Water Under The Bridge


  Jakob Sellaoui

#fragility #goodenougharchitecture #workshop #process #designbuild

Once there was a wild and untamed river. A diverse ecosystem of plant and animal life used to inhabit vast parts of the present city surface of Vienna. Unpredictability, floods, technological advancements and a belief in accumulation and expansion changed this. In order to build the Nordwestbahnhof (former railway station and also the site of this years summer school) a giant engineering project was initiated in 1870. The Danube was regulated, ‘tamed’ and new building land accessed. Like waking up with a bad hangover, we now are experiencing modernities planetary consequences. A call for a different way of relating, of being seems inevitable.

This railway station will be our ‘ground zero’ and point of departure. By exploring its histories and current material realties we aim to explore a possible remedy for our nausea. Rather than aiming for definite outcomes, predictable solutions and improvements (this got us into this mess in the first place) we will seek for something possibly softer, perishable and temporary.

Our workshop aims to be an experiment that explores ways in which we can relate to things other than ourselves and discover spatial possibilities that allow for fragility and decay as a way of sense-making through using our hands, taking walks and telling stories.

Jakob Sellaoui is a US-born architect with Austrian and Algerian background who studied at the Technical University of Vienna and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is currently teaching at the Institute of Architecture and Design at the TU Vienna. Within his architectural practice built projects and theoretical work operate side by side, critically engaging with our contemporary reality. His work has received several awards and grants, including the Austrian Cultural Ministry's Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky Grant, the MAK Schindler Scholarship in Los Angeles, as well as the Advancement Award in architecture by the City of Vienna.


︎MEDIA: Hands-on workshop, visits, readings, group discussions

︎LOCATION: Main location (workshop) & various locations (visits)


︎WHAT TO BRING: Clothes and shoes suited for workshop

︎REQUIREMENTS: Process-oriented mindset, openness towards outcome