2015 - Non-Places

Project i6
Dozenten > PROF. LINN SONG

The French anthropologist/sociologist Marc Augé differentiates between „place," embedded with histories, monuments and creative social life and „non-places," to which many people are tied to in a geographical nature, but where histories are fleeting and social life is not possible. In his book Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Augé elaborates on the idea of non-places such as airports, highway rest stops, supermarkets, and shopping malls, etc. as spaces in which we spend more and more of our time (in transit), but are essentially in solitude. Time and space are continually „transitional."


Others such as Christian Norberg-Schulz wrote about the „Genius Loci" of places or Michel de Certeau, who in The Practices of Everyday Life examined how the physical environment provided an essential framework in which rituals take place and thus allow for histories, monuments and cultures to become embedded.


In this semester project, we will begin by attempting to understand/analyze „non-places" as well as critically examine and question the spectacle of „non-places" that are being designed by some of the most renowned architects/designers (such as the new Airport in Mexico City by Foster & Partners – or any number of other airports and rail stations, etc.). We will proceed by examining possible processes of „place-making" and you will use the metro/subway station as a vehicle for positioning yourselves relative to our theme of „non-places." Despite the banality of this one-function space, the metro/subway station offers you some of the most complex requirements and dependencies that you will have to address in your designs. Thus, simultaneously with the sociological/anthropological aspects that we are focusing on, you will of course have the opportunity to refine your practical design skills / concept development in the areas of e.g., lighting (natural and artifical), materials, orientation systems, graphics, furnishings, etc.


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