academic project 2016

Prof. Renzo Vallebuona,
Prof. Dr. Georg Vrachliotis

awarded with Campus Masters annual winner 2nd prize

Ruins have already been treated as objects of theoretical considerations in many disciplines. There are many cross-references between the individual subjects. While humanities scholars investigate the influence of ruins on humans, arts and culture, architects have to deal with their physical presence and absence of function and meaning. The confrontation with ruins help them to question their self-image.

The ruin is a metaphor for failure and new beginnings. It shows us the utopia and the vanishing of ideas and goals. Excluded from the performance oriented society, it is an island of timelessness. This transience is described as entropy. This term, which is borrowed from science, describes the state of the greatest possible disorder and uniform chaos. The irreversibility in this leads to pessimism.

In this situation the American artist Robert Smithson introduces the concept of the stopgap solution which allows him to open the potential, which is hidden in decay. In this work this potential is examined on the basis of an etymology of different terms. These are: absence, memory, emptiness, fragmentation, stratification, ambiguity, ephemerality and potential.