Researching Architecture and Society. What can a Sociology of Architecture learn from Science and Technology Studies?
Workshop of the Working Committee "Sociology of Architecture" of the DGS-sections Urban and Regional Sociology and Sociology of Culture in cooperation with the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS)
June 6-8, 2013, Bielefeld University, Germany

Everyone interested in the topic is cordially welcomed to participate the workshop (no fees).

Preliminary Programm Abstracts Call for Proposals Venue & Information

Abstracts (in alphabetical order)
--- last update: May 21, 2013 --- Subject to Change ---



Robin Bartram (Northwestern University): Architectures and Infrastructures in Epistemic Moments of Neighborhood Change: How Built Environments Provoke Controversy and Destabilize Discourse
Urban studies often assume that buildings and infrastructure work as intended to demarcate populations and bolster changes in neighborhoods. In this paper, I disrupt this assumption and thereby expose the potential limitation for any discourse to successfully employ the built environment.
I analyze archival records and newspaper reports from the early history (1886-1925) of a subdivision of Chicago as it underwent a dramatic change in its density. In order to grasp how upper-class white residents employed infrastructure to both avoid and confront issues of race and class during such change, this paper stresses two "epistemic moments" of neighborhood change in the subdivision. Like Knorr-Cetina's "epistemic cultures," epistemic moments bring our attention to the material and social conditions through which people come to know what they know. In doing so, I ask what architectures and infrastructures might characterize epistemic moments of change.
This paper argues that, within both epistemic moments, people employed infrastructure, amenities, and architecture in order to evade discussions of social processes. It doing so, it furthers understandings of the ways that people employ places and buildings as a substitutive technique for talking about people, race, and class. Indeed, in this paper, I suggest that residents had once been so confident that some buildings signified certain fixed kinds of inhabitants that there was no need to engage in overt discussions about race and class. A shift in architectural form, however, meant that building type no longer ensured segregation. Consequently, residents were compelled to engage in explicit discussions in order to compensate for the failure of the once effective material environment. Oddly, in this context, the appearance of buildings came to be more significant to residents than who they actually housed. This paper thus traces the unraveling of stabilized, "blackboxed" built form and highlights the capacity for urban artifacts to impede and refashion their intended uses. In doing so, I expose the potential limitation for any discourse to rely on and be shaped by material artifacts, rendering fragile the authority of any such discourse. The paper also raises important questions about how sociologists can scrutinize material culture when dealing with archives and discourse, when it is not possible to analyze practice.



Jeffrey Chan (Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore): Ethical Agency in Architecture: Spatializing Morality and the Production of Moralizing Spaces
Ethics is not well defined within the sociology of architecture today even though historically, ethics and morality were considered vital dimensions of sociology. In this paper, I demonstrate the connection between STS and the sociology of architecture through architectural ethics. Using this connection, I suggest how the STS perspective can reveal two important questions in architectural ethics namely, 'where do architectural ethics come from?' and 'where are architectural ethics embodied?' Contrary to prevailing accounts of architectural ethics as virtue ethics, this paper suggests that architectural ethics could emerge through the complex assemblage of actor-network in architectural practice beyond that of the moral character of the architect. And contrary to the idea that ethics is only embodied in architects as agents only, the paper suggests that buildings can also embody ethics—even though this is neither the historical form of ethical embodiment as conceived by Ruskin or Pugin, nor the form of ethical embodiment perceived in good craftsmanship. I then conclude the paper with a short discussion on the risks of embodying ethics through spatial design.



