Architecture + Philosophy research seminar, ResArc, Sweden: Dr Hélène Frichot, Critical Studies in Architecture, KTH Stockholm

Month: October, 2015

by evagheysen


by hannesfrykholmuma



by hannesfrykholmuma


Heterogenesis is the process in which diversification and unification can happen parallel. Different systems and scales need to be transgressed not reduced in its meaning through homogenization. The process allows different scales in which we exist to be related to each in a committed struggle. To create a space where all of these different aspects can be allowed (without a reduction of meaning) is to engage in a process of heterogenesis. That is for example, to address the environmental crisis of the planet and at the same time consider the emancipation of women on a singular level.

Naive Methodology

by hannesfrykholmuma

Naive Methodology

A naive methodology is the act of forgetting our preconception of what are experiencing. It hopes for an unreading of the world we presume to know. It allows us to become lighter, and float aimlessly on top of existing knowledge. It’s a calculated approach that requires intensive reading prior to happening.



by olasvenle

Philosophical concept developed by Deleuze and Guattari. Grouping of parts in networks, constituting a composite, if only for ever such a short timespan. Assemblages constitute all things around us as well as ourselves. The parts entering into relation with each other can be physical objects, events, signs etc. The relations between the parts of the composite are indefinite and indeterminate.

Moment of Naivete

by helenawesterlind

What is the human fascination (fetishization) with objects?

The concept of “moment of naivete” as described by Bennett seems to suggest that a receptive mood, a “moment of naivete” is useful in the encounter with an object in order to experience materiality beyond humanity. The concept stresses that objects are not solely products of human agency, not merely socially constituted objects but also suggest a separable “force of matter”. It implies a ”flatness” without a set hierarchy and a breaking down of the dichotomy between human and nonhuman actors.


by hannesfrykholmuma

Components of Subjectification

A component is a force that in conjunction with other elements generates subjectivities. Because these components are in a state of constant change, subjectivities are never permanently fixed. Examples of components that create these subjectivities are language, architecture, beliefs, national identities, passing of time, jewelry. To critically reconsider what different components do is also to think about new kinds of subjectivity. For example in what way are different dominating components creating the mode of life within the existing family?


Onto-story, naiveté, thing power

by bojanboric

“A materialism like mine… fleshes out an ontological imaginary of things and their powers”. Jane Bennett


 “It’s a type of writing….that models the world as actor networks, assemblages or ecologies.” (Cloud/land – An Onto-story, Julian Yates)

 Is the ANT and onto-story purely conceptualizing things that we encounter through projecting categories, relations, labels, concepts onto reality in order to make sense of the world?

Naive realism

“I argue that projecting a moment of naive realism into one’s political theory may foster greater ethical appreciation of thing power.” (does this relate to the notion of “methodological naivité”?)

Lack of preconceived notion opens possibilities beyond determinism.

Naiveté according dictionary also has negative connotations such as lack of wisdom and judgment

Is the aim of naïve realism to counteract the ontological determinism?


 ‘Picture an ontological field without any unequivocal demarcations between human, animal, vegetable, and mineral,’ she writes, ‘all forces and flows (materialities) are or can become lively, affective, and signaling.” (thing-power)

“Thing power materialism is a speculative onto-story, a rather presumptions attempt to depict non-humanity that flows around but also through humans.”

 Artificial Intelligence? The Turing test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

What is the line between human and non-human? Is this question even relevant if we accept that “all forces and flows (materialities) are or can become lively, affective, and signaling”.


“The Skin I live In” Human body imprisoned by an artificial skin

“Ex_Machina” (The Turing Test) Almost looks like human but also interacts as human.

“Her” Technological Devices that have emotions, they look like machines but you feel the sense of humanity through interaction with them.

Thanks!   Eva and Bojan

The three ecologies and the techno-scientific irreversibility

by helenawesterlind


Profile of the Industrial Revolution as Exposed by the Chronological Rate of Acquisition of the Basic inventory of Cosmic Absolutes – the 92 Elements” R. Buckminster Fuller (1964)

Link to high-res version pdf: wdsd_phase1_doc3_thinking-45

Guattari presents a seemingly hopeless take on the condition of the planet by stating that the earth is undergoing an intense techno-scientific transformation that is causing an ecological disequilibrium that threatens the continuation of life on the planet’s surface.

