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Relational Architecture

This FWF research project aims to develop a theory of 'relational architecture' based upon an investigation into new spatial practices which move from a hegemonic politics of representation to forms of participation. Instead of looking at consolidated spaces and signature architectures within our cities, the research turns to sites of crisis, conflict and negotiation as defining moments in the articulation of novel communities and the formation of public space.

Through on-site studies, spread across a diverse set of geographic regions, the project analyses the dynamics and effects of experimental and participatory art, architecture and urban projects which reflect the emergence of a new aesthetics of socio-spatial organisation. Based on the premise that globalisation produces not only flows but also local densities, the research examines how this paradoxical process reinstalls the local as a new sphere of spatial activities which can only be understood through its network of relationships with other localities. This approach exceeds depictions of new architectural styles or movements, as it is based on a far more radical re-thinking of architecture as a performative and networked practice, thus producing new notions of access and agency within the architectural discourse.

For results of this research see, amongst others, the publication Netzwerk Kultur: Die Kunst der Verbindung in einer globalisierten Welt 

Programme (pdf) of the final presentation ‚Other Markets’ at the Architekturzentrum Vienna, 31 October 2009

project director: Dr Helge Mooshammer


This research was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 19258-G13