Autumn Public Lectures 2013
The Architecture of Communication

Staging the Message
The Architecture of Communication

Here form is content, content is form.

Samuel Beckett

What comes first? "Technically writing. I first wrote to create credibility for the kind of architecture I wanted to do. Now it has become more diverse. Part of it is to describe architecture's evolving present … Part of it - like the Harvard work - is to prepare ourselves to deal with issues, like the Chinese city, that you can feel are immanent in the practice. Part of it I consider like pure writing, literary, like "Generic City" or "Junk Space". I think that is very confusing to people. I try out different genres, different tones, clinical - Generic City, or hysterical - Junk Space.

Rem Koolhaas

Today it is important to design and install antennas in the place of the world that are symbolically impoverished by the geopolitics of clichés. Antennas that not only receive but also transmit richer information on the social and cultural conditions of places in which they are installed. Interactive antennas is the most effective means to counter a geopolitics that destroys - as Jürgen Habermas would say - any chance of communicative interaction.

Stefano Boeri


Staging the Message. The Architecture of Communication.

With the autumn lecture series and the ResArc course "Staging the Message. The Architecture of Communication" the UMA School of architecture will especially investigate - besides a series of other relevant curriculum lectures - how mediated research can establish a pro-active relation with its audience. In reaction to the virtual realism of the spectacle dominating mainstream media - which prevents a substantive use of word and image, the lecture series and course deals with textual, visual and spatial practices that further more refined, complex and argumentative forms of communication and foreground the constructed nature of their messages in order to solicit the active interpretation of the viewer/reader. To paraphrase architect Stefano Boeri we are in need of interactive antennas that counter a geopolitics that destroys any chance of communicative action. It is for this reason that the lectures and course focuses on the practices of a narrative language use in text, image, spatial and electronic media with emphasis on the potentialities and richness of the 'reflexive' or 'dialogic approach'. It tries to recuperate the specificity of its progressive and participatory practice - due to its role in the socio-cultural context producing meaning and symbolic values - by concentrating on the editing and making process. Which is to say that the course will introduce a way of directing that structures the collection of information and its editing in such a way that the staging, the 'mise-en-page' of the message gets the complementary sensitivity its content deserves.

 The lectures are organized by Roemer van Toorn, Professor Architectural Theory, in collaboration with the Swedish research school ResArc, the Laboratory of Immediate Architectural Intervention (LiAi) run by Professors Oren Lieberman & Alberto Altes Arlandis, and the Laboratory of Sustainable Architectural Production (LSAP) run by Professors Walter Unterrainer and Jüri Soolep at UMA.

Public lectures (including other themes) by:  


Andreas RubyAndreas Ruby

From Space to Page and Back
(Staging the Message, ResArc PhD Course),
Germany. January 24, 2014


Michael RockMichael Rock

Empire of Screens
(Staging the Message, ResArc PhD Course), USA
January 23, 2014


Dana CuffDana Cuff

Architecture's Metropolitan Desire
United States of America
January 16, 2014


Kevin DaleyKevin Daley

United States of America
January 15, 2014


Beate HølmebakkBeate Hølmebakk

Finding Context
January 8, 2014




Sven-Olov WallensteinSven-Olov Wallenstein

December 12, 2013 


Nader VossoughianNader Vossoughian

Architecture as Visual Argument:
the Bauentwurfslehre as Case Study
(Staging the Message, ResArc PhD Course)
November 13, 2013

Lars LerupLars Lerup

The Strange (and Possibly Happy)
Life of Objects
United States of America
October 31, 2013


Jimenez LaiJimenez Lai 

Cartoonish Worlds
United States of America
October 23, 2013


Els KuijpersEls Kuijpers 

A Dialectic History of Mentalities
in Communication
(Staging the Message, ResArc PhD Course), Netherlands. October 15, 2013

Rodrigo_Sanchez de SerdioJavier Rodrigo & Aida Sanchez de Serdio

Antagonism and Collaboration in Urban Processes
Spain. October 1, 2013

Jan Richard KikkertJan Richard Kikkert

Real Architecture, the Works of John Lautner
September 19, 2013


Neelkanth Chaya

Neelkanth Chaya

An Indian Architect's Search for Appropiateness
September 16, 2013



Photomontage by Jan van Toorn: Intellectual Gearbox, 2012.