Endre Dányi (Universität Frankfurt): The Parliament as a High-Political Program
The central object of this paper is the Hungarian Parliament, a neo-Gothic palace in the centre of Budapest, on the east bank of the Danube. Despite the fact that at the time of its opening, in 1902, this was the largest (and arguably the most impressive) parliament building in the world, for most political scientists it has been a largely invisible object. For them, parliamentary democracy in Hungary effectively began much later, after the collapse of communism in 1989. Consequently, what they are interested in are abstract procedures and institutions associated with parliamentary democracy, not the specific site of the legislature. The latter is most often analysed and discussed by architectural historians, who tend to be fascinated by the shape and size of the building, its external ornaments and internal decoration, but have little if anything to say about the current state of parliamentary democracy. In this paper my aim is to disturb this neat division of labour between political scientists and architectural historians by outlining what we can learn about parliamentary democracy if we examine it though the Hungarian parliament building.
Drawing on science and technology studies (STS) in general and John Law's material-semiotic analysis of the development of a British military aircraft in particular, I suggest that we consider the Hungarian parliament building as the physical manifestation of a high-political programme that has its roots in the late eighteenth century. By focusing on the planning and construction of the building, I argue that by the late nineteenth century the strength of this high-political programme lied not simply in the successful introduction of multiple changes into the discursive and material practices of politics (namely, the redefinition of the political community, the establishment of a new mechanism for dealing with political issues, and the development of political representation as a profession), but also in the insistence on those changes working towards the constitution of a singular political reality. What an STS-inspired analysis of democratisation is able to show is that this claim of singularity would have been impossible to make without the construction of a singular building. Equally importantly, however, it is also able to show the role the very same building played in maintenance of that claim in the face of a succession of authoritarian regimes throughout the twentieth century.



Hanna Katharina Göbel (Universität Hamburg): Touching an Issue Twice: Symmetry in Practices of Architects and STS/ANT - Scholars Touching an Issue Twice: Symmetry in Practices of Architects and STS/ANT-Scholars
Practices of STS/ANT scholars and of architects have one thing in common: their object of research, the built environment, is handled as a social actor. For the last decades, the Science & Technology Studies (STS) and the Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) have widely researched the symmetry thesis of society through which subjects and objects appear on one ontological level of concern. As this paper wishes to argue, this is not an exclusive production of knowledge in the social sciences. In the discipline of architecture, as it was and is practiced in the 20th as well as in the 21st century, the expertise of architects is centred on the handling of their materials in symmetry to the human as well. As they touch the same issue twice, the paper wishes to open up a discussion on how the knowledge productions of those two disciplines often appear isolated, how they more and more interlink and how they could potentially benefit even more from each other.
The argument will be unfolded in three steps. First, it is briefly reviewed how STS and ANT resources have reordered conceptions of society through different versions of symmetry. A special emphasis is placed on new inquiries of the urban, and the studies of creative expertise of the built environments that have been an issue of discussion for the last decade. In historical and contemporary perspective, it is then shown how built material culture has obtained and still obtains social status in the practices of architects. Along three different cases, each of which is discussed exemplarily to a specific kind of architectural practice in the 20th and 21st century, three different versions of symmetry are presented. Third, the analysis concludes by highlighting the gradual differences in the production of knowledge in contemporary STS/ANT inspired analyses and the practices of architects. It discusses the strengths of such immersive view on part of the STS/ANT scholars and also gives and outlook on possible methodological challenges and theoretical failures on both parts.



Jeremias Herberg (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg): How to build on sand. A paradox and heuristic for participatory city planning
Summary: In order to study the reciprocal influence of architecture and society, participatory city provides a promising empirical vantage point. A qualitative case study on two planning projects in the city of Maastricht, the Netherlands, will serve to illustrate two central arguments with regard to the relationship between architecture and society: firstly, participatory city planning practice implies a socio-technical paradox explained below; secondly, Gieryn's concept of "heterogeneous design" may provide for a heuristic to investigate as well as deal with that paradox.
Methods: The interview research investigated two ongoing planning projects both intending to refurbish old industrial buildings for creative industry purposes. This being a technically, culturally, and politically complex task, all interviewees - dependent on their role as squatters, renovators, cultural entrepreneurs, or consultants - employ various cultures and knowledges of planning. At the moment of investigation, the first one was a deadlocked controversy about a particular edifice, while the other had overcome most local resistance by means of participatory methods. The contrasting insights, allowed for general conclusions about challenges of renewing the city's industrial heritage by means of citizen participation.
Results: The success of the participatory planning endeavors and the interaction between the parties involved boils down to a twofold challenge, a paradox, which seems applicable on other planning processes. On the one hand, both projects clearly are subject to a certain pressure to finalize a homogeneous plan; on the other hand, a variety of local concerns claim their stakes in the edifices at hand and thus urge the evolving plan to remain negotiable. A correspondingly interrelated perspective on social and technical planning yields the following results: planners already engage as translators of diverse knowledges whereas plans serve as communication interfaces to align and establish a complex set of socio-technical problems. In terms of rhetorics, plans are actually used as "trials of strengths", a concept by Tryggestad et al which captures the mobilization of plans as challenges or expansions of political consensus. More generally, the observed practices are attempts to cope with the gradual expertization of planning processes as well as the interpretative unruliness of visualizations. Regarding the planning practice, I will suggest that the balancing effort between political consensus and its materialization in sound plans requires a constant iteration and translation between technical and social design. Thus, "heterogeneous design" can serve as an operational paradigm and may contribute to the symmetrical study of socio-technical planning endeavors.



