ABE 008

ABE 008 | Advanced Architectural Theory Research Seminars

Ecologies of Architecture 8
Epiphylogenetic Turn and Architecture: 
In (Tertiary) Memory of Stiegler  

The Theory Chair of the Architecture Department is offering ABE 008 seminar to PhD candidates and academic research staff, whose research topics relate to architectural and urban theory, philosophy, and contemporary concerns of spatial, socio-political, ethico-aesthetical, cultural and scientific relevance to the disciplines of design.

The course is framed within a seminar structure every second Monday from 14:30-18:00 (physical and/or remote meeting: TBD) during the Spring term, in which participants will engage in guided readings and group discussions on the thematic of each individual session. The aim is to generate an environment in which all participants will gain knowledge on a specific topic, while developing a set of useful methodologies and research skills.

The eight edition of the course Ecologies of Architecture will kick off in February 2021 under the guidance of Andrej Radman and Stavros Kousoulas. The Ecologies of Architecture VIII will be devoted to the ongoing Epiphylogenetic Turn and its ramifications for the discipline of architecture. 

The work of Bernard Stiegler (1952–2020) provides invaluable material for rethinking the built environment in the context of the Epi-phylo-genetic Turn developed in his theory of anthropotechnical evolution. In addition to primary memory (i.e. genetic information expressed in DNA) and secondary memory (acquired epigenetically through a complex nervous system), there is tertiary memory stored in the form of ‘technics’, such as writing, art, clothing, tools, machines and architecture, guiding evolutionary processes epi-phylo-genetically. The Ecologies of Architecture VIII will explore the ways in which architecture contributes to, and is affected by, subjectivation processes: the co-constitution of techno- and (neg)anthropo-genesis. 

Learning Objectives

In a desperate attempt to catch up with forms of contemporary image culture, architects tend to forget where their strength lies. To speak of culture as forms of life, as Scott Lash argues, is to break with earlier notions of culture as representation, as reflection. It is to break with judgement for experience, with epistemology for ontology, and finally to break with a certain type of cognition for living. While accepting multiple scales of reality the Ecologies of Architecture opposes the alleged primacy of the ‘physical’ world discovered by physics. By contrast, it posits that what we have to perceive and cope with is the world considered as the environment. The emphasis is on the encounter, where experience is seen as an emergence which returns the body to a process field of exteriority. The ultimate goal of the Ecologies of Architecture is to debunk hylomorphism – where form is imposed upon inert matter from without and where the architect is seen as a god-given, inspired creator and genius – and to promote the alternative morphogenetic approach that is at once more humble and ambitious.

At the conclusion of each seminar / course the participants will have:

  • gained knowledge and understanding on the specific thematic and context of each seminar (content-based)
  • associated the contents of the seminar to his or her own research topic, expressing this relationship in concrete, relevant ways (argument-based)
  • developed skills relevant to carrying out advanced research: from following intensive readings and discussing them in a peer work-group, to preparing an academic research paper for publication (method-based)

Teaching Method

This course will follow a seminar structure and advanced research methods. Depending on the individual seminar leaders, the seminar will follow a series of formats, but generally will be based on fortnightly research output presentations, followed by a discussion on sources, references and bibliographies, which will involve the creation of an information nexus for the seminar discussions. The ultimate goal of each seminar is to assist the participants to develop reasoned and convincing argument, as well as to develop scholarly research papers for publication.

Reading

- Bains, P., ‘Umwelten’ (The Primacy of Semiosis 2006) 
- Barnet, B., ‘Do Technical Artefacts Evolve?’ (2006)
- Barthélémy, J., ‘Aspects of a Philosophy of the Living’ 
  (Life, Technology Beyond Simondon 2015)
- Bogue, R., ‘Natura Musicians: Territory and the Refrain’, 
  (Deleuze on Music, Painting and the Arts 2003)
- Combes, M., ‘On Being and the Status of the One: From the Relativity of the 
  Real to the Reality of Relation’, 
  (Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual 2013)
- De Meyer, T., ‘Ecology of Monads’ (2017)
- Jablonka, E. and M. J. Lamb, ‘The Changing Concept of Epigenetics’ (2002)
- Kodalak, G., ‘Affective Aesthetics beneath Art and Architecture: Deleuze, Francis 
  Bacon and Vogelkop Bowerbirds’ (2018)
- Logan, R.. ‘Incomplete Nature Precis’ (2014)
- Longo, G., et al., ‘Is Information a proper observable for biological organization?’ 
  (2012)
- Moore, G., ‘Adapt and Smile or Die! Stiegler Among the Darwinists’ (2013)
- Odling-Smee, J. and J.S. Turner, 
  ‘Niche Construction Theory and Human Architecture’ (2012)
- Pasquinelli, M., ‘Machines that Morph Logic’ (2017)
- Sherman, J. and T. Deacon, ‘Teleology for the Perplexed: 
  How Matter Began to Matter’ (2007)
- Stiegler, B., ‘Critique of Simondon’s “Notion of Information”’ 
  (Nanjing Lectures 2016-2019, 2020)
- Stiegler, B., ‘The Anthropocene and Neganthropology’ (Neganthropocene 2018)

About the Lecturers

Andrej Radman has been teaching design and theory courses at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture since 2004. A graduate of the Zagreb School of Architecture in Croatia, he is a licensed architect and recipient of the Croatian Architects Association Annual Award for Housing Architecture in 2002. Radman received his master’s and doctoral degrees from TU Delft and joined Architecture Theory Group as assistant professor in 2008. He is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal for architecture theory Footprint. His research focuses on new-materialist ecologies and radical empiricism. Radman’s latest publication is Ecologies of Architecture: Essays on Territorialisation (EUP, forthcoming).

Stavros Kousoulas is Assistant Professor of Architecture Theory in the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft. He has studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and at TU Delft. He received his doctoral title cum laude from IUAV Venice participating in the Villard d’ Honnecourt International Research Doctorate. He has published and lectured in Europe and abroad. He is a member of the editorial board of Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal since 2014. 

Schedule

Session 1: 15 February 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Introduction: Evolution and Involution

Session 2: 1 March 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Teleodynamics: Causes and Becauses

Session 3: 15 March 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Immediation: Action and Perception

Session 4: 29 March 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Information: Sense and Sensibility

Session 5: 12 April 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Technicity: Structure and Operation

Session 6: 26 April 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Niche Construction: Ethology and Ethics

Session 7: 17 May 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Ecologisation: Smooth and Striated

Session 8: 31 May 2021, 14.30 - 18.00 hrs

Conclusion: Epiphylogenetics and Architecture

How to enroll

Please send an email with your name, mail address, start date, research group and title of your research to abe@tudelft.nl

Course Info

Course code
ABE 008

Course type
Advanced courses on a range of topics involving architectural/urban theory, philosophy, cultural analysis and science

Most appropriate for

PhD candidates at all stages

Costs
Free for PhD candidates of A+BE Graduate School

Number of participants
min. 10 /max. 12

Name of lecturer(s)/coach(es)
Dr.ir. Andrej Radman,
Dr.ir. Stavros Kousoulas

Course load
Active period: 28 hours contact (seminar) plus 28 hours self-study (preparation)

Graduate School credits
4

Assessment
Attendance and active participation

Period
Once a year in Spring

Upcoming course dates and times
Spring 2021, Mondays 14:30-18:00
(see detailed schedule in course description)

Contact
Dr.ir. Andrej Radman