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Wolkenkuckucksheim Issue 33
Theorie der Technik in Architektur und Städtebau
curated by Ute Poerschke and Oliver Schürer

Abstract Mitteregger
Abstract Kuhlmann

Editorial- Auszug

In Aristophanes’ The Birds, written approximately 400 years before Vitruvius’ De architectura libri decem, the birds decide to escape both from men and the gods and liberate themselves from both the tangible but imperfect everyday, and the ideal but abstract transreality. They found—in the space between earth and heaven—a city in the clouds: cloud-cuckooland.

Where is technology at home? The consideration of the technical capacity as intrinsically human (Giordano Bruno), its philosophical designation and the presentation of this capacity in art reveal the idealist view of technology. However, we speak of design techniques, planning techniques, building technology, technical environmental control systems, technical urban infrastructure and even of dwelling techniques. Thus, technology, technics, and techniques seem to belong foremost to the concrete everyday realm and to relate to processes and artifacts involved in the production, functioning, and use of architecture. Seen thus, architectural technology seems to possess a “narrow, limited and fragmentary character”1 (Ernst Cassirer). Adolf Behne insists: “You cannot have both, technics and art.”2 However, technology is as much part of the fundamental sciences as it is part of the arts, because technical skills are needed to create both abstract knowledge and concrete works of art. Implying both parts in its domain, architecture has a special position among the various human creations between the everyday life and transreality. This can be seen today in the understanding of the world as a global oikos. John McHale, co-founder of the Independent Group, artist and sociologist, called for this understanding already in 1970.3 Mark Wigley paraphrases McHale’s call: “To examine the physiology and pathology of new technologies is to perform an architectural analysis.”4...

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