Furthermore the deterioration of human life concerns not only man’s relationship with the natural environment, but also the social networks, and the erosion of human subjectivity itself. Guattari strongly warns against responding to these problems with merely further technocratic solutions and instead he urges that “only an ethico-political articulation – ecosophy– between the three ecological registers (the environment, social relations and human subjectivity) would be likely to clarify these questions”. He argues for a reconstruction of social and individual practices of social ecology, mental ecology and environmental ecology and writes ”The only true response to the ecological crisis is on a global scale, provided that it brings about an authentic political, social and cultural revolution, reshaping the objectives of the production of both material and immaterial assets.”.

Apart from outlining negative impacts on the current human way of life, such as the fundamental problem of profit economy and its related power relations, as well as the erosion of subjectivity caused by the ‘standardisation and reduction of mass-media’, Guattari returns again and again to the (negative/problematic) role of techno-scientific progress.

“Wherever we turn, there is the same nagging paradox: on the one hand, the continuous development of new techno scientific means to potentially resolve the dominant ecological issues and restate socially useful activities on the surface of the planet, and, on the other hand the inability of organised social forces and constituted subjective formations to take hold of these resources in order to make them work.”

“So our machines get smarter and we get stupider” (Benjamin Bratten)

While Guattari agrees that it would be absurd to return to the past in order to reconstruct former ways of living he is acutely aware that “neither human labour nor the natural habitat will ever be what they once were, even just a few decades ago” and he predicts that the acceleration and irreversibility of techno-scientific progress will lead to further ‘existential tension’.

One of the reasons for this, is according to Guattari, the increasingly apparent limit of humanity’s techno-scientific power. Because while industrial capitalism has aided our enhanced knowledge and technological capabilities beyond belief we’re still faced with massive inequalities, diseases and wars and Guattari specifically brings up examples like the Chernobyl and AIDS as warnings of what ‘backlashes’ that ‘nature’ has in store for us.

At the same time Guattari forecasts that natural equilibrium will be increasingly reliant upon human intervention, and that a time will come when drastic measures will have to be taken in order to regulate the relationship between oxygen, ozone and carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. The prospect of the creation of new living species – animal and vegetable – appears like a highly likely scenario that nevertheless sparks the question of ethics (Guattari p. 44). Sociological, media, and design theorist Benjamin Bratton also recognises that technologival progress appears as both wonderful and horrifying at the same time, and to make them serve good futures he sees the need to talk more about preventing certain potential innovations that we do not want from happening, “innovation just isn’t a strong enough idea by itself”.

Here I would like to add another concern regarding technology formulated by Benjamin Bratton as a ‘placebo technoradicalism’, that is having to much faith in technology, and not nearly enough commitment to technology. There seem to be strong tendencies of using technology to simply reaffirm the comfortable without dealing with the hard stuff. Similar to Guattari’s ideas about transversality Bratton states, “If we really want transformation, we have to slog through the hard stuff (history, economics, philosophy, art, ambiguities, contradictions). Bracketing it off to the side to focus just on technology, or just on innovation, actually prevents transformation”. In this case the placebo is even worse than ineffective because it is capable of diverting human interest, enthusiasm and outrage “until it’s absorbed into this black hole of affectation”. “Because, if a problem is in fact endemic to a system, then the exponential effects of Moore’s Law  also serve to amplify what’s broken”.


Helena Westerlind

by helenawesterlind


My research is concerned with the material culture of architecture in which materials condition what we can do, and technology condition how we think about materials. The project investigates a newfound relationship between concrete and form with the introduction of 3D printing technology and explores the shifting role of concrete, from that of a passive material, to an active material with inherent morphogenetic tendencies. In the evolution of concrete as an architectural medium formwork pre-exists its very existence, and its dominating role in the built environment gives cause to reflect on the implications of pursuing concrete solely as a receptacle of form. The question is, what was lost in the process? 3D printing marks a fundamental shift in the handling and application of concrete that, not only, that requires us to fundamentally reconsider its materiality in terms of its composition, its physics, and logistics, but also to re-examine its function across the social, cultural and economical territories that make up our modern world.

I joined the KTH School of Architecture in September 2014 and returned to my hometown Stockholm after living many years in Madrid and London. Since graduating from the Architectural Association in 2011 I have been working with the independent art studio Factum Arte, based in Madrid, where I have been engaged in artistic research and exhibition development. Factum Arte consists of a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to the merging of digital technologies and craft in the realisation and preservation of cultural heritage and projects included the exhibition Diversi Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy & Excess and the long running research project into the polyhedral fantasies of Wenzel Jamnitzer in Perspectiva Corporum Regularium. Previously I have been working in architectural practices in Berlin and New Delhi.