Paul Jones (University of Liverpool): Architecturing Futures: Modelling, Capitalism, and Claims-Marketing
This paper sets out to make a sociological contribution to our understanding of the ways in which knowledge claims are both generated by, and centre on, architectural models. Interrogating the 'additional force' (Sayer, 2001) afforded by digital architectural models to one capitalist project, this paper draws on the work of - amongst others - Thomas Gieryn, James C. Scott, and Albana Yaneva to assess the role of such representations in making meaningful the disparate economic and social claims that underpin a major urban development. Liverpool Waters is a planned £5.5bn residential and commercial development of a 650 acre site of that city's waterfront, which was granted planning permission in principle on March 6th 2012 (with an estimated opening date thirty years hence). As is typical in the initial phases of such a development, the project has been subject to much claims-making by a variety of institutional actors.
Analysis of what the digital architectural models 'do' (Gieryn, 2002) in the context of the Liverpool Waters development centres on the mobilisation of these representations with respect to: i) establishing visual connections between Liverpool and elsewhere; ii) articulation of the radical nature of the transformation suggested by the scheme; and iii) the supplementing of other sets of discourses - such as those emerging from public consultations - at key points in the planning process. The general contention of the paper is that the architectural models of the Liverpool Waters development provide a resource around which wider claims can crystallise; as a site in which connections to other interpretations are made, this architectural modelling is a consequential representation that makes possible other forms of intervention (Hacking, 1983).



Theresia Leuenberger (TU Darmstadt): Theoretical implications of the actor-network-based analysis of the act of perceiving and experiencing architecture
In his essay The Berlin Key (Latour 1991), Bruno Latour describes how an archaeologist reflects on the functionality of technology and its inherent script. Consequently, the reader gets an impression of how this key is used. He gets to know its potential modifications, and its determination as a media that constitutes meaning. The key disciplines one group and grants power to another – after having modified the technology. Latour describes how non-human and human actors build chains of associations. And he shows how technology - subject to the type of connection - may include or exclude human actors. This problem occurs in a similar way if humans and architecture are associated within perception-processes.
Using this as a contextual base, in my lecture I would like to discuss which theoretical aspects of the actor-network-theory (Latour 2005) we could apply to an architectural-sociological approach to exploring the perception and experience of architecture. And, further to this, which theoretical modifications are required in order to expose the difficulties involved with this.
As a researcher, Latour followed the archaeologst's attempts to use the key until she finally understood its functionality. Her approach enables us to learn about the power of technology. In order to explicate the power of architecture and its effects, we depend on human actors who reflect on their perceptions and experiences of architecture.
In my lecture, I therefore argue in terms of a theoretical enhancement. In order to conduct research from an architectural-sociological perspective into the perception and experience of architecture, I recommend applying the Sociology of Space (Löw 2001), in addition to the actor-network-theory. This is because the Sociology of Space takes the observers themselves into account and conceives space in relation to the observer's individual frame of reference.
To exemplify the power (effectiveness) of architecture, I will retrace the associations between observers and architecture, based on the findings in the research I conducted with three groups of scholars from different schools (a grammar-school, a professional carpentry school and a school for culture management) in the Kunsthaus in Bregenz. In relation to architectonic elements, such as the facade for example, I will extract single constitutions of space from the data. Based upon this, associations between observers and architectonic elements showing the same type of linkage will be gathered. In this way, one can demonstrate differences and similarities in the act of perceiving and experiencing architecture on the one hand, and possible exclusion or inclusion on the other hand.
I will therefore argue that only a synthesis of both theories, the Sociology of Space (Löw) and the actor-network-theory (Latour), will enable research into the cultural differences (Reckwitz 2005) related to the perception and experience of architecture. And it is only with this approach that we will be able to show which further collectives arise out of it, diametrically opposed to the groups of scholars.

