251.883 Optional seminar Monument + City
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023W, SE, 3.5h, 5.0EC


  • Semester hours: 3.5
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to develop a research question and write a scientific text. After completing the course, students will also be able to name basic methods of urban research, heritage conservation and heritage studies. In addition, they will be able to evaluate the socially influenced attribution of meaning to monuments.

Subject of course

Park benches and sausage stands: street furniture and small buildings as cultural heritage

At first glance, objects such as bollards, trash cans, benches, fountains, public toilets or sausage stands are present in large numbers in urban space, but compared to large representative and architecturally elaborate buildings, they seem to be of rather marginal importance for a cityscape. Nevertheless, street furniture and small buildings have a significant impact on everyday life. For example, benches provide restful seating, sausage stands offer refreshments, or bollards regulate the flow of traffic. In this way, street furniture and small buildings have a variety of practical functions and often serve as social meeting places. Some objects achieve a real cult status, such as the public scales in Vienna or the Vienna sausage stand. Some public convenience stores, for example, are listed as historic monuments. Thus, street furniture and small buildings not only shape the practical everyday life of a city, they are also attributed symbolic meanings and different statuses as cultural heritage. Mechanisms of social inclusion and exclusion also play a role. This is because street furniture is part of public space, which has historically been conceived as a place where belonging to a society is defined and community is practiced. Thus, the consideration of street furniture and small buildings as a legacy of the city is also linked to questions about how public space was understood at different times and what consequences the re-figurations of public space have for people's participation in society.

The elective seminar deals with the outlined thematic field and analyzes the distribution, the architectural and spatial qualities, the use as well as the appropriation of street furniture and small buildings in Vienna. The following questions will be discussed in the seminar:

  • What elements are needed to furnish the public space of a city?
  • To what extent do street furniture and small buildings shape the public space of a city and the self-image of its inhabitants? To what extent do street furniture and small buildings make urban spaces recognizable and create offers of identification for the population?
  • Do the urban furniture and small buildings in Vienna differ from those in other cities? Are there possibly even differences between individual city districts?
  • Do street furniture or small buildings have monument status?
  • Does historicizing street furniture play a role in shaping the environment of historic architecture and marking spaces as historic?
  • Who participates in public space and uses the street furniture or small buildings, and under what conditions? How has the use changed historically?


Teaching methods

  • Learning to work scientifically
  • Dealing with the description and classification of historical architecture in urban space
  • methods of urban research, heritage conservation and heritage studies
  • dealing with social aspects of cultural heritage.

Mode of examination


Additional information

Weekly Thursday 14.00-16.00; Start 05.10.2023 or 12.10.2023 (to be announced!), SR 257.

Compulsory attendance!

A reading shelf at the department library and additional handouts will be provided to assist.


Special dates:

09.11.2023 Guided tour of Ringstraße by experts with discussion of street furniture

23.11.2023 Guided tour of the City and State Archives (11 to 12:30 a.m.)

18.01.2024 Additional date for the arrangement of the term papers 


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



Examination modalities

Writing a seminar paper: Each participant has to submit a written, methodologically sound, scientific paper of approx. 15 pages of continuous text. The results will be presented in a final presentation.
The assessment criteria also include active participation in the group meetings, short presentations and text discussions.


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Wahlseminare18.09.2023 09:0021.09.2023 23:59


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


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

recommended and preferred are:

  • Interest in architectural history, heritage conservation and the development of urban planning of the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Interest in scientific work and methods
  • Interest in theoretical questions and the reading of texts