Prelude

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

About

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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Thoughts on Time, Ecology and Art  Presentation for American Society of Cybernetics (ASC) 2020 Global Conversation, September 12-13 2020

Part 1: https://youtu.be/4Wcq5WbhmyA Part 2: https://youtu.be/c5JibGTXNks

 
 

 

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. https://youtu.be/mDRzB33TJdM

 


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 www.seatsforseeing.net.

 

Recent Publications

"Chinese Landscape Aesthetics: the exchange and nurturing of emotions" is a short essay published in October 2020 in the book New Horizons: Eight Perspectives on Chinese Landscape Architecture Today. The essay 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.

 

 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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Teaching

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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