Fellowship: LOEWE Research Cluster, Architectures of Order Fellowship Program

Architectures of Order is an interdisciplinary research project (2020-2023) of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and Technical University of Darmstadt, with the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History and the Deutsches Architekturmuseum as associated partners. Comprising 26 members, the project is concerned with an investigation of architecture as a cultural practice of ordering, that manifests aesthetically, materially, spatially, discursively as well as epistemologically. Hence, the project is as much interested in the influence that architecture exercises on societal, cultural, scientific and technological practices of ordering as it is in how architectural practices of ordering are shaped by society, culture and science. It further-more focuses especially on exploring the interaction between these two terri-tories. Given the interdisciplinary nature of its scope, the project assembles expertise from the fields of architectural history and theory, history, sociology, cultural and media studies, and design theory, further complementing them with competences in architectural design and media practice.

The fellowship program aims to expand the thematic scope and expertise of the resident research group as well as its national and international networks. It provides two fellows per year with the opportunity to spend a research stay of 1-3 months in Frankfurt am Main. Due to the corona pandemic, and until further notice, fellows will not be participating in the program in person; it will be held virtually. As soon as it is possible to plan and execute a research stay again, we will make a decision together in consultation with the fellows.
The research cluster accepts applications from scholars at all career levels (applicants are required to hold a PhD). The work of the fellow should demonstrate connections with the goals of the project as well as its annual research themes, which are:

  • 2020 – Architecture as Metaphor
  • 2021 – Built Order
  • 2022 – Designing Order
  • 2023 – Order/Chaos

The annual theme for 2021, “Built Order”, is also the topic of the lecture series “Built Order: Spaces of Power – Stores of Knowledge”, which will be devoted to the thematic clusters “Spaces of Power” and “Stores of Knowledge” during the summer semester of 2021 and winter semester of 2021/22, respectively. The fellowship is to be carried out during the summer semester of 2021 and will therefore be assigned to the thematic cluster “Spaces of Power”.

The 2021 Annual Theme and Lecture Series “Built Order: Spaces of Power”. Our everyday life, whether in the private or public sphere, is influenced to a not inconsiderable degree by the architectural configuration of the space surrounding us. However, this is rarely the product of coincidental and unintended circumstances. Thus, architects who deal with the structural design of urban spaces, buildings, or even landscape architecture have always had to consider not only the aesthetic, but also the functional requirements and needs that are placed on the buildings and architecture they design.

It is no coincidence that multinational corporations are developing their own corporate architecture, which not only establishes their identity externally, but also uses architectural means to represent hierarchies within their own corporate buildings and, for example, in the form of open-plan offices, to direct the way employees work in certain ways.

However, this is not just a phenomenon of the 20th and 21st centuries. Already in the early modern period, for example, administrative buildings were constructed to accommodate public authorities such as chancelleries, archives and court rooms and, especially in the interior, had to fulfill special functions specifically tailored to the work of public authorities. It can be assumed that such architectures in turn had an impact on the administrative activities and order of the authorities: the built and the immaterial order, as well as the practices that unfolded in the building, would thus find themselves in an interdependent and mutually influential relationship.

However, this does not only apply to individual buildings or building complexes; rather, entire cities were built from scratch on a drawing board. One need only think of the palace complexes of the Baroque era and the clear symmetries that often emanated from them, and which followed an urban planning order that can be understood as an expression of the Prince’s absolutist self-image and world view in the early modern period. With such architectural means, the ruler staged himself in an impressive and unmistakable manner as the center and fixed point of society and the early modern state. In this way, architectural aesthetics can also become a vehicle for functional considerations: the architectural configuration of space becomes the expression of social hierarchies and helps to manifest them physically. The result is “built order”.

Applicant Requirements. In accordance with the interdisciplinary orientation of the project, the research cluster welcomes applications not only from the disciplines already involved in the project (architectural history and theory, art history, cultural and media studies, history, sociology and design theory) but also from other disciplines. The research cluster accepts applications from scholars of all career levels and particularly welcome interest from early career researchers (applicants are required to hold a PhD). A chronological focus on the early modern period (1500-1800) is particularly welcome.

For information on the fellowship and research project, see also: https://architecturesoforder.org/en/architectures-of-order-fellowship/

Please send your application including the following documents compiled in one PDF file by 15 January 2021 to Lena Holbein: holbein@kunst.uni-frankfurt.de

  • Project proposal – approximately 1000 words. The proposal should briefly introduce the research project and address how it connects to the aims of the LOEWE project and the annual theme. It is also supposed to demonstrate the relevance of the project, locate it within current debates and specify your goals and plans for the fellowship.
  • Work schedule – approximately 500 words. Please provide a brief schedule that demonstrates how you plan to spend your time during the fellowship.
  • CV: A CV of no more than 4 pages
  • Writing sample: This can be an article or a chapter from a more comprehensive piece of writing of at least 10 and no more than 20 pages.
  • Referees: Please provide contact details for two referees.

For more information or with questions, please contact: Lena Holbein, M.A. , Project Coordinator – LOEWE Research Cluster Architectures of Order holbein@kunst.uni-frankfurt.de
phone +49(0)69-798-28705

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