Between Intellectual and Sensory Reason: Towards an Epistemology of  Architecture

Throughout the history of philosophy, architecture has been widely referred to as a metaphor for conscious action and logical construction. For Aristotle the work of the master builder served as a metaphor for his philosophy of action, while Nietzsche used the metaphor of a “shaking tower of concepts” to visualize and make more comprehensible the precarious state of metaphysics. Yet architecture means much more to philosophy and critical thought than what the explanatory use of architectural imagery evokes. It was Kant who went beyond metaphor by claiming “architectonics is the art of systems”. As such, architecture is not only a cultural practice based on knowledge but moreover a cultural practice that serves the production of philosophical knowledge.

This course focuses on the double bind of architecture as a material practice and an agent of knowledge production. We will discuss the importance of architecture in the formation of thought. It will draw attention to architecture as a cultural practice between intellectual reason and sensual reason. It was Nietzsche who already emphasized the close interrelation between philosophy and architecture and insisted on the philosopher’s need for appropriate spaces for thinking. He held that after the death of God “we need some recognition of what above all is lacking in our big cities: quiet and wide, expansive places for reflection. Places with long, high-ceilinged cloisters for bad or all too sunny weather”.

The course will raise the consciousness for the fact that it is through architecture that the sensual and the cognitive are bound together. As much as it is a material and spatial practice, architecture is an intellectual practice enabling man to experience aspects of our world that are usually disconnected: intellectual reason and sensory reason. How do these “places for reflection” look like, and moreover what do we expect these spaces to look like today in the information age.

Course instruction for students / participants

NOTE: Participants should prepare 20-minute-long presentations on topics of their research and allow a further 10 minutes for discussions following course descriptions.

*ECTS points are available for MA and PhD students. The requirements for ECTS credits are (i) participation in at least 80% of all lectures, (ii) presentation of a previously prepared original paper on the topic of the course or discussion papers on the papers provided by lecturers. The organizers will prepare the official IUC certificate, which will include a detailed overview of the students’ obligations (sufficient for 3 ECTS). Whether ECTS will be recognized as parts of their academic programs or as additional achievements in diploma supplements depends solely on the institutions that the students come from.

Course lecturers / 2017. / 2018.

  • Snjezana Prijić – Samaržija / University of Rijeka
  • Prof. Joerg Gleiter / Technische Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Petar Bojanić / University of Belgrade
  • Prof. Vladan Đokić / University of Belgrade
  • Idis Turato / University of Zagreb
  • Prof. Ludger Schwarte / Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf

Course directors / 2017. / 2018.

  • Snježana Prijić Samaržija / University of Rijeka
  • Jörg H. Gleiter / Technical University Berlin
  • Petar Bojanić / University of Belgrade, Serbia

Accommodation: Students themselves organize their travel and accommodation in Dubrovnik. The IUC administration has recommended the services of the Gulliver travel agency, which can be contacted via the e-mail address danijela.strman[at] . You can also acquire additional information about the accommodation on this IUC link.

Course Fee: The IUC requires the payment of a small course fee, currently 40 EUR or its HRK equivalent, which is to be paid by all course participants. The fee could be paid directly in the IUC office throughout the duration of the course.