Out of the Wild:
from mapping
to operating system
Bart Lootsma

Bart Lootsma

Out of the Wild: From Mapping to Operating System

Public Lecture
Monday, 25  March 2013


The fourth lecture in the Spring Public lecture series 2013 Making Architecture Politically, was addressed by Innsbruck based educator, researcher and writer Bart Lootsma.

Unfortunately - due to technical problems - there has been no livestream, nor a livestream recording. Half April we wil upload the keynote with sound in another format.


Out of the Wild

The OUT OF THE WILD research project, by the chair for architectural theory of the University of Innsbruck, tries to find continuities in architectural thinking that came out of the Viennese settlers movement after the First World War. It tries to figure out if and how these ideas spread and were developed further and if they have a potential for architecture and urbanism today and in the near future. The project centres around three Austrian born architects and theoreticians: Otto Neurath (1882 -1945), Friedrich Kiesler (1890 - 1965) and Christopher Alexander (1936 -) but also investigates personalities, ideas, projects, events and movements in their vicinity.

The project is called OUT OF THE WILD as an inversion of the title of the 1996 non- fiction book by Jon Krakauer and the Sean Penn movie that was based on it from 2007, in which the young American Chris McCandless, probably influenced by the great Romantic American tradition of Henri David Thoreau and Jack London, leaves civilization behind to survive on his own in nature. At the end of the book, after having tried in vain to return to civilization and shortly before he dies from eating poisoned plants and starvation, the main protagonist writes down as a last entry in his diary that "Happiness is only real when shared" (Krakauer, 2007). This sentence seems almost an echo of Otto Neurath's dictum that "The sum of world happiness is too small. It must be made bigger." (Neurath & Vossoughian, 2008).

An important tool in this research is a website, www.outofthewild.eu, which allows to visualize both direct synchronous relationships between people and events as well as relationships and developments in time. The idea and structure for this website were developed by architecture students and staff of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and the University of Innsbruck. Michael Hofstädter from Ovos web design programmed it. The website consists of a database, a customized Content Management System (CMS) and a web interface, which not only allows to store and present events and contents in a range of different formats, but also to visualize the relationships between these different contents /events in history and between each other. This enables a new and more complex view of these relationships.

OUT OF THE WILD seeks a way to turn a tradition of urbanism that is based on liberal individualism, as it became heavily promoted from the nineteen seventies on, into forms of urbanism that seek synergies and also try to address shared needs and desires, without returning to classical collectivist examples.


Bart Lootsma

Bart Lootsma (Amsterdam, 1957) is a historian, critic and curator in the fields of architecture, design and the visual arts. He is a Professor for Architectural Theory at the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck and Guest Professor for Architecture, European Urbanity and Globalization at the University of Luxemburg. Before, he was Head of Scientific Research at the ETH Zürich, Studio Basel, and he was a Visiting Professor at the Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna; at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nürnberg; at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He held numerous seminars and lectured at different academies for architecture and art in the Netherlands.

Bart Lootsma was guest curator of ArchiLab 2004 in Orléans and he was an editor of ao. Forum, de Architect, ARCHIS and GAM. Bart Lootsma published numerous articles in magazines and books. Together with Dick Rijken he published the book, Media and Architecture' (VPRO/Berlage Institute, 1998). His book ' SuperDutch', on contemprary architecture in the Netherlands, was published by Thames & Hudson, Princeton Architectural Press, DVA and SUN in the year 2000; 'ArchiLab 2004 The Naked City' by HYX in Orléans in 2004.

Bart Lootsma is Board Member of  architektur und Tirol in Innsbruck and reserve-member of the Council for Architectural Culture at the Cabinet of the Austrian Prime Minister in Vienna. was a member of several governemental, semi-governemmental and municipal committees in different countries, such as the Amenities Committee in Arnhem, the Rotterdam Arts Council, the Dutch Fund for Arts, Design and Architecture, Crown Member of the Dutch Culture Council, Member of the Expert Committee 11. International Architecture Biennale, Venice 2008, at the German Ministry for Building and Planning as well as curator of the Schneider Forberg Foundation in Munich.

The website of Bart Lootsma's theory chair and their web magazine, with many important articles and insterviews from Lootsma and others, can be found at:

In May 29 (2013) his recent book: Reality Bytes: Selected Essays 1995 - 2010 will be published by Springer Verlag.