Leitung: Univ.-Prof. PhD Sanford Kwinter
Leitung: Univ.-Prof. Mag.phil.
Dr.phil. Matthias Boeckl
Theory is an indispensible element of the design process
and represents the systematic component of what is increasingly referred to as “design thinking”. Theory also performs a bridging
function; it connects to, and prepares a place for related disciplines and cultures within the sciences and the humanities
as they too seek to account for the transformations of experience of time and space that are marking—and making—our world
Academic theory has been relegated almost exclusively to the analysis of past or existing objects and
works yet it is nowhere more effectively or inventively deployed than in the speculative and generative stages of design practice.
At the Angewandte theory is seen as the integration of knowledge into design, as a discipline that deliberately changes how
we think in order to change not only how, but what we design (much as ‘theory’ is practiced in physics, laying the conceptual
foundations and directions for ‘experimentalists’).
A first task is to demystify the overly complicated languages
that have in the last decades surrounded the world of contemporary theory by focusing directly on foundational concepts and
patterns of modern thought and to root these as broadly as possible in the context of historical practice. There is growing
misunderstanding in the design disciplines today as to where theory ‘comes from’, how and why it is to be used, and what the
nature of its urgency is. Through a program of focused lectures and seminars an account of contemporary ‘thought’ (as a corrective
to the platitudes to which we are too often led by ‘common sense’) is provided primarily with respect to the systems of thought
and culture that generated it: Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. The program at the Angewandte addresses emerging developments in
science, philosophy, urban and technological culture, and acknowledges that a new cosmopolitan, transdisciplinary and experimental
approach is in great need today as architecture and design begin to engage all aspects of cultural, technical and aesthetic