The Weltanschauung as an Ersatz Gestalt

Jan Turnovský's original, learned, critical, and sublimely ironical treatise on open systems in architecture, published for the first time ever.

 

 

Title Information

Jan Turnovský. With an epilogue by Gabriele Kaiser. Edited by Eva Guttmann, Gabriele Kaiser, and Claudia Mazanek

1st edition

, 2016

Text English and German

Paperback

142 pages, 59 b/w facsimile illustrations

22 x 28 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-000-8

Content

Jan Turnovský (1942–95) was a renowned architect and architectural theorist. An exceptionally dedicated teacher and researcher throughout his tenure at the Vienna University of Technology’s Institute for Architecture and Design, he was also the author of the boldly original Poetics of a Wall Projection, where he explores architecture’s many rich layers of meaning. Turnovský’s thinking has been highly influential for generations of Austrian architects, but relatively little documentation remains from his early career, including his nascent forays into architectural theory.

The Weltanschauung as an Ersatz Gestalt was Turnovský’s thesis, written in 1978 as a requirement to complete his studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. For more than thirty years, it has remained unpublished—until now. This facsimile publication sheds new light on the development of his theoretical trajectory by revealing Turnovský’s interest in the philosophy of “open systems” as proposed by the Italian novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco. Turnovský applies the logic of open systems to the architectural design process, which allows for a personalized perception that may differ from both the collective experience and the creator’s artistic vision. Drawing on this novel theoretical approach, Turnovský offers a new critical assessment of three widely accepted architectural practices of the time: numerical aesthetics, ideology, and semiology.

A fascinating work by a highly original theoretician, The Weltanschauung as an Ersatz Gestalt is presented here in facsimile of the original English typoscript with a new introductory essay.

Authors & Editors

Eva Guttmann

 studied political science, history and architecture, and was director of HDA – Haus der Architektur in Graz from 2010 till 2013.

Gabriele Kaiser

 studied art history in Vienna and is an architecture publicist and lecturer. Since 2010 she has been director of afo – architekturforum oberösterreich.

Claudia Mazanek

Jan Turnovský