259.671 Wahlseminar Architekturtheorie Canceled
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 work with texts, develop independent concept ideas and take a stand on an abstract topic in the form of structured discussions and a self-authored academic paper.
Students become familiar with the practice of close reading and learn the correct use of citations and bibliographies, the basic principles of library and internet research as well as primary forms of argumentation. The participants are able to perceive, structure and organize a topic in such a way that it can be discussed in a scientific way and to appreciate diverse stylistic modes of rigorous academic writing.
Furthermore, students will attain a broader understanding of architecture, not only as a discipline aimed at the realization of buildings, but also as a device of architectonic thinking that concerns and connects both material and immaterial domains of production and theory.

Subject of course

Chance, or Doing things with Filarete

Everything that, in becoming, begins to be - precisely because it has been a nothingness -
is pure chance.
           – Emanuele Severino, 1978, Law and Chance

Is dialogue a play with chance?
Does a conversation lead to conventions out of pure nothingness?

How do we incorporate chance-like elements into written communication?
How do we find stability and immutables within constant change?

This seminar will explore architectural creativity that operates on a liminal space, challenges conventions and plays with permissibility.
Our main figure is Filarete, a Renaissance sculptor and architect, who is known for a building, a bronze door and a treatise [the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan, the bronze door of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the Libro d’Architettura held in the National Library of Florence].

With the Filaretian Libro di Architettura - and other architectural treatises written in the form of a dialogue - we look at conventions of speaking, exchange, communication, as well as the opposite; silence, waiting and anticipation. We will examine the narrative gestures of Filarete [ancient book found within an autobiographical book] to elaborate on the idea of being, non-being and becoming. To approach architectural conventions on being we will study concepts like the stratification of experience by Deleuze and Guattari, law and chance by Emanuale Severino, and the autonomous object by Pier Vittorio Aureli. This exploration will be informed by Horst Bredekamp’s Speech and Image act, as well as Parmenides’ Poem.

Through chance, we will look at the things we can do with Filarete: build constructions, sculpt stories and write architectural treatises as pseudo-writers and pseudo-architects. 

Teaching methods

Weekly readings, lectures, active participation and discussion, writing exercises.

Mode of examination


Additional information

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



Examination modalities

At the end of the seminar, participants will be asked to write an academic paper on a topic related to the themes discussed in class. The paper can be written in English or in German. Only participants attending the course and delivering the scheduled exercises will be admitted to final evaluation. Weekly attendance and active participation is therefore mandatory throughout the entire semester.


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


Alberti, Leon Battista. Dinner Pieces. Translated by David Marsh. Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, v. 45. Binghamton, N.Y: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies in conjuction with the Renaissance Society of America, 1987.
———. Momus. Translated by Sarah Knight and Virginia Brown. The I Tatti Renaissance Library 8. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Aureli, Pier Vittorio. The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture within and against Capitalism. FORuM Project. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.
Bodenheimer, Aron R. Warum?: Von der Obszönität des Fragens. Ditzingen: Reclam, Philipp, jun. GmbH, Verlag, 2011.
Bredekamp, Horst. Der Bildakt: Frankfurter Adorno-Vorlesungen 2007. Neufassung. Wagenbachs Taschenbuch 744. Berlin: Wagenbach, 2015.
Clarke, Joseph, and Emma Bloomfield, eds. Perspecta 46: Error. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2013.
Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
Filarete. Trattato di architettura:1. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Classici italiani di scienze tecniche e arti. Milano: Ed. Il Polifilo, 1972.
———. Trattato di architettura:2. Vol. 2. 2 vols. Milano: Ed. Il Polifilo, 1972.
Hui, Yuk, and Pieter Lemmens, eds. Cosmotechnics: For a Renewed Concept of Technology in the Anthropocene. London; New York: Routledge, 2021.
Palmer, John Anderson. Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Panofsky, Erwin. Idea: A Concept in Art Theory. New York: Icon, 1968.
Pérez-Gómez, Alberto. Built upon Love: Architectural Longing after Ethics and Aesthetics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008.
Severino, Emanuele. Law and Chance. London New York Oxford New Delhi Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.
Steiner, George. Language and Silence: Essays on Language, Literature, and the Inhuman. New York, NY: Atheneum, 1977.
Tafuri, Manfredo. Theories and History of Architecture. London ; New York: Granada, 1980.
Tamburelli, Pier Paolo. On Bramante. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2022.
Tigler, Peter. Die Architekturtheorie des Filarete. Die Architekturtheorie des Filarete. De Gruyter, 2012.