Protocol NO.11 Magazin für Architektur im Kontext

Open Call


One of the consequenc es of our purely analytical and intellectual approach to Education has been the habit of teaching the visual arts by historical and critical Methods of appreciation and information inst ead of by participation in the processes and techniques of making th ings. Esthetic conn oisseurship has gene rally displaced a creative conception of art. Here, then, we find the very reason for the timid attitude so often shown when the architectural char acter of new college buildings has to be decided upon. We seem to have forgotte n that there is an opportunity to make architectural history for ourselves and to have buildings design ed in unmistakable terms of our own period.[1] In fact, the activities of writing and drawing constitute one of the most critical steps in epistemic processes: the step from (potenti ally) ambiguous data to stable facts, and from provisional ideas to guiding concepts. They “circumscribe a space, and at the same time are inscribed into a space that lies between the materialities of the experimental systems and the spirituality of the final wr itten communications that are eventually, at a later date, released to the scientific community”the scientific community”.[2] The grid also allowed for the abstraction and standardization critical for the development (and assimilation) of cast iron construction in architecture. Out of Durand were born the forms of the arcades, exhibition halls , and railway stations of the mid-century as well as the public monuments of a hegemonic bourgeoisie.[3]
... why it is important to be critical about visual images, and why it is important to re ̄ect on that critique. (...) By ‚critical‘ I mean an approach that thinks about the visual in terms of the cultural significan ce, social practices and power relations in which it is embedded; and that means the inking about the power relations that produce, are articulated through, and can be challenged by, ways of seeing and imaging.[4] But by patiently searching for facts and pa tterns and calmly analyzing the economic, social, and political mechanis ms that might explain them, it can inform democratic debate and focus attention on the right questions. It can help to redefine the terms of debate, unmask certain preconceived or fra udulent notions, and subject all positions to constant critical scrutiny.[5] One challenge for design criticism is to clarify and promote new rules and expectations for viewing speculative design objects in non commercial settings such as museums and galleries as props designed to trigger social imagining and critical reflection on alternative possibilities for our technologically mediated lives.[6] Although Semper’s theory regarding the textil e origin of the wall has it roots in historicism and has been misunderstood and cr iticised by many representatives of the modern theory of material authenticity, it st ill influenced the aesthetics of masonry in the 20th century.[7]
Lacking elements in student presentations, then, make critics unsure of how to envisage and assess the suggested sp aces—the unproblematic fusion of representation and referent is hindered by the opacity of the presentation. Opacities in the presentation prompt topicalizations of the representati onal function of the presentation itself, and the visualizat ion practices of which it is part.[9] In recent years much contemporary cr itical theory has been appropriated by architectural theorists. At the same time, a number ofleading critical theorists have focused on architecture. But in spite of t he growing reciprocity in the exchange of ideas, the issue of sexualit y remains a glaring absence.[10] The wisest urban entrepreneurs will ask a question already posed by some of the earliest critics of the zone: Why create an enclave? Despite the infrastructure conditions that existed at the advent of the zone, and despite its antecedents in fenced compounds, how does incentivized urbanism benefit from being physically segregated from the urban space of existing cities?[11]
The opening of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg in 1999 was one of the first occasions when architectural cr itics commented on the theme. Although Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg have been official European capitals since 1992, and even though the European organi zations have directly affected the built environment, architectural and urban form, culture, and cultural innovation so far remain under national, regional and local control. The absence of a clear European identity and authority further amplifies this situation. Despite the national interest in capital city design, there has been no EU -wide public debate on the design of the current headquarters of the EU in Brusse ls, Strasbourg, or Luxembourg. [12] \----------- [1] - Gropius, “Scope of Total Architecture.” [2] - Hoffmann and Wittmann, “Introduction : Knowledge in the Making : Drawing and W riting as Research Techniques.” [3] - Vidler, “The Idea of Type: The Transformation of the Academis Ideal, 1750-1830.” [4] – Rose, “Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials.” [5] – Piketty, “From the Introduction to Capital in the Twenty-First Century , by Thomas Piketty.” [6] – Dunne and Raby, “Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming.” [7] – Lewandowski, “Constructing Architecture Materials Processes Structures A H andbook.” [8] – Lymer, “The W ork of Critique in Architectural Education.” [9] – Colomina et al., “Sexuality & Space.” [11] – Easterling, “EXTRASTATE CRAFT: The Power of Infrastructure Space.” [12] – Hein, “The Capital of E urope: Architecture and Urban Planning for the E uropean Union.” [13] – Avanessian, “OVERWRITE : Ethics of Knowledge - Poetics of Existence.”

De Am Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort ward kritisiert. Kritik erfordert Haltung einzunehmen. Welchen Bewertungsrahmen setzen wir? Wer kritisiert wen? Positioniert euch zu Lehre, Praxis und Diskurs der Architektur, ganz leise oder als Aufschrei! Schickt uns eure Vorschläge oder Projekte bis 11. August

Das Protocol Team

En In the beginning was the word, and the word was critique. To critique is to adopt a disposition. Which fra- meworks of critique sh- ould we propose? Who criticises whom? We invite you to take a stance on critique in architectural discourse, practice, and education. Whether it is stoic or brash! Send us your submissions or projects by August 11th.

The Protocol Team


Protocol Magazine is an interdisciplinary and independent platform for discourse around architecture in context. Protocol Magazine is interested in gathering together the widest possible variety of contributions, from a variety of disciplines. We welcome the contribution of essays, illustrations, designs, protocols, comic strips and poems. We encourage minor, but meaningful contributions in the form of a few lines of text, a small drawing or a single photo.
The “Topic” defines the centre of interest, free for interpretation.

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  • Proposed contributions will be evaluated based on a proposed title, an abstract (maximum 500-words) and a short bio (maximum 150 words). Contributions should be written in English or German. Contributors whose work is selected for publication will be informed and will then start collaborating with Protocols editorial team in order to complete the preparation of the issue. Please write us an email, in case something doesn't work with the upload system.

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