  • Latour, Bruno. 2005. Reassembling the social an introduction to actor-network-theory. Oxford.
  • Latour, Bruno. 1991. The Berlin key or how to do things with words. In Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture, ed. P.M. Graves-Brown, 10-21. London.
  • Löw, Martina. 2001. Raumsoziologie. Frankfurt a.M.
  • Reckwitz, Andreas. 2005. Kulturelle Differenzen aus praxeologischer Perspektive: Kulturelle Globalisierung jenseits von Modernisierungstheorie und Kulturessentialismus. In Kulturen vergleichen - sozial- und kulturwissenschaftliche Grundlagen und Kontroversen, 92-111. Wiesbaden.



Magdalena Łukasiuk (Uniwersytet Warszawski) & Marcin Jewdokimow (Kardinal Stefan Wyszynski University): Mutual influence of the architecture and all the social properties of a non-home
Der Gegenstand unserer Forschungen ist eine Form des gemeinsames Wohnens, die wir Unhaus genannt haben, in Polen (Łukasiuk, Jewdokimow 2012). Wir meinen dabei die Benutzung einer gemieteten Wohnung von einigen, nicht verwandten Personen (Binnenwanderer aus anderen Ortschaften von Polen, hier: nur qualifiziert, mit Hochschulabschluss). Aufgrund der mehrjährigen Qualitativforschungen (IDIs, visuales Material) möchten wir erwägen, wie die Idee des bürgerlichen Familienhauses, eingebaut in die Architektur der Wohnungen als auch in die Praktiken der Bewohner, mit der reflexiven Gestaltung dieser Wohnform zusammenstoßt (aber auch zusammenarbeitet).
Als erster Punkt wollten wir die methodologischen Fragen dieser Forschung entfalten. Das Wohnen wird nämlich zu automatischer, "durchsichtigen" Tätigkeit, für die auch kein Wortschatz vorhanden ist (Kaufmann 2004). Erst in der Situation einer Änderung, wie z.B. einer Migration, erscheint eine reflexive Selbstbeobachtung und eventuell eine Möglichkeit der Äußerung. Wir möchten dabei eine Konfrontation der IDIs und des visualen Materials besprechen.
Der Hauptteil unseres Referates möchten wir der beidseitigen Einflüsse von der Materialität der Wohnung und der Praktiken der nicht-familiären Benutzung widmen. Die Architektur der Wohnung schenkt der Bewohner bestimmte Sinnofferten (Fischer 2009), die sie teilweise schweigend annehmen, teilweise modifizieren und teilweise ignorieren. Doch andererseits bringen die Bewohner mit sich eine kulturbedingte Idee des Zuhauses, aber auch die Vorstellung ihrer eigener Lebens- und Wohnsituation, aufgrund deren sie mit der Materialität der Wohnungen agieren.
Die Schlussfolgerungen unseres Referates würden die Vorläufigkeit und die Flüssigkeit der Relationen zwischen den Bewohnen und den Unhäusern betreffen. Während das Haus tief und dauerhaft eingekörpert (embodied) ist, erarbeiten die Bewohner des Unhauses vorläufige und oberflächliche Formen des Umgehens mit dem bewohnten Raum, die auch schnell ausgekörpert werden können. Das resultiert bei den geforschten Migranten mit der Ausarbeitung von speziellen Kompetenzen, die problemlose Anpassung an fast jede Architektur ermöglichen und als solche als ein Teil eines spezifischen Migrationskapitals (Bourdieu, Vacquant 2001, Łukasiuk 2007) betrachtet werden können. Andererseits bilden hier sich "berührungslose" Relationen zwischen der Architektur und dem Menschen, der in extremen Fällen seinen Privatraum (bei dem Verstehen des Hauses als privat, intim, familiär usw.) bis auf sein Laptop komprimiert.

