251.017 Wahlseminar Current issues in architectural theory
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2019W, SE, 3.0h, 4.0EC


  • Semester hours: 3.0
  • Credits: 4.0
  • Type: SE Seminar

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

... to actively study literature and identify discourse-relevant texts.

... to hold an oral presentation on a scientific topic. ... to brainstorm ideas for their scientific interest in a targeted and efficient manner.

... to apply her experience of writing free texts and scientific texts to her work.

... make an expose for a scientific text To elaborate.

... write your own seminar paper.


Subject of course

Writing spaces of imagination

A radical understanding of Architecture’s capabilities is that it enables “… experience that could never be had.” (Libeskind 2000: 194).

How could we enter the realm of the yet unseen, unheard, or the yet unexperienced that “could never be had” - how would we invent it?
Writing text offers a strong premise to invent spaces of imagination. That is a mental entity that not only triggers imagination but moreover allows to construct a continuum of imagination.
We will work with the spatiality of text to derive concepts for architectural space. Architecture has a long and traditional relation with literature. Like for example Gilles Deleuze and Rem Koolhaas on “the fold”. Daniel Libeskind, another example, discusses the work of French writer Raymond Roussel. As a writer of the “could never be had”, Roussel invented a ‘writing machine.’ It inspired not only other writers like Georges Perec but also artists like Marcel Duchamp or Salvador Dali. Libeskind understands ‘writing machines’ as kinds of analysis and design methods for text. They are sets of rules of repetition, combination and transformation of notions, to mention but a few.

A guest lecture by linguist Friedrich Neubarth from the Austrian Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research (OFAI) will give a short introduction on the algorithm that serves as our ‘writing machine’ as well as presenting basic insights on the linguistic perspectives of ‘text’ and how languages express spatial relations.

A guest lecture by computer scientist Christian Fiedler will introduce the use of a Markov-Chain Algorithm to produce text in a stochastic way that also allows hands-on for students.

A guest lecture by philosopher Christoph Hubatschke from the University of Vienna will introduce literature and methods by the Oulipo group, especially byGeorg Perec as well as some philosophical background.
Text and space alike, lead to experiences and imagination.

Is it true that, as one would suggest at first, that text seems to pertain to speaking while space pertains to seeing? What happens if we turn those relations upside down?
In this seminar we will even go beyond and research for and construct experiences of imagination that pertain to text as well as to architecture space.


Some of the literature we'll use:

‘Three Lessons in Architecture: The Machines’, in Daniel Libeskind, The Space of Encounter, New York: Universe Publishing: 180-194.
“THREE LESSONS IN ARCHITECTURE: THE MACHINES”, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, USA. https://libeskind.com/work/cranbrook-machines/
Humanist Machines: Daniel Libeskind’s Three Lessons in Architecture

Some of the literature introduced (to be expanded during the semester): 

Bizarre Magazine 

Roussel: Chiquenaude

Roussel: How I wrote certain of my books 

Grössel: RR eine Dokumentation

Ford: RR and the republic of dreams 

Perec: The machine

Perec: Things. A Story of the Sixties

Perec: Species of Spaces

Foucault: Raymond Roussel

Deleuze: Difference and Repetition

Deleuze: The fold

The course is bilingual (German/English) due to the literature in use. The units will be detailed further at the beginning of the semester.

Three main parts

a) Supervised research and formulation of a research question
b) Independent research and writing of an academic abstract
c) Oral presentation of the state of the art, construction of the argument and writing of the final paper.

Teaching methods

Literature studies, presentation, experiment with brainstorming and the writing of texts, compile an expose and write your own seminar paper.

Mode of examination


Additional information

1st meeting: will be announced.
At the Seminarraum Architekturtheorie und Technikphilosophie ATTP, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 17, Hof, Stiege 2, 1. Stock   

Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Course dates

Tue10:30 - 12:3008.10.2019 - 28.01.2020 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue00:00 - 23:5011.02.2020 Upload paper at TuwelHand in paper
Wahlseminar Current issues in architectural theory - Single appointments
Tue08.10.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue15.10.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue22.10.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue29.10.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue05.11.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue12.11.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue19.11.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue26.11.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue03.12.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue10.12.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue17.12.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue24.12.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue31.12.201910:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue07.01.202010:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue14.01.202010:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue21.01.202010:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue28.01.202010:30 - 12:30 Library ATTPElective seminar
Tue11.02.202000:00 - 23:50 Upload paper at TuwelHand in paper

Examination modalities

Presentation, expose and seminar paper.


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Wahlseminare WS1916.09.2019 09:0030.09.2019 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified6. SemesterSTEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


A reader and a list of literature will be expanded during the course. See Tuwel download.