VORTRAG von Frederike Lausch: Changing the Architectonic of Philosophy. Rajchman’s Interest in Folded Architecture

Lissabon / P


Im Rahmen der International Postgraduate Conference „Philosophy & Architecture“, Lissabon/P, 04. bis 06. November 2015


Veranstaltet von der Geisteswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Lissabon und dem Berardo Collection Museum in Lissabon / P




The rise of Deleuze [in architecture] was not a natural phenomenon, but an institutionally structured one”, writes Karen Burns in regard of the influence of Anyone Corporation in the “Deleuze-after-Derrida” narrative in architectural history. In all the major publications about the concept of ‘folding’ in architecture the philosopher John Rajchman, member in the editorial board of ANY magazine, appears as a kind of facilitator expediting the relationship between architecture and philosophy. What is his interest in folded architecture? I will argue that he believes in an enhancement of philosophy through a “new” architecture, as if both of them working together might change the architectonic of our thinking and thereby philosophical working and writing.

According to Frederik Stjernfelt there is no self-liberation from metaphors of architecture in science, so what Rajchman tries is not to release but to renew the architectonic of philosophy, which he identifies with a rigid Kantian schematism. Through “provisional points of contact and alliance” architectural and philosophical constructions could speak together a “new and foreign idiom no longer belonging to the recognized languages of either”. Then, once the architectonic becomes “looser, more flexible, less complete, more irregular, a free plan in which things hang together without yet being held in place”, it will effect the philosophical field so that the questions of how to construct a work or a life can acquire new shapes.

Thus the story of architecture and philosophy connected via sharing the topic of ‘folding’ during the 1990s is not necessarily the one of architects appropriating Deleuze’s philosophy for formal or organisational innovation, but also one which incorporates the actions and intentions of philosophers alike.