  • Augé Marc, 2010, Nie-miejsca. Wprowadzenie do antropologii hipernowoczesności (Non-lieu. Introduction a une anthropologie d la surmodernité), Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
  • Bourdieu Pierre, Wacquant Loic, 2001, Zaproszenie do socjologii refleksyjnej (Réponses. Pour une anthropologie reflexive), Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa.
  • Däumer Matthias, Gerok-Reiter Annette, Kreuder Friedemann (Hg.), 2010, Unorte. Spielarten einer verlorenen Verortung. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
  • Fischer Joachim, 2009, Architektur: "schweres" Kommunikationsmedium der Gesellschaft, "Architektur der Gesellschaft", APUZ (Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte), Heft 25.
  • Fischer Joachim, Delitz Heike (Hg.), 2009, Die Architektur der Gesellschaft. Theorien für die Architektursoziologie, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
  • Hasse Jürgen, 2009, Unbedachtes Wohnen. Lebensformen an verdeckten Rändern der Gesellschaft, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
  • Kaufmann Jean-Claude, 2004, Ego. Socjologia jednostki (Ego. Pour une socjologie de l'individu), Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa.
  • Łukasiuk Magdalena, 2007, Obcy w mieście. Migracja do współczesnej Warszawy, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Akademickie Zak.
  • Łukasiuk Magdalena, Jewdokimow Marcin, 2012, Niedom. Socjologiczna monografia mieszkań migracyjnych, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Akademickie Zak.
  • Morley David, 2003, Home Territories. Media, mobility and identity, London, New York: Routledge.



Christina May (Ruhr-Universität Bochum): Zoological parks as cultural representations and ecological experiments.
Die Bauaufgabe des zoologischen Gartens konfrontiert ihre Planungsverantwortlichen mit dem Konflikt, sowohl Menschen als auch Wildtiere als Klienten zu bedienen und über ihre Ausstattung und Raumdisposition Beziehungen der Besucher zu den Wildtieren herzustellen. Naturwissenschaftliche Forschungen müssen berücksichtigt werden, um für die Tiere einen angemessenen Lebensraum zu gestalten. Ebenso ist den Unterhaltungs- Erholungs- und Bildungsbedürfnissen des menschlichen Publikums Rechnung zu tragen. Auf makro-sozialer Ebene repräsentieren Zoobauten das gesellschaftliche Mensch-Tier-Verhältnis, mikro-soziale Relationen werden über die individuellen Rezeptionsmöglichkeiten an den Anlagen ablesbar. Die Entwürfe für Tiergehege werden zwar naturwissenschaftlich legitimiert, als experimentale Orte für Wohnentwürfe und biosystemische Studien werden jedoch nur wenige Zoos genutzt. Unter ökonomischen und legitimatorischen Druck fungieren sie als niedrigschwellige Ausstellungsräume in bildungsbürgerlicher Tradition des 19. Jahrhunderts. Diese dominante kulturelle Funktion steht im Kontrast zum experimentellen Potential der Parkanlagen.
Als Gegenstand meines genuin architekturhistorisch Dissertationsprojektes eignet sich Zooarchitektur daher bevorzugt, eine methodische Analogie und Synthese von Architektursoziologie und STS zu validieren. Im geplanten Vortrag werden die vielschichtigen, teils widersprüchlichen Gestaltungsvoraussetzungen und -praktiken exemplarisch an den Fallbeispielen des Züricher Zoos der 1960er Jahre sowie des Woodland Park Zoos von Seattle der 1970er Jahre dargestellt. Anhand der vergleichenden Untersuchung von Planmaterial, schriftlichen Korrespondenzen und der visuellen Autopsie realisierter Parkanlagen und Tierhäuser sowie ihrer Weg- und Blickführungen werden die vielschichtigen Diskurse und ihre Wechselwirkungen mit wissenschaftlicher Forschung und Architekturtheorie transparent.
über den historischen Vergleich werden verschiedene Entwurfsmethoden sichtbar, Kontingenz als wesentliches Merkmal einer Architektur für Wildtiere zu akzeptieren und dennoch produktiv zu entwerfen. Parallelen zum zeitgenössischen Wohnbau belegen die jeweiligen sozialhistorisch abhängigen Prioritäten, die auf Tierunterkünfte übertragen werden. Umgekehrt beeinflussen Theorien zu Verhaltensforschung und Umweltpsychologie den Wohnbau, für den Erkenntnisse aus Tierexperimenten und Feldbeobachtungen nutzbar gemacht werden.
Beispielsweise beruht die Entwicklung der Proxemik durch Edward Hall auf der Studien zur Fluchtdistanz des Zürcher Zoodirektors Hediger, mit dem Hall im Dialog befand. Gibsons wahrnehmungspsychologische Theorie der Affordanz dient als Voraussetzung, in den 1970er Jahren Gehege mit Gegenständen auszustatten, die ein aktiveres Verhalten bei Tieren auslösen, das sogenannte Environmental Enrichment. Eine gezielte Umweltgestaltung wird schließlich unter der Bezeichnung "Landscape Immersion" auch zur Motivation von Besucherverhalten eingesetzt. Die Berücksichtigung von Interaktionen zwischen Besucher, Wildtier und Umwelt sind damit wesentliches Merkmal von Zooplanung, eng verknüpft mit ihrer Notwendigkeit zu hoch spezialisierten technischen und gestalterischen Innovationen.



