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Philosophies in Architecture (7.5 credits/hp)

Offered by The School of Architecture KTH, Stockholm in collaboration with
ResArc: Swedish Research School in Architecture [https://resarc.se]
Philosophies in Architecture (7,5 hp/credits)

Drawing on current thinking and key sources in philosophy, this course addresses a world in flux, marked by unforeseen happenings and non-linear processes of transformation.
Conditions of unknowability, uncertainty and indeterminacy have traditionally been neglected or even ignored within architecture, ostensibly posing a threat to the permanence and stability assumed by the discipline. The matter-of-factness and increasing urgency of these conditions, however, compel us to approach them creatively and to investigate the opportunities they hold for architectural theory and practice.

The course is organised into three modules that focus on politics, aesthetics and ethics respectively. Each module highlights a key source and/or a line of thinking in philosophy, linked to topics and writings in architecture and its associated discourses. Seminal writings by e.g. Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Rancière, Nancy Fraser, Isabelle Stengers,n Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari will be brought into dialogue with architectural notions of (for instance) value and meaning, use and appropriation, flexibility and permanence. Thereby, the course aims to challenge hegemonic understandings of sustainability and to advance ideas of what a radical sustainable architecture might be.

The course addresses architectural and urban research as forages into an extended field. Then uncertainty inherent to cross-, trans- and interdisciplinary research forms the basis for the workshops that are devised as opportunities to discuss and train academic skills. Topics and issues raised include the significance of choosing a theoretical framework, identifying key sources and defining central concepts in and for the doctoral research project.

The course will be offered in English online via zoom. Modules are composed of lectures with invited speakers, literature seminars and workshops that include group assignments. In preparation for each module, students will be required to hand-in an individual assignment that forms the basis for the workshops, and also goes along the way of preparing a final paper.
The third module will include presentations and discussions of drafts for the final paper that is to be handed in in June. To pass the course, students must have completed all assignments and have attended 80% of scheduled events. To fully benefit from the course, students are expected to come prepared and to partake in a lively intellectual exchange.

Preliminary dates
Modul 1. (w.12) 22-24/3
Modul 2. (w. 16) 19-21/4
Modul 3. (w. 20) 17-19/5
Deadline for final paper: 20th June 2023

Prerequisites
The course is mandatory for PhD students enrolled in the Architecture programme at KTH. It is open to doctoral students registered at other institutions in architecture or in adjoining fields who have an interest in, and would benefit from, the course’s theme. To be qualified for thecourse, students must have completed a masters’ degree in architecture or have an equivalent level of education.

Applications
Please submit a brief statement of interest where you outline your current research project and why you are interested in taking this course. State the name of your main supervisor, your institution, and what year you started your doctoral education. Send no later than 1st February 2023 to Catharina Gabrielsson cga@kth.se and mark the email F1A5051. The number of students admitted is limited and priority will be given to PhD students – notification of admissions will be issued before 15th February 2023.
For more info: https://www.kth.se/student/kurser/kurs/F1A5051?l=en

Teachers
Examiner and course responsible Catharina Gabrielsson is docent in architecture and associate professor in urban theory at the School of Architecture KTH, Stockholm. Tracing the connections between politics, economics and aesthetics, her research focuses on various forms of spatial production and meaning formation by combining fieldwork, critical historiography and creative writing. Her work appears as articles and chapters in e.g.
Architecture and Culture, Architectural Theory Review, field, Deleuze and Architecture (Edinburgh University Press, 2013), Deleuze and the City (Edinburgh University Press 2016), Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (Routledge 2017) some of which she also co-edited. She is co-editor of Neoliberalism on the Ground: Architecture and Transformation from the 1960’s to the Present (Pittsburgh University Press, 2020) and is currently working on Instituting Worlds: Architecture and Islands (Routledge, forthcoming) together with Marko Jobst.

Course assistant Janek Oźmin is an architect, artist and doctoral candidate at the School of Architecture KTH, Stockholm. His doctoral research identifies the suburban garage and penthouse apartment as key sites in the production of masculine subjectivities, through a multi-modal approach including film analysis, critical theory, architectural history and design fiction. His research and practice work includes topics such as maintenance/housework, contemporary real estate imagery, cultural anthropology and critical spatial practice and is published across various platforms, including academic, art and design journals. He has undertaken commissions bridging art and architecture, including sculpture and landscape art and has exhibited work in the Royal Hibernian Gallery, Dublin and ArkDes at the Moderna Museum Stockholm.