Positions - The unfolding of architectural endeavors
Die Angewandte is celebrating 150 years of innovation and creativity within the field of art, architecture and design. The industrial revolution and its profound changes on society propelled the necessity for design education in the middle of the 19th century. Die Angewandte, founded as the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule back in 1867, was the first school which offered a specialized architectural education in the austrian Empire.
The institution was highly instrumental in promoting ideas of modernity (in terms of art & craft) and under the direction of Josef Hoffmann the school of architecture was aiming towards the notion of a transdisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk. This strong modern direction of the school was amplified by the faculty of other departments, such as Kolo Moser (painting) and Arthur Strasser (sculpture). The school of architecture hosted important leaders of the modern movement: Josef Hoffmann, Josef Frank, Oskar Strnad, Heinrich Tessenow and others. Those architects and educators were not only deeply embedded in the viennese local discourse and defining the austrian building and design culture at large, but were transcending geographic boundaries and therefore gained influence and respect worldwide.
This line continued and evolved ever since, starting with post-modern figures like Johannes Spalt, Wilhelm Holzbauer, Zvi Hecker and Hans Hollein - a generation of educators who worked “globally” and were able to involve the viennese school with the international architectural scene. Followed by Wolf D. Prix, Klaus Bollinger, Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher, Greg Lynn, Hani Rashid, Kazuyo Sejima and its multi-cultural body of teachers, students and external critics, the school continues its tradition in operating across geographic and cultural borders, expanding the notion of architecture and push the boundaries of the building industry.
(Matthias Boeckl, Baukunst aus Reformgeist, 2016)
Just like the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule (die Angewandte) challenged the education and scope of the design profession and promoted an autonomous architectural discipline back at the turn of the 20th century, today the faculty along with their students and the school’s graduates try to respond to the complex cultural, social, environmental and technological challenges of our globally connected contemporary condition through the apparatus of architecture.
After 150 years of outstanding activity, Die Angewandte and its architectural school created a network of innovative thinkers, designers, and architects who shape and influence young generations of architects all over the world. In order to reflect on the past, present and the future, the SLIVER Lecture Series: POSITIONS is happy to use this occasion and invite its alumni’s back in order to exchange and discuss.
We want to examine the various experiences our alumni had while defining and working on their own practice. We want to expose the various directions their work took. We want to discuss how the architectural landscape (in Austria and abroad) is evolving in the context of profound cultural changes and what are the new challenges for our discipline younger generations will face. But we also want to stress more fundamental questions like: How is the scope of architecture changing? Is there something like the design architect? What is the role of educational institutions today and their relation to practice/discipline? How do we educate, Who do we educate and for Whom?
We want to address those questions in various formats which should promote a conversation and discussion among participants and the audience.