Christine Neubert (TU Dresden): Between ubiquity and marginality: Following the idea of Workplace Studies in Berlin's Humboldt-Box.
In den Science and Technology Studies und speziell in den Workplace Studies (WPS) der 1980er und 90er Jahre fällt die Betonung sozialer Interaktion zwischen Mensch und technischem Artefakt auf deren situative Einpassung und routinierten Ablauf. Entsprechend dieser Schwerpunkte wurden im Hinblick auf die Methodologie empirischer Studien damals die richtigen Weichenstellungen vorgenommen. Kontextuelles Forschen, exploratives und partizipatives Vorgehen und qualitative Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung wie teilnehmende Beobachtungen und fokussierende Interviews nahmen speziell Arbeitsvollzüge unter der Frage in den Blick: Welchen Veränderungen sind diese Arbeitspraktiken durch die Einführung neuer hochtechnologischer Systeme und Kommunikationsmedien unterworfen? Möchte man dieses Forschungsanliegen adäquat auf das Wirken der Architektur in der Alltagswelt übertragen, muss die Frage jedoch subtiler gestellt werden. Ein wesentlicher Grund dafür liegt in der unhintergehbaren Omnipräsenz der gebauten Umwelt im Alltag, sie lässt die Architektur als Sozius für den Handelnden in den Hintergrund rücken, beiläufig passieren. Darüber hinaus ist die Auseinandersetzung mit Gebautem vor allem eine leibliche und wenig versprachlichte. Demnach besteht die Herausforderung, die situativen und routinierten Erfahrungen mit Architektur mithilfe der Methoden der WPS zur Sprache zu bringen. Anhand eines prominenten Beispiels soll dieses Anliegen im Vortrag nahegebracht werden.
Die Humboldt-Box Berlin dient als repräsentatives wie extravagantes Architektur-Objekt, das die Aufmerksamkeit der Stadtbesucher fangen und auf das entstehende Humboldt-Forum lenken soll. In diesem Sinne fungiert sie als Imageträger in der Kulturlandschaft Berlins. Abseits davon gehen im Inneren der Box die Service-Mitarbeiter ihren alltäglichen, eingeübten Arbeiten nach: verkaufen, beraten, informieren, servieren, kochen, putzen etc. Auf sie soll in meinem Vortrag die Aufmerksamkeit und wissenschaftliche Beobachtung gelenkt werden. In welcher Art spiegelt sich in den Beschreibungen ihrer alltäglichen Handlungspraktiken Architektur als konstitutiver Bestandteil dieser Praktiken? Was bleibt von dem Designobjekt, wenn der routinierte Gebrauch von Gebautem und dessen Einbettung in unmittelbare, alltagsweltliche Sinnzusammenhänge im Vordergrund stehen? Das Fallbeispiel provoziert den Kontrast zwischen Diskurs- und Praxiswissen und soll somit zu den Strukturen eines alltagsweltlichen Architekturerfahrens vordringen. Die systematische Metaphernanalyse1 dient dabei als wesentliches Hilfsmittel. Durch die Sensibilisierung für die Vielfalt metaphorischer Ausdrücke im alltäglichen Sprachgebrauch, ergibt sich die Möglichkeit, architekturrelevantes Praxiswissen - und damit den leiblichen Architekturbezug im Alltag - anhand der Analyse themenbezogener Metaphern zu rekonstruieren.
Das Label Workplace wird also wörtlich genommen und explizit als Forschungsgegenstand reaktiviert.
1 Hauptsächlich nach Rudolf Schmitt, siehe z.B. ders. 2011: Systematische Metaphernanalyse als qualitative sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungsmethode. In: 21/2011, S. 47-82.



