LOEWE Focus Architekturen des Ordnens (Architectures of Order)

(1 January 2020 - 31 December 2023)

Architectures of orders refers to the importance of order techniques in architectural practices and focuses on the relevance of architectural thought for social discourses on order. It is common nowadays to speak of ‘media’ or ‘computer architecture’, of the ‘architecture of European foreign policy’, of philosophical ‘edifices of thought’, of large companies’ ‘corporate architecture’, or even of security architecture. Recent examples such as the internationally discussed (re)construction of Frankfurt’s old town also bear witness to the extent to which both socio-political concepts of order and historical narratives are identified with architectural visual and spatial planning. Thus the current concept of ‘architecture’ is not only very broad; architecture nowadays functions as a key locus of social self-description: building projects, both planned and completed, give rise to controversial debates about the significance of architecture as a discursive-spatial dispositif of order.

The LOEWE focus takes this context into account by understanding architecture as a cultural ordering practice that operates at the interfaces of control, knowledge, design and subjectivation. It seeks to investigate the creation of orders through architecture, to analyse the significance of architecture for non-architectural order narratives, and finally to explore the interaction between these two spheres.

The complexity of the chosen approach requires the combined expertise of architectural historians, historians, sociologists, scholars from cultural and media studies and design theory, as well as the integration of architectural design and media practitioners. This is achieved by close cooperation with non-university research institutions, such as the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History and the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), and by bringing researchers from the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and the Technische Universität Darmstadt together with architects and design professors

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