Tuesday, 26 January 2010

From Gesamtkunstwerk to Complexity – Architecture in All Scales

Dear colleagues,

You are kindly invited to join an international seminar in Tampere, Finland on 22 – 24.4.2010. The seminar is part of the annual seminar series of the Nordic Association of Architectural Research, this time organized by the Tampere University of Technology/ School of Architecture.

The theme is:From Gesamtkunstwerk to Complexity – Architecture in All Scales

In the Gesamtkunstwerk idea all arts were combined to create a total environment – is the same now discussed under the concept of complexity? If complexity is a unifying theory for different sciences, can it also be understood as a new synthesis of arts?

What is complexity in architecture? It has been said that there are three kinds of complexity: 1) visual, as the term was used in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, 2) cybernetic, referring to machines, and 3) biological, meaning the complexity of nature and its applications in algorithms. This may be a valid categorization – but what else?

1. History & theory

Art, science and technology as the model for architecture – then and now? Concepts come and go, but some are more durable than others. Gesamtkunstwerk seems to be one of them, resurfacing whenever there is a need for a comprehensive multifaceted outlook. Is such an outlook needed today? What was Gesamtkunstwerk originally?

2. Morphology

How does the understanding of complexity change our approach to urban form? Morphological transformations are multi-scalar - what is the linkage between the transformations in urban form and in architecture? What is the current design challenge of cities?

3. Ethics

If the environment is characterized by complexity, is it ethical to create idyllic enclaves of presumed safety? Is there a place for ethics in architecture? If not, what is in the center of architecture? Has humanity been cast aside?

4. Planning and design processes & methods

What is the relationship between reality and virtual reality? Between metaphor and model? Are there other ways to handle complexity in architecture besides computer modeling? Could integrated design approaches be the answer? Or can complexity be handled? If the goal is to understand, should not methods be found to somehow guide complexity?

Those who wish to speak at the seminar on a topic that may fit under the above mentioned four sub-themes, please send an abstract of a maximum of 250 words to the address architecture@tut.fi by February 15, 2010.

Those who have been informed that their abstracts have been accepted, and also wish to prepare a paper for the seminar, should send the paper (max 40 000 characters) by April 9, 2010 to the address architecture@tut.fi . The papers will be published in a conference CD-rom, and selected papers will also be published in an issue of Nordisk Arkitekturforskning.

Those who wish to participate without presenting a talk or a paper are invited to fill the registration form on the conference website (in function from February 2010).

The talks and papers should preferably be in English. Further information will be available soon from the following website: www.tut.fi/ark.

Conference e-mail: architecture@tut.fi .

Abstracts in by 15.2.2010

Registration by 31.3.2010

Paper deadline 9.4.2010

Seminar 22.4. – 24.4.2010.

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