Elective at semester(s) 6, 8, ECTS: 3
The students get familiar with a historical architectural paradigm of both practice and theory. Their investigation aims at understanding critically the influence and the relevance of the case study in nowadays social and architectural context. Analysis works in three levels: 1) the conditions under which the architectural work has been materialized in space, 2) the impact it has left in architectural thinking, 3) the ways it has determined (or still determines) the living conditions in everyday life. For a more profound understanding of a historical case study as a lived environment, apart from architectural material, philosophical texts, works of popular art, works and theories of emotions will be discussed.
The Great Number
The focus of the course will be the term ‘the greater number’ as it culminated within the framework (program, theoretical and built work) of Team X during the ‘50s and ‘60s, in reference to large scale housing programs for ‘the greater number’. The period corresponds to the creation of the postwar European welfare state, to the process of decolonization of the ‘Third World’ and to the emergence of what we call ‘mass consumption’ and ‘consumerist society’.
Mass and History
Drawing connections between the work and the biographies of the protagonists, the term ‘the great number’ will be linked with the theory ‘Mass and History’, developed during the same years by the philosopher Kostas Papaïoannou (born in Volos, Greece). His theory which we consider very relevant today, in the context of the ongoing global crisis, concentrates on the importance of the symbolic (via art) and participative (via extensive social participation) application of social justice for the transcendence of fear and dire social experiences within memory and not oblivion so that societies are able to create a better and more just future.
Popular art: symbolic expressions of social experiences
We will return to the neighborhoods and suburbs of the cities, the everyday spaces of the ‘great number’ in order to trace social experiences via popular song making. Complementary to the preceding two steps in analysis (architecture and philosophy) the students are asked to work on various examples of popular songs, older (Mediterranean music etc) or contemporary (hip hop). These songs are considered as open media in a process of sharing and transferring (in space) and a process of healing (in memory) of unbearable social experiences such as forced migration, poverty, inequality, social marginalization.
Σεβντάς/ Sevdah/ Saudade: Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a rather misinterpreted but widely recited poetically/musically as ‘σεβντάς’ or ‘saudade’, bittersweet universal emotion. According to recent cross disciplinary (sociology, psychology, political science) research, nostalgia seems to be an emotional mechanism that can generate connections between the past and the future by activating empathy and social connectedness as antidotes for loneliness and alienation. It seems to be a fundamental emotion for human experience which permits people to make sense of hardships and difficulties and thus restore meaningfulness, memory, history and finally, optimism for the future.
Arendt, H. (2006), Between Past and Future, New York: Penguin.
Candilis G., (2012), Bâtir la vie : un architecte témoin de son temps, Gollion : Infolio.
De Sousa Santos, B. (1999), Reinventar la democracia. Reinventar el Estado. Madrid: Sequitur, 1999.
Horkheimer, M. & Adorno, T.W., Dialectic of Enlightment: Philosophical Fragments, Schmid Noerr, G. (ed.), trans. by Jephcott E., Stanford California: Stanford University Press.
Jones, O. (2012), Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, London/New York: Verso.
Kundera, M. (2003), Ignorance, New York: Harper Collins.
Lévi-Strauss C. (2008), Saudades do Brasil, Paris: Plon.
Nicolin P. (2008), Beyond the Failure: Notes on the XIVth Triennale, LOG Vol.13/14, 87-100.
Papaïoannou, Κ. (2011), Μάζα και Ιστορία, Athens: Enallaktikes Ekdoseis (in Greek).
Papaïoannou, Κ.(1993), L’art Grecque, Ducat, J., Bousquet, J., Touchais, G. (eds.), Paris: Citadelles et Mazenod.
Santos, Boaventura de Sousa Santos (1999), Reinventar la democracia. Reinventar el Estado. Madrid: Sequitur, 1999.
Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Arndt, J.and Routledge, C.(2008), Nostalgia: past, present, and future,Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, (5), 304-307, doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00595.x
Smithson A. (ed.) (1968), Team 10 primer, London: Studio Vista.
Stanek, L.(ed.) (2014), Team 10 East: Revisionist Architecture in Real Existing Modernism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Swenarton, M., Avermaete,T., Den Heuvel, D. (eds) (2014), Architecure and the Welfare State, Oxon and New York : Routledge.
Tello R. (ed.) (2016), Jean-Pierre Garnier, un sociólogo urbano a contracorriente, Barcelona: Icaria.
Research/ Archives online