Un/weaving a Rainbow - Generative and analytic diagrams in architectural design

Seminar 4SWS/6ECTS IAAD/Dipl.A/Master.A

In the poem Lamia, John Keats charges that “Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine ­ Unweave a rainbow.” This seminar will discuss whether reason really is going to unravel a rainbow or perhaps create new ones. The focus will be on the diagram both as a generative device for design and an analytic tool for interpretation. Students will be asked to examine a number of architectural examples from the twentieth and twenty-first century in light of various design methods and also to produce new designs with the help of such methods, ranging from quadrature to animate form, from surrealism to parametricism and beyond. In this context, the design tools will also be applied in reverse as methods of interpreting architectural form, with particular emphasis on the role of the author and the issue of over-interpretation.

There will be a short reading list with texts provided by the instructor. In addition to participating in discussions based on the readings, each student will be expected to turn in an analysis and a creative application of at least one design method, with a critical evaluation of the potential and the limits of the approach.


Vertretungsprofessor 2007-2010
Professor für Architekturtheorie an der TU Wien