Out of the Wild: From Mapping to Operating System
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
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 (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
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
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.