Doing Things with Buildings: Architecture, Meaning, and Use, by Stefan Koller

This paper contests Wittgenstein’s assertion that architecture is a gesture, and argues that his assertion is either false or misleadingly expressed. In the presentation’s first part, I explain the assertion by reference to Wittgenstein’s gloss on ‘gesture’ in the Investigations, as a purposive act that draws expressive attention to itself. The second part fleshes out…

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Wittgenstein on Architecture, by Jochen Schuff

In two crucial respects the few scattered remarks Wittgenstein devoted to architecture are in line with what he has to say about art, or aesthetics in a more general sense. First, architecture is to be understood in a certain relation to gestures, or reactions, and its meaningfulness will depend on these reactions, or gestures. That…

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Use-Value in Architecture, by Eric Weber

Contemporary architectural practice and philosophy have been moving toward an analytical, science-based approach since international-style modernism became the lingua franca of architectural production throughout the world. Google’s developers are currently creating an algorithm intended to eliminate the need for architectural space programming; the full implications of this project seem self-evident.  Scripting is being used to…

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»The architect as the last humanist«. The use of symbolic codes in architecture according to Umberto Eco and Ludwig Wittgenstein, by Lidia Gasperoni

Starting with Umberto Eco’s definition of the architect as the last humanist, the aim of my talk is to investigate the use of symbolic codes in architecture regarding firstly the relation between sign and symbol in Wittgenstein and secondly the difference between intuitive and discursive thought. The symbolic dimension of architecture by Umberto Eco Umberto…

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Beauty and use: natural and traditional connections. An interpretation of Wittgenstein’s and Simmel’s views of art, by Ferenc Hörcher

At least since Hegel, architecture is regarded as the particular artform which is destined to meet two, seemingly antagonistic criteria: beauty and use or function. This dual focus could survive the rather dramatic change aesthetics suffered during the nineteenth century, when in professional academic discourse Kantianism succeeded to cut away aesthetic value from an analysis…

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Category Scepticism in Architecture Theory, by Reidar Due

In this paper I argue that we have come to take for granted a quasi-natural relationship between construction, use, style, and the ideological implications of buildings. As a consequence, the question of a building’s overall purpose becomes difficult to articulate as it tends to dissolve between different categories or is taken to be a mere…

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