Exploring the Effects of Architecture
György Kepes – The New Landscape in Art (1956). X-ray Diffraction Pattern of Beryl.
6:00 pm

Lecture evening

Exploring the Effects of Architecture

Three speakers and a moderated discussion will address the question “How does architecture actually work?“.  HANNAH LE ROUX (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), KENNY CUPERS (University of Basel) and Daniel M. Abramson, Pamela Karimi, Laila Seewang and Meredith TenHoor for the AGGREGATE ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY COLLABORATIVE will present their perspectives on the ordering power of built architecture. The evening thus invites us to adopt a point of view in which architectural practitioners fade out and architectural users fade in.

Kenny Cuper’s talk questions the extent to which disciplinary understandings of the effects of architecture can be decoupled from questions of intentionality, or the conviction that a specific outcome can be designed. Focusing on imperial Germany, his talk traces how the social engineering ambitions of modern architecture emerged from a context in which living landscapes were objectified and recognized as a limited planetary resource.

Hannah Le Roux’ talk tests Shearing theory against models in African cities which experience different trajectories of change, sometimes more subtractive than additive. Shearing layers (Duffy, 1992 and Brand, 1994) is a term referring to the multiple layers of materials in buildings that have different temporal lifespans. It relates to strength and embodied energy where the shell or structure endure well beyond the skin, services and stuff. It remains a useful way to understand the persistence of structure as a part of the process of transformation (t)here as well, as an adjunct to social choreography which accompanies the process of appropriation.

Daniel M. Abramson, Pamela Karimi, Laila Seewang and Meredith TenHoor will represent the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, and will discuss four interlocking research agendas that have coalesced around Aggregate projects. In each, they will highlight methods and approaches to thinking about architectural effects via the lenses of agency, subjectivity, knowledge and bodily life.


The public lecture evening marks the prelude to the AO internal workshop Exploring the Effects of Architecture and was organized by Leonie Plänkers, Nina Gribat, Pietro Cesari, and Sina Brückner-Amin. The lectures and discussion will be held in English.

A recording of the Lecture Evening is available on vimeo.com.