Nikolai Roskamm (TU Berlin): Das Materielle des Diskurses - Laclau vs. Latour (English title t.b.a.)
Die alternative Metaphysik von Bruno Latour stößt in der Architektursoziologie deshalb auf ein solch starkes Interesse, weil hier der Dualismus zwischen den Dingen und den Nicht-Dingen bereits im Namen des Forschungsfeldes angelegt ist und damit zur Auseinandersetzung aufruft: die Architektur als materielles Substrat/Produkt auf der einen, die Soziologie als Lehre vom Sozialen (also vom Nicht-Materiellen) auf der anderen Seite. Das Nachdenken über das Verhältnis zwischen baulich-räumlichen Strukturen und dem Sozialen, zwischen den Objekten und den Subjekten oder zwischen dem Materiellen und dem Diskursiven ist für jede Beschäftigung mit Architektur von zentraler Bedeutung - für eine Architektursoziologie ist es Gründungserfordernis. Latours Denken verdankt seine Popularität dem Umstand, dass er jenseits eines vulgär-materialistischen Ansatzes ein theoretisches Modell anbietet, das von einer Wirkungskraft der Materialitäten auf das Soziale ausgeht. In diesem Konzept wird auch Architektur potenziell bedeutungsvoll. Latour setzt seine Konzeption gegen das traditionelle dualistische Denken, in dem er nicht dessen Pole (das Materielle/dass Nicht-Materielle) betont, sondern die Beziehungen und Mischformen in den Vordergrund rückt, die zwischen diesen Polen bestehen (vgl. Gil 2008).
In meinem Paper möchte ich den Latour'schen Ansatz mit dem Denken des Politischen von Ernesto Laclau konfrontieren, das die vorherrschende Ontologie ebenfalls bedroht, aber in der Architektursoziologie bisher kaum rezipiert worden ist. Auch Latour hat sich nicht mit Laclau beschäftigt, beide Ansätze weisen aber - so lautet meine These - einige Gemeinsamkeiten auf. Laclau geht in gewisser Weise spiegelbildlich zu Latour vor und bekräftigt den materiellen Charakter jeder diskursiven Struktur. Laclaus' Provokation ist es daher nicht, dem Nicht-Sozialen Wirkungs- und vielleicht sogar Handlungsmacht mit auf den Weg zu geben, sondern umgekehrt, die materiellen Eigenschaften/Wirkungen des Diskursiven zu betonen. Aus dieser Perspektive sind auch Architektur oder Stadtplanung in erster Linie Sprachstile/Diskurse, allerdings Diskurse mit sehr materiellen Eigenschaften: "Was eine differentielle Position und deshalb eine relationale Identität mit bestimmten sprachlichen Elementen konstituiert, ist nicht die Idee eines Bausteins oder einer Platte, sondern der Baustein oder die Platte als solcher. (Die Verbindung von Ideen eines 'Bausteins' hat bisher - soviel wir wissen - nicht zum Bau irgendeines Gebäudes ausgereicht.)" (Laclau/Mouffe 1996, 159).
Ziel meines Papers ist es, die Verbindungslinien zwischen Laclau und Latour herauszuarbeiten und dabei auf die beiden aus meiner Sicht zentralen Punkte von Laclau zu fokussieren: Erstens die Entwicklung einer Kontingenztheorie als Basis seines alternativen metaphysischen/ontologischen Modells und zweitens die Etablierung eines Denkens des Politischen, welches sich direkt aus dieser Konzeption ergibt. Ein solches Denken des Politischen ist bei Latour wiederum eher schwach ausgeprägt und fehlt daher meines Erachtens einer Architektursoziologie, die sich auf den Latour'schen Ansatz bezieht.

  • Gill, B, 2008, Über Whitehead und Mead zur Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie, in: Kneer et al. (Hg.), Bruno Latours Kollektive, Frankfurt a.M., S. 57-75.
  • Laclau, E., 1990, New reflections on the revolution of our time, London/New York.
  • Laclau, E.; Mouffe, C., 1991, Hegemonie und radikale Demokratie, Wien.
  • Latour, B., 2010, Eine neue Soziologie für eine neue Gesellschaft, Frankfurt a.M.
  • Latour, B., 2008, Wir sind nie modern gewesen, Frankfurt a.M.



