Maybe it was the memory of the mirror, appearing as a fluid image in one of the books that I once read, which led me to this forgotten place. The unity of one single person was depicted in the mirror as a symphony composed of present and past and thus as well of future personae; a symphony of life, which would never repeat itself and in which every chord would appear as a possibility for the myriad pluralities accruing from it -- an almost impossible thought in this millennium, in which humanity is about to achieve its objective of tracking everything that is uncertain.

Paradoxically, it was this unknown image of the plurality of reflections that revealed the path to this place, which is not drawn on any map.


The rectangular room is painted in bright white. No window or door disturbs the continuity of the walls. However, there must be openings in the ceiling, since natural light enters the room from above, along the walls, as funnel-shaped rays.


I am ONE,
I walk to be ALWAYS the LAST in my sequence,
my memories are operators to my dreams.


says the girl in the virtual garden



The Laboratory for Inhabitable Theories and Research in Architecture | LITRA  was founded by artist/architect Claudia Westermann in 2001. It has since then offered a platform for projects at the threshold of art and architecture some of which have involved interdisciplinary collaborations with other artists, designers, and writers.


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Cybernetic Agents for an Ecology of the Far/Near

Design Informatics Webinar, School of Informatics/Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Claudia Westermann | Thursday, 4 February @ 4pm GMT | 


Westermann, Ecology of the far/near


Public Lecture. Registration via Eventbrite

The recording of the presentation is now available online on the Design Informatics website. Alternatively, you may watch it on vimeo.


As the world gravitates towards a state of perpetual crisis, against the unbearable absolute of distance, we posit an ecology of the far/near and present cybernetic agents on the anthropocosmic stage of becoming. Not solely concerned with biological life, ecological thinking engages in conceiving exclusions, and likewise inclusions – in time and space. It emphasises relations and concerns itself with the flourishing of societies, cultures, and communities. Within the context of an ecology of the far/near, design is a performative process that creates limits rather than limitations and, is, therefore, a discipline of radical communication that always seeks to extend itself towards an Other – the unknown – addressing it without pre-quantifying it to render it scientifically verifiable.


Thoughts on Time, Ecology and Art 

Presentation for American Society of Cybernetics (ASC) 2020 Global Conversation, September 12-13

Part 1: Part 2:




Constructing the Hybrid City: Shanghai

If the conceptualizations of place – as giving sense to events – are not only romantic ideas that belong to the old times, or maybe to old Europe, but ideas that are universal, then there might be a reason for the emptiness on Shanghai Pudong’s streets and sidewalks. The ubiquity of the image of Pudong’s skyline might give a truly honest account of what the contemporary networked city in China is like  – mobile and placeless. Is there an option for shifting the situation? Is there a need for it, or a desire? Presentation for the CONNECTIONS: EXPLORING HERITAGE, ARCHITECTURE, CITIES, ART, MEDIA conference held in June 2020 in Canterbury.


Seats for Seeing

were installed in Beikeng village, Yanping district in Fujian province, China, at the end of November 2019.

The work was made in collaboration with colleagues at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Adam Bentley Brillhart, Yiping Dong, and Thomas Wortmann, and with assistance from our alumna Chen Fanyun (mostly on-site) and Ominda Nanayakkara in Civil Engineering (structures consultation).

Seats for Seeing - image


Seats for Seeing - image


The work is part of the Yanping Art Harvest, running from 30 November 2019 to 29 February 2020. It has its own website at


Recent Publications

[..] flowing with the waters, halting with the mountains. In the images of light and wind the ephemeral is inscribed. Time is part of space. The scene performs.

The essay "Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions" published in the book New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today presents traditional Chinese concepts that are typically translated into English as 'landscape.' Following the etymology of the Chinese terms and recognizing that their conceptual focus is on the exchange and nurturing of emotions, which is not captured by the English term, we can gain a new understanding also of contemporary works of Chinese landscape architecture.

The American Society of Landscape Architects lists New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today as one of the best books of 2020.

The text "Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions" by Claudia Westermann of LITRA is available online via google books.


 New Horizons Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today


The PDF of Claudia Westermann's 'The art of conversation: design cybernetics and its ethics' published in Kybernetes is available via researchgate.


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In Dialogue with Nature: Architecture for the Post-Anthropocene

XJTLU, ARC304, FYP Studio 2019-20 | Tutored by Claudia Westermann
Works by Zuo Annan, Shi Xiongzhe, and Yao Yiming


Work by Zuo Annan


In the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, in one of the most memorable scenes at the beginning of the film, director Stanley Kubrick tells us that the dawn of man occurred with the discovery of tools (Kubrick and Clarke, 1968). Thinking objects as tools, specifically to defend and to attack, marks the beginning of technological invention and the transition from ape to human. The Dawn of Man scene reflects Darwinian theories of evolution. The focus on struggle, competition, and death as part of evolution is in line with the emphasis made by Darwinists. According to Darwinian theories, human beings are necessarily always in a struggle with their environment. We have not lived with nature but against nature. Consequently, the activities of human beings have gradually grown into a significant geological, morphological force. A new era has emerged. It has been named the Anthropocene.

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