251.071 Wahlseminar Topos in architectural theory
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist in allen zugeordneten Curricula Teil der STEOP.
Diese Lehrveranstaltung ist in mindestens einem zugeordneten Curriculum Teil der STEOP.

2020S, SE, 3.0h, 4.0EC


  • Semesterwochenstunden: 3.0
  • ECTS: 4.0
  • Typ: SE Seminar


Nach positiver Absolvierung der Lehrveranstaltung sind Studierende in der Lage, eine akademische Seminararbeit zu verfassen. Diese Kompetenz behinhaltet, dass die Studierenden ein adäquates Thema für ihre Seminararbeit identifizieren können, dass sie wissen, wie sie sich im bestehenden Diskurs um ihr Thema orientieren können. Sie lernenn, wie man adäquat mit Quellen und Zitaten umgeht und sie üben sich in kritischer Reflektion und sorgfältiger Artikulation: Sie lernen die dialektische Kunst kennen, eine These sorgfältig zu erörtern, und eine eigene Argumentation zu entwickeln. Dabei lernen die Studierenden die Architektur als einen Ort des aktiven Denkens kennen, der sowohl materielle wie immaterialle Sachverhalte betrifft und diese verbinden kann.  

Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung

“Poetry is what makes home-living” wrote Superstudio, the “radical” Italian group of architects (1966-78) best known for its project of the Monumento Continuo (Continuous Monument) and its photomontages, whose iconicity still remains unequalled. Then, like today, the context appeared unfitted for poetry: as the narrative of the crisis appeared to call for forms of reasonability, the emerging technologies inaugurated novel relations to the world, that broke with previously established notions of order. Beyond appearing as an unnecessary luxury, poetry – with its fixed metric matrix – must have also seemed anachronistic, in a time that celebrated expressions of individuality. Yet, Superstudio held on to “systems of measure”, in the form of intriguing objects they described as mirrors and images, and which they imagined could populate the world. 

With Superstudio, we can start to think about measure and its capacity to establish not only an objective relation to the world, but also collective, poetic manners to inhabit it. The meter is what provides the objective “architecture” of poetry; it establishes the quantitative basement upon which language can evoke and manifest myriads of shared meanings, narrations and imageries. It bridges abstract and rational thought with sensation. Far from being immutable, this meter – as any other conventional system of measure – has historically been subjected to evolutions and crisis, in the face of the transformations of the written language. 

This seminar will articulate the question of measure through a parallel between poetry and architecture, by means of a close reading of texts by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) and of the texts, images and works of Superstudio. In an attempt to release this exploration from any technocratic perspective, these texts will be contextualised historically and, most importantly, will be enriched by the parallel exploration of different lines of thought. This seminar will attempt to think of the conservation of the possibility of a poetic dwelling be  beyond the apparent dissolution of the meter. Architecture, in its relation to poetry, might then appear as the discipline capable of aggregating, articulating and stabilizing the multitude of numerical flickers that compose our computational condition. 



Lecture 1 – 10.03.20        Lecture 1: Introduction to the seminar

Lecture 2 – 17.03.20        Reading 1: Stéphane Mallarmé 

Lecture 3 – 24.03.20        Lecture 2: On Mallarmé and the crisis of the verse / Preparatory exercise 

Lecture 4 – 31.03.20        Reading 2: Walter Benjamin 

Spring break

Lecture 5 – 21.04.20        Exercise: towards the academic paper 

Lecture 6 – 28.04.20        Lecture 3: On Superstudio and the reflection of measure / Preparatory exercise 

Lecture 7 – 05.05.20        Reading 3: Massimo Cacciari 

Lecture 8 – 12.05.20        Lecture 4: Inhabiting poetically

Lecture 9 – 19.05.20        Reading 4: Martin Heidegger 

Lecture 10 – 26.05.20       Reviews of the academic paper

Lecture 11 – 09.06.20       Lecture 5: Prof. Vera Bühlmann, On Michel Serres and the directionality of the verse Preparatory        

Lecture 12 – 16.06.20       Reading 5: TBC

Lecture 13 – 23.06.20       Reading 6: TBC

Lecture 14 – 30.06.20       Collective presentation of the ongoing research papers, in the mode of a symposium 


The course will be alternate between lectures, followed by discussions, and articulated to a preparatory exercise, and readings of selected excerpts from the seminar literature (around 30 pages/session). The work in preparation for the research paper will be discussed at intervals, and participants will present it in a collective session, in the manner of a symposium.

All the texts will be made available on TISS in advance. 