Marianne Stang Våland (Copenhagen Business School) & Susse Georg (Aalborg Universitet): The sociology of architecture revisited: exploring the relationship between material and organizational devices
The sociology of architecture may, among other things, be recognized as the relationship between the production and constitution of architectural products, on the one hand, and the social context within which these products are being shaped and used, on the other. But in order to understand more about this relationship and how it may inform various arrangements or practices, we need to look more closely into the associations upon which the relationship is being based.
Within for example management and organization studies, scholars have for some time now shared an interest in how the architectural design that accommodates organizational practice might inform the organization's performance and collaboration. This interest has by some been characterized as "the spatial turn" of organization studies (Sydow 2002, Taylor and Spicer 2007, Marrewijk and Yanow 2011). But what do managers (or scholars) see when they turn towards space, and how can the relationship between architecture and organization be studied and theorized? Although there are notable exceptions, in which the relationship between architecture and organization is being considered from an empirical point of departure (e.g. Yanow 1995, 1998, Halford, 2004, Ewenstein and Whyte 2007a, 2007b, Peltonen 2011, van Marrewijk and Yanow 2011), much of this research takes an abstract, philosophical approach to the role that space can play in organizational contexts (Gagliardi 1991, Hernes 2004, Kornberger and Clegg 2004, Clegg and Kornberger 2006, Dale and Burell 2011).
Informed by actor-network theory (Law 1992, Akrich 1997, Latour 2005, 2009), we suggest the relationship to be explored through the interplay between architectural and organizational design processes. In this approach, we are particularly attending to how the materiality of architecture can influence organizational design and vice versa (Orlikowski 2007, Tryggestad and Georg 2010, Van Marrewijk and Yanov 2011).
In the paper, we present a case study of a merger between two local government agencies as an exemplar of such concurrent architectural and organizational design processes. We examine one particular example of how the materiality of architectural design enabled representatives from the organization to perceive and comprehend their organization in new ways, and discuss how material objects may be given an additional task as 'organizational devices'. On this basis, we also consider a few of the implications the approach may have for the architectural designer.

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Jarmin Christine Yeh (University of California, San Francisco): Researching Architecture and Society. What can a theoretically and empirically ambitious sociology of architecture learn from STS?
This paper proposes using a study of gerontology - as it relates to "aging in place" - to demonstrate the usefulness of a sociology of architecture with STS. I propose that understanding the experiences of older adults, and more specifically the notion of "aging in place," includes the mixing of social beings living in time, their social relations and interactions with architectonic objects, and how representations and interpretations of spaces and places structured by technologies and built environments shape and (de)stabilize identities. In recent decades, "aging in place" has entered the lexicon of gerontology. It commonly refers to "aging in a familiar environment accompanied by appropriate services to accommodate changing needs in order to delay or avoid institutionalization or higher levels of care."(1) It is determined by the physical design and accessibility of one's own home as well as community features, such as services, amenities, transportation, etc. in neighborhoods and cities. However, gerontology has been criticized for being "data-rich and theory poor"(2) and the use of place in health has been largely influenced by positivists philosophy.(4, 5)
Guided by the notion that "place matters" - that lives are situated and located - the purpose of this paper is to unpack gerontological meanings of place and aging by turning attention toward the philosophical and empirical work that has inspired a thinking of these concepts from the standpoints of a sociology of architecture and STS. To do so, I describe the socio-cultural history of aging in the Western world that influenced gerontology, the emergence of "aging in place" in the lexicon and some of the many meanings and movements this phrase has come to represent. Empirical work will explore efforts of residential modifications, (5, 6, 7, 8) planned or retirement communities; (9) neighborhood connectedness; (10, 11) and "age-friendly cities."(12) Second, I will explore the reciprocal influences of buildings and society that contribute to a spatialized understanding of aging in an urban landscape that simultaneously drives the desire and hinders the opportunities for "aging in place." Considered in this analysis are papers that (re)read urban American history to understand how "old age" and older adult identities are constructed, contested, and negotiated in a range of discursive practices through society's changing attitudes toward urban built environments;(13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) the sociocultural constructions of the life course and their symbolic and subjective influences on place attachment;(21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27) and the role of technologies, beyond assistive and supportive devices, that blur life course identities in post-industrial landscapes.(28, 29, 30) This paper argues that a sociology of architecture and STS can help inform and advance the production of gerontological knowledge by problematizing a singularly biomedical understanding of aging. This paper suggests that an embodied understanding of human/non-human relationships may inform discourses of aging by bringing into better focus what older adults and aging bodies do to resist, move through, negotiate and navigate with technologies and built environments.

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