Play Architecture, BArch studio

History I Theory I Criticism BArch Studio, 2013/14,
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
taught by Angelika Schnell and Eva Sommeregger


The studio is a playful and theoretical examination on LIVING. Students play/visualize/re-enact/film different models of living and reveal their architectural and social ideology. The models are based on literary, philosophical or scientific descriptions of living. For example: the Pompeiian villa, the sociologist investigation about the „Court Society“ by Norbert Elias or Joris Karl Huysman’s novel on a French dandy who retired from the world in an exclusive house on the countryside. Deliberately no famous or renowned architectural model is chosen.

Living is understood as a spatial and a social phenomenon at the same time. Hence students rely on storyboards and performative modes (theater, film, literature, painting etc.) for this interdependency. However, they do not play/re-enact the living models like film makers or stage directors usually do. Instead of using the spatial arrangement of a house or an apartment as mere coulisse the architecture becomes the MAIN ACTOR.

The models are chosen throughout the whole history of living. The studio does not analyse them historically; instead the students elaborate their own thesis. Implicitly the studio is about two terms which are both common and often used yet rarely completely understood: LIVING and IDEOLOGY..

List of Books Providing Research Context
Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands
Stuart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog
Norbert Elias, The Court Society
Vilém Flusser, Freedom of the Migrant
Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny
Martin Heidegger, Building Dwelling Thinking
Joris Karl Huysmans, Against Nature
Alexandra Nemerov, First My Motorola
Kakuzo Okakura, Book of Tea
Petronius, Satyricon

The participating students were: Aichinger Anna, Alexeeva Polina, Ellenberger Frank, Ettel Nikolas, Glatz Bettina, Götte Anna, Grabner Seiko, Herunter Eva, Hummer Katharina, Ip Sin Ying, Kurtishi Blerim, Lam Ka Man, Lesina Debiasi Lukas, Moisi Alexandra, Obleitner Julia, Pregesbauer Patrick, Puttinger Fabian, Raffetseder Julian, Requat Anna Rieder Marie Roxi, Rockenschaub Jakob, Tomicek Jiri

TEACHING