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Änderungen in der LVA aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie (Stand <24.03.2020>)

Due to the COVID-19 sanitary situation, the course has been moved online as of Tuesday 24.03.2020. The modalities for the exercises and meetings are confirmed every week.

The course will take place weekly on Tuesdays, from 10 am to 12 am, in the ATTP seminar room (Wiedner Hauptstraße 7, Stiege 2, 1st floor). The course will be provided in English and so is the preferred language for all other communications.

Beachten Sie beim Verfassen der Ausarbeitung bitte die Richtlinie der TU Wien zum Umgang mit Plagiaten: Leitfaden zum Umgang mit Plagiaten (PDF)

Vortragende Personen



At the end of the seminar, participants will be asked to produce an academic paper on a topic related to the themes discussed in class. The paper will have to be written in English. Examples of previous seminar papers can be found at the following link:


Only participants attending the course and delivering the scheduled exercises will be admitted to final evaluation. Attendance and participation are therefore mandatory.



Wahlseminare 2020S17.02.2020 09:0024.02.2020 23:59


033 243 Architektur Keine Angabe6. SemesterSTEOP
Lehrveranstaltung erfordert die Erfüllung der Studieneingangs- und Orientierungsphase STEOP


Artikel und eine Literaturliste werden im Laufe der Lehrveranstaltung zur Verfügung gestellt.

Adorno Theodor W., “On Lyric Poetry and Society” (1957). In The lyric theory reader: a critical anthology, ed. V. W. Jackson, Y. Prins, 339-349. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 

Aristotle, Poetics. Translated by Stephen Halliwell. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Benjamin Walter. “On some motifs in Baudelaire” (1939). In The lyric theory reader: a critical anthology, ed. V. W. Jackson, Y. Prins, 327-338. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 

Cacciari Massimo. “Metropolis” (1973). In Architecture and Nihilism: On the Philosophy of Modern Architecture. Translated by Stephen Sartarelli, 3-22. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

------------- “Eupalinos or Architecture” (1980). In Architecture Theory since 1968. Editor K.M. Hays, 392-407. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.

Heidegger Martin. “…Poetically Man Dwells…” (1951). In The lyric theory reader: a critical anthology. Editors V. W. Jackson, Y. Prins, 390-398. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 

Mallarmé Stéphane. “Music and Letters” (1895). In Divagations. The author’s 1897 arrangement. Translated by Barbara Johnson, 173-198. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

------------- “Crisis of Verse” (1897). In Divagations. The author’s 1897 arrangement. Translated by Barbara Johnson, 201-214. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Isozaki Arata. “From Manner to Rhetoric, and now…” (1976). In Arata Isozaki 1959-78GA Architect, n°6, 180-184. Tokyo: A.D.A. Edita, 1991. 

Poincaré Henri. “Number and Magnitude”, 1-34. In Science and Hypothesis (1902)New York: The Walter Scott Publishing, 1905.

------------- “The Calculus of Probabilities”, 183-210. In Science and Hypothesis (1902)New York: The Walter Scott Publishing, 1905.

Serres Michel. “Application, Genesis of the text”, 135-157. In The Birth of Physics. Manchester: Clinamen press, 2000.

Superstudio. “Il Monumento Continuo. Storyboard per un film”. Casabella, 358, November 1971. 

------------ “Distruzione, metamorfosi e ricostruzione degli oggetti”. In. Argomenti e immagini di design (La distruzione dell’oggetto), March-June 1971. 

 ------------ “Supersurface”. In Italy: The New Domestic Landscape. Achievements and Problems of Italian Design. Edited by Emilio Ambasz, 247-251New York: MoMA, 1972. The text is the soundtrack of the short movie Life (1972).

Talleyrand-Périgord Charles-Maurice de. “Proposition faite à l'assemblée nationale sur les poids et mesures” ([Reprod.]) / par M. l'évêque d'Autun [Talleyrand]. 1790.

Ungers O.M. Morphologie, City Metaphors (1982). Köln, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König, 2017. 

Valéry Paul, “Poetry and Abstract Thought” (1939). In The Art of poetry. Translated by Denise Folliot, 52-81. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985

------------ “The Existence of Symbolism” (1939). In Leonardo, Poe, Mallarmé. Translated by M. Cowley, J.R. Lawler, 215-239. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972.


No previous knowledge of poetics is required. Participants are required to possess a good knowledge of English and be able to read and write in such language with a sufficient degree of orthography and comprehensibility.

ATTENTION: There are NO special requirements to attend this course. In case you receive a message by TISS telling you that you don't meet the requirements, please get in touch directly with us (Email to the LVA Leiter).

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