Angelidou: Architecture in Fragments: Conceptual History as Design Theory, 1949-1989

This dissertation project, titled “Architecture in Fragments: Conceptual History as Design Theory, 1949-1989,” traces the genealogy of fragmentation as an architectural concept and unpacks a series of urban projects that, over the span of the four decades that define the Cold War era, have deployed bricolage and formal play as ways of gaining historical awareness while re-imagining destructed urban terrains. More specifically, it scrutinizes fragmented Berlin as “a city-text frantically written and rewritten,” to quote the literary critic Andreas Huyssen, by studying the ways in which its postwar voids and erasures have lent themselves to structures of conceptual repetition and the construction of architectural imaginaries eventually associated with other cities, both real and imagined. In this context, the definition of the term fragmentation is dual. On the one hand, as formal play linked to an intensified interest in the city and design with found typological elements. On the other hand, as the gradual emergence of a genealogy of design theories that, like a game of cadavre exquis, is enriched through correction. The case studies refer to cities that range widely, yet the research focuses on the selective affinities in the modes of architectural operation they entail, emphasizing the fragmented urban canvas, its primary elements, the way the latter interact, and how this equilibrium can be disrupted.

Projektmitarbeiter ZI