpressible”.

Lectures (critical readings) on the textual works of: Goody & Watt and Olson (on the concepts of literacy); Lyotard (on postmodern production/governing of knowledge and the problem of legitimization); Benjamin et.al. (on reproduction of art and the concept of copy); Merleau-Ponty (on the problem of the body); Scarry (on pain and the inexpressible); Dind (on the moved body and the problem of language).

Literature list is available online. Additional literature (not contained in the list) are novels and essays from Barthes (Empire of Signs), Hustvedt (What I loved), Zeh (Spieltrieb), Sonntag (regarding the pain of others), Deligny (Maps and Wander Lines) and Berger (why looking at animals) etc.

Learning outcomes

Increased knowledge/skills in: Advanced, experimental architectural design, process preparation/adaption, development of own working method and critical reflection on the basis of own visual material. The studio reviews contemporary art and architecture theory, literature and philosophy, stressing architectural programming and the development of a precise visual and written argumentation towards an architecture.

The course is concentrated on physical model-works and offers a tight studio environment with three weekly lectures/film screenings on relevant projects, ideas and theories in art and architecture, literature and philosophy. It conducts four public reviews before the final crit, one field-trip/workshop in Lista (Norway) and a study-trip to Japan.

The students learn how to discover, retrieve and nourish architectural ideas from an immediate and impulsive reaction (models) to a self-employed awareness of social needs and wants, and to further their architectural discoveries into spatial constructions, drawings film/photography and textual works towards an architecture, nature, culture.

Working and learning activities

Introduction to the task - lectures and discussions.
Study-trip and one workshop.

Professor in charge

Rolf Gerstlauer


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Annen vurderingsform, definer i kommentarfelt Pass / Fail

Individuell oppgaveløsning 20 uke(r) semester task/challenge
Eksamen 4 uke(r) 3 mandatory reviews (everybody attends), 1 individual review and the final review with the external sensor.
Skriftlige oppgaver 3 program texts and a final text one text for each of the reviews (complementary to the physical models, drawings, sketches, videos etc)
Forelesninger 90 minutter 90 minutes lectures each Wednesday at 10:00 and Friday at 13:00. Additional lectures may be held on Thursdays at 10:00.
Individuell veiledning 2 dager Thursday after lunch and Friday morning are reserved for individual tabletalks.
Workshops 2 x 3 dager one workshop on drawing and one workshop on "vodling" (doodling with video)

Reading lists / teaching materials

Recommended reading (not mandatory)

Abraham, Anders (2009). A new nature: 9 architectural conditions between liquid and solid. Copenhagen, DK: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture Publishers.

Arendt, Hannah (1998). The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Arendt, Hannah (1970). On Violence. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Barthes, Roland, & Heath, Stephen (1977). Image, music, text. London, UK: Fontana Press.

Barthes, Roland (1984). Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. London, UK: Fontana Paperbacks.

Benjamin, Walter (2006). On Hashish. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press / Harvard University Press.

Benjamin, Walter (2008). The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press / Harvard University Press.

Benjamin, Walter (2007). Walter Benjamin’s archive: Images, texts and Signs. Brooklyn, NY: Verso Books.

Berger, John (1992). About Looking. London, UK: Vintage.

Berger, John (1972). Why Look at Animals? London, UK: Penguin Books.

Berger, John; with Dibb, Mike; Blomberg, Sven; Fox, Chris and Hollis, Richard (1972). Ways of Seeing. London, UK: Penguin Books.

Deleuze, Gilles (2003). Francis Bacon: the logic of sensation. London, UK: Continuum.

Derrida, Jacques (1987). The truth in painting. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Flusser, Vilém (2000). Towards a Philosophy of Photography. London, UK: Reaktion Books.

Frampton, Kenneth (2002). Labour, work and architecture: collected essays on architecture and design. London, UK: Phaidon.

Godard, Jean-Luc, & Ishaghpour, Youssef (2005). How video made the history of cinema possible. In: Cinema: the archeology of film and the memory of a century. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing.

Hejduk, John (1995). Architectures in Love. Sketchbook Notes. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

Kittler, Friedrich (2009). Optical Media. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Kittler, Friedrich & others (2000). ReMembering the Body: Body and Movement in the 20th Century. Ostfildern, DE: Hatje Cantz Publishers

Koestler, Arthur (1973). The Roots Of Coincidence. An Excursion Into Parapsychology. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Koestler, Arthur (1990). The Act of Creation, a Study of the Conscious and Unconscious in Science and Art. London, UK: Penguin Books.

Koestler, Arthur (1968). The Ghost In The Machine: The Urge To Self-Destruction: A Psychological And Evolutionary Study Of Modern Man's Predicament. London, UK: Macmillan Publishers.

Kracauer, Siegfried (1997). Theory of Film: the Redemption of Physical Reality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (2012). Phenomenology of Perception. New York, NY: Routledge.

Mumford, Lewis (1972). The transformations of man. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Kolhaas, Rem & Obrist, Hans Ulrich (2011). Project Japan: Metabolism Talks. Köln, DE: Taschen.

Richter, Gerhard, & Friedel, H. (2006). Gerhard Richter: Atlas. London, UK: Thames & Hudson.

Krauss, Rosalind & Bois, Yve Alain (1997), Formless: A User’s guide. New York, NY: Zone Books.

Scarry, Elaine (1987). The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Serres, Michel (2011). Malfeance: appropriation through pollution. Redwood, CA: Stanford University Press

Skinner, Burrhus Frederic (2005). Walden Two. Indianapolis, IN: Hacket Pub Co.

Sontag, Susan (2003). Regarding the Pain of Others. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Sontag, Susan (1979). On Photography. London, UK: Penguin.

Stein, Edith (1989). On the Problem of Empathy. Washington, DC: ICS Publications.

Stein, Edith (2009). Potency and Act, studies toward a philosophy of being. Washington, DC: ICS Publications.

Stein, Edith (2002). Finite and Eternal Being: an Attempt at an Ascent to the Meaning of Being. Washington, DC: ICS Publications.

Vesely, Dalibor (2004). Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation. The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Viola, Bill (1995). Reasons for knocking at an empty house: writings 1973- 1994. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.



Preliminary. Will be modified before semester start.