IoA Institute of Architecture

University of Applied Arts Vienna

2016/17 Architecture & Technology

Architecture & Technology

“Technology is the answer ... but what was the question?” (Cedric Price, 1966)

The Greek term téchne, is a term which up until today in European philosophy, coined the notion of Art, Science, and Craft. The histories of technology with all of its branches could be summed up as the history of inventions in form of tools and techniques. Those are closely connected to other historical developments such as science, economics, and social agendas - a history of the very human condition itself. Whether viewed through the topic of energy, information, productivity, machines, or social development, today most of the world is accommodating a “technically civilized life” to some extent.

“It is the moral, economic, and political choices we make, not the machines we use”, Lewis Mumford argues, “that have produced a capitalist industrialized machine-oriented economy, whose imperfect fruits serve the majority so imperfectly.” (Mumford: Technics and Civilisation, 1934)

Technological changes stand in a reciprocal relation to cultural traditions of a society. Deleuze describes the relation between technology and structures of power as following:

“One can of course see how each kind of society corresponds to a particular kind of machine: with simple mechanical machines corresponding to sovereign societies, thermodynamic machines to disciplinary societies, cybernetic machines and computers to control societies. But the machines don't explain anything, you have to analyze the collective arrangements of which the machines are just one component.”  (Deleuze, 1995)

Technology as a popular cultural phenomenon began after the initiation of the space program in the 1950´s. The same program represents the advent of digital technologies and the rise of the information society. Since then, digital technologies in particular infiltrated into all of the domains of our contemporary life: agriculture, work, education, entertainment, leisure, sciences, communication, intelligent machines, domestic and urban environments.

This SLIVER lecture series is gathering professionals to present versatile notions of technology and its impact on the discipline of Art and Architecture. The invited lecturers will present their take on technology and reflect on the potentials which it bears or what conventions it questions and how to approach those creatively/artistically.

Lecturers: Areti Maropoulou (IaaC), Peter Testa (Testa&Weiser, SCI-Arc), Liam Young (SCI- Arc, Princeton), Carlo Ratti (MIT, Carlo Ratti Associati), Martin Tamke (KADK & CITA), Ruth Schnell (Angewandte), Theodore Spyropoulos (AADRL), Greg Lynn (GLForm, Angewandte, UCLA), Herwig Baumgartner (B+U, SCI-Arc)