Jasper Cepl (Weimar): Einflüsse der Wissenschaftstheorie auf die Methodik in Architekturtheorie und Architekturgeschichte

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The talk examines the theory of Royston Landau (1927–2001) who was Head of the Graduate School at the Architectural Association from 1974–93. In his writings, Landau contributed both to updating the agendas of contemporary practice and critically reflecting on the structures of the architectural culture to which he belonged.

Through an early exchange with architectural historian Stanford Anderson, who had studied with Paul Feyerabend, Landau became aware of recent developments in the philosophy of science. He became one of the most fervent promoters of the theories of Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and particularly Imre Lakatos. He adopted Lakatos’s “methodology of scientific research programmes” and, in what he called “positional analysis”, turned the concept into a method that allowed him to clarify how architects set up their agendas.

Landau’s appropriation of developments in the philosophy of science in the 1960s, namely of the methodology of scientific research programmes to map out architects’ decision-making processes, shows how theory travels between fields of knowledge, with ideas and methods morphing when ‘sojourning’ in new intellectual contexts. It offers a strong evidence-based illustration of how these connections are established and unfold with long-lasting consequences.

Jasper Cepl, Jahrgang 1973, Architekt. Studium der Architektur an der RWTH Aachen und der TU Berlin. Diplom 2000, Promotion 2006. Habilitation im Fach Architekturtheorie 2013. 2003–2013 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der TU Berlin, Fachgebiet Architekturtheorie. 2013–2014 Lehrbeauftragter für Architekturgeschichte an der Universität zu Köln. 2014–19 Professor für Architekturtheorie an der Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau. Seit Oktober 2019 Professor für Theorie und Geschichte der modernen Architektur an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.