Emancipatory Housing.  

Dumb Emancipatory City Planning.

Büro Bietenhader Moroder

Davide Battel, Lili Gardos, Elvira Monti, Stefan Zupan

#Vienna Architecture Summer School 2022
#dumbemancipatoryhousing #dumbemancipatorcityplanning #dumbness #dumbcopyness #maximalistsameness #redvienna

Historical, formal and aesthetic distinctions between public- and free-market housing have been lost, all housing is or mimics bourgeois-luxury-housing.

In the search for an intrinsically public housing architecture Büro Bietenhader Moroder seeks to critically reclaim the historical forms and aesthetics of the architecture built by Red Vienna, 1919-1934. Here we find specific formal articulations of a non-functionalist public housing architecture that gives shape to a collective life that is affordable and emancipatory. Through this critical historical re-reading we are developing an emancipatory housing that is so directly public, so clear and basic that it is dumb.

A totally overlooked formal quality of architecture was discovered in this search: Maximalist intentional sameness, termed Dumb Copyness. Dumb Copyness is fundamentally different than mere serial repetition. Instead, it relies on formal qualities that enhance the maximum sameness of rooms, flats or entire housing blocks far beyond mere industrial or functionalist seriality. Hereby methodological rigor is central. Through a rejection of creative ad-hoc-subversion, deviation on every level, – the ubiquitous demand for 'smartness' –, we can re-establish a methodical planning that achieves a directness that is greatly and blatantly dumb.

The final outcome of the workshop will be large multifunctional dumb emancipatory public housing schemes for the city of Vienna.

Sebastian Bietenhader and Matthias Moroder have been working together as Büro Bietenhader Moroder since 2015. Büro Bietenhader Moroder deals with copyness as a positive formal property of architecture, which makes it possible to work formally against the neoliberal architecture of differentiation, flexibilization and individualization. By simultaneously maximizing the formal relations of architectural settings to one another, which is conceptually defined as copyness, Büro Bietenhader Moroder opens up a re-reading of the formal characteristics of social housing of French and Russian revolutionary architecture and that of Red Vienna.


Sebastian Bietenhader studied architecture at the ETH Zurich (BSc.) and at the Harvard GSD, as well as history and philosophy of knowledge, also at the ETH Zurich (MSc.), where he did a thesis on the development of the computer modelling space, which will be essential for BIM. He headed the student discussion group “Ambitus”. He is a regular guest critic at the ETH and has been teaching architecture at EASA and the Vienna University of Technology.

Matthias Moroder studied architecture (AA Dipl.) at the Architectural Association in London, art history (BA) and philosophy (BA) at the University of Vienna and history and theory of architecture (MAS) at the ETH Zurich. Besides the work as Büro Bietenhader Moroder, since 2018 he is co-leading MAGAZIN, an independent exhibition space for architecture in Vienna. Matthias is currently a PhD candidate at the department of art history of the University of Vienna and has been teaching architecture and architectural history and theory at various institutions.