Master's Thesis: 2. Questions

2. Questions

Berlin is a city of empty spaces from bombings and the deconstruction of the wall. The voids in Berlin – a characteristic that inspired Oswald Mathias Ungers’ “Berlin as the Green Archipelago” – have now, within increasing population, become the focal points of densification and new urban speculation. Cooperative building projects are built in the vacant spaces, and the concept of void or openness is integrated into projects as common or programmed spaces. Here are my fundamental questions for the research.


Master's Thesis: 1. The failure of political philosophy and the failure of architecture

1. The failure of political philosophy and the failure of architecture

The French philosopher Jacques Rancière begins his book Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy with the question: “Is there any such thing as political philosophy?”[i] He argues that the Platonic and Aristotelian models of governance (the philosopher kings or political parties) as well as modern versions of democracy – which he would not label political, but an order of the police – are ultimately based upon deceptions of the people and a dislocation of people’s imaginative potential. For Rancière proper politics is not the agents of the politicians, the parliamentary debates or voting procedure, or the institutions of the state or departments of its operations. “Politics exists when the natural order of domination is interrupted by the institution of a part of those who have no part.”[ii] Political philosophy, Rancière argues, has failed because it falsely conceives the people and disguised the fundamental societal conflict between the haves and the have-nots.


Master's Thesis - 0: Prologue on critique

0: Prologue on critique

Here is a critique of architecture. The first task of critique is to break apart. The second is to put back together. We cannot overemphasize the latter at the expense of the former. The architect’s task is usually one of designing the objects of peoples’ environments, which makes analysis feel like dead weight. A critique of architecture will oscillate between breaking apart architectural production and putting together possibilities of future arrangements, funding models, and politics of architecture. What would this oscillation look like? This project is an attempt to follow “Marx’s work … as an exposé of the world turned upside down and the attempt to right it.”[i]

Master's Thesis: Table of Contents


Towards a conceptualization of critical urban praxis (theory/proposition/physical activity) as a strategy of architectural commoning analyzed through the Baugruppe and Mietshäuser Syndikat in Berlin

"If a political system is corrupted so far that the investment lobby can take it over, then we have a corrupted system." 
                 – Arno Brandlhuber (interview with the author)