25 Apr, 2023, 17:00

Public lecture series
  • Prof. Dr. Tatjana Schneider (TU Braunschweig)

    Architecture and the rest of it

  • Image © Sebastian Dorbrietz.


    Building, building, building as mantra. Economic growth: equalling panacea. Extreme weather warnings: increasing, increasingly severe. Privatization: ongoing. Insulation: the saviour. Enclosures: systematically structured according to privilege. Decisions made: from top to bottom. We need: lithium, lithium, and more lithium. Earth crisis? Ignored. Ecological disasters: deepening. Futures: first traded than eaten. Buildings: commodities. Privatization, fragmentation and starchitecture as persisting ideologies. Reliance on oil: can’t change, won’t change. Old ideas: comfortable. Timelines: typically, as long as parliamentary terms. Monetary metrics: prevalent. Need for diversion tactics: Why not visit a theme park? All the while, land conversions: worsening. Ethics: a blind spot. Learning environments: largely unreconstructed. The possibility of green growth: so promising, but nobody knows, really. Climate emergency: surely a last-minute bailout is possible, no?! Architecture: happy to play along. Happy to eat the future before it is there. Still.

    Drawing on the research project ‘Architecture after Architecture – Spatial Practice in the Face of Climate Breakdown‘ (DFG/AHRC; www.mould.earth), the lecture will examine architecture’s insistence on notions of progress, its incessant ignoring of climate as a valid category, and its invention of smokescreen after smokescreen to resist necessary change.

    About the lecturer

    In the face of climate breakdown and its accompanying and entangled epochal transformations as well as increasing socio-spatial inequalities, Tatjana’s research and teaching are concerned with case studies that call for and promote principles of common good and resist violent – exploitative, speculative, and exclusionary – productions of space. At the same time, it is important to her to address the impact of these changes on the profession, practice, and education of spatial planners, architects, and city makers in order to establish other forms of organizing, working, and producing. She is particularly concerned with the social, economic, and political parameters within and through which architectures and cities emerge, and with the tools and methods that enable people to intervene transformatively in the production of space.

    Prior to her appointment at TU Braunschweig, Tatjana was employed at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield (2004–2018) and at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (2001–2004), where she also completed her PhD. She was a founding member of the Architectural Workers Cooperative Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space (2000–2007), which critiqued, on both a theoretical and practical level, capitalist (re)productions and uses of the built environment.

    She is currently working on a series of research projects that focus on spatial practice in the face of the climate emergency, most notably: ‘Architecture after Architecture‘. In 2021, she ran for mayor of Braunschweig.