The elective will examine contributions made to architectural practice and thought by protagonists from outside the formal profession of architecture.
These range from the Gentlemen Architects of the 18th century to buildings designed by contemporary artists, the vaguely „architecture parlante“ structures first celebrated by Robert Venturi and many others.
We will focus on the construction of personal utopias and examine their social, geographic, political and historic context. Many of the examples that spring to mind are comical, many have elements of the grotesque, many have stage-like qualities of surreality. And yet, contributions to architecture from outside the established realm of the profession have often had a profound impact on both theory and practice, unhampered as they are by preconceived notions of „proper“ methodology and aesthetic language.
We will investigate examples of particular import and analyze their influence on the built environment and on current discourse.
Students will prepare individual case studies and present these in a series of lectures. At the end of the elective, graphic results will be presented at a small public exhibition at an art venue in Berlin.