259.650 Wahlseminar Topos 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.

2022W, 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:

 (In terms of Content)

  • Gain knowledge regarding the particular themes of the course,
  • Understand and articulate the various contexts that will be discussed in class,

(In terms of Arguments)

  • Develop a research topic which is connected to the contents of the course, while being explored and expressed in an academic manner,

(In terms of Method)

  • Read across various disciplines, engage abstractly with texts and ollectively discuss them,
  • Differentiate between academic and journalistic sources and forms of writing,
  • Cultivate methodological skills to write in a manner adequate to academic research (principles of library and internet research, correct handling of quotation and bibliography, primary forms of argumentation).

Subject of course

Credits of the image: Philippe Parreno, "My Room is Another Fish Bowl", 2018. Photography by Anja Thierfelder.

Credits of the image:Philippe Parreno, "My Room is Another Fish Bowl", 2018. Photography by Anja Thierfelder.

Comic, Cosmic, Cosmetic: Hospitality in a Sonic Key

Is it possible to think of hospitality with respect to beings and fleshes of human and non-human affiliation? How to let them come, to let them arrive? What could it mean to be hospitable on a planet overlapping zoe/geo/techno modes of inhabitation? Can we imagine and activate figures of hospitality that set in motion new variations and unknown resonances regarding the practice of living well together today? How to think of hospitality in light of a temperament that is creative and recreative—rather than compassive or prescriptive? 

Philosophy, architecture, art, mythology and science will propel the circulation and cultivation of these questions by offering us instruments to think of hospitality in terms of sound. Sound as a physical, material and ephemeral sensibility; sound as a polyphony of omni-directional voices; sound as distinguishability in synchrony; sound as a contingency in touch or in contact, sound as an invitation to engage with the physicality of things in terms of resonance and reverberation, in terms that avoid exhaustion, in terms circumventing empathy and its wish for epistemic colonization. Sound then as a stratum from which to experiment with new lines of flight regarding hospitality, but also as a framework to imagine and to make, as a set up whose sonic vocation is not to deny the visible or the visual, but to expand how we might see.

Thinking of hospitality in a sonic key addresses the political possibility of attuning us to those human or non-human voices that remain unheard or that sound outside a harmonic unity. But we would also like to bypass the moralizing circularity of harmony and discord; if hospitality brings the private or local life-world to a contingent and polyphonic environment of cohabitation, of public reverberation, then perhaps we can avoid the classificatory pendulation between friend and enemy by thinking of a sonic hospitality that is animated by comic, cosmic and cosmetic temperaments: codes of publicness that are active and performative, aware yet ironic, collective and cosmological, never prescriptive or taxonomic, and, thus, perhaps opportune to dramatize on the stage of thought sonic forms of order and decorum stimulating and articulating hospitable manners of sharing the cosmos.


1. Vinciane Despret, Living as a Bird. London: Polity, 2021. 

[With special attention to the chapter 4 “Possessions” and the chapter 6  “Polyphonic Scores”]

2Rick Dolphijn, The Philosophy of Matter, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.

[With special attention to Part 2 “This is not the Earth!”] 

3. Michel Serres, Hominiscence, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

[With special attention to chapter 7 “Old and New Common Houses” and chapter 8 “The Evolutionary House”]  

4. Salome Voegelin, The Political Possibility of Sound: Fragments of Listening. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.  

[With special attention to the chapter 1 “The Political Possibility of Sound” and chapter 2 “Hearing Volumes: Architecture, Light and Words]

5. Alenka Zupančič, The Odd One In: On Comedy. London: The MIT Press, 2008.

[With special attention to the Introduction and the chapter 1 “The Concrete Universal”.]

Teaching methods

The seminar is structured around the concept of Hospitality conceived in sonic terms and in its relation to the notions of the comic, the cosmic and the cosmetic. From this base, each student will cultivate and deploy their specific line of thought, which will be accommodated through three different resources:

  • In class group conversations

  • Week to week writing exercises

  • Optional meetings outside class time to prepare the essay of 8 - 12 pages that each student is submitting at the end of the course.

Mode of examination


Additional information

Fridays    9:00 - 11:00
at: ATTP Seminar Room (Wiedner Hauptstr. 7, Stiege 2, Stock 1)

Start: 07.10.2022

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

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



Examination modalities

The evaluation considers the participation in class and the delivery of a paper of 8 - 12 pages according to the following criteria:

  • Active participation and engagement in the seminar discussions.

  • Capacity to engage with the concepts and contents of the course in an inventive manner.

  • Continued participation in the exercises

  • Capacity to identify a topic study, a specific angle for such study, to develop arguments and an adequate method.

  • Capacity to distinguish academic research from critic and journalistic prose.

  • Sophistication of the research topic and capacity to articulate it in the paper.

  • Academic formatting of the research paper and general attention to the presentation (written and oral).


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Wahlseminare12.09.2022 09:0026.09.2022 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.