Architecture´s Red Tape Respondent Erik Sigge
Tid: Fr 2017-09-22 kl 14.00
Plats: Kungl. Tekniska Högskolan. Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8
Respondent: Erik Sigge
Opponent: Professor Reinhold Martin, Columbia University, New York, USA
Handledare: Docent Helena MattssonAbstract Architecture’s Red Tape is a critical study of the relation between public architecture and public administration in the 1960s and 1970s. The thesis focuses on the work of the Swedish National Board of Public Building, KBS, which was a government agency in charge of providing premises for the Swedish state at that time. KBS expanded its construction of new buildings during the 1960s and did extensive research and development work to find new rational and efficient working methods and building systems. The development of KBS culminated in the implementation of an official architectural philosophy in 1968, called the “structure philosophy.” The architectural ideas were drafted parallel to new administrative systems that were in turn based on rational choice theories. The thesis studies the developments of KBS’ architecture, both as processes of building production (architecture practice) and as the built result of these processes (buildings), through the analysis of four different instruments. These instruments – Program Budgeting, KBS’ Structure Philosophy, Incentive Contract, and System Building – were important means in KBS’ efforts to rationalize building production and make operations more efficient. KBS highlighted new features in the practices of architecture – emphasizing process, the user, functionality, performance, evaluations, results, etc. – that could be reviewed as a redefinition of the architectural project. This review is explicit on two different levels: firstly, as a redefinition of the architectural object most clearly found in KBS’ publicly announced shift from building construction to “premises production.” Secondly, there is a redefinition of architectural practice that relocates the interest of design, making it more about programming with a heightened interest in the processes of defining the scope and problems of design.