Infrastructural Architectures. On the History and Theory of Infrastructural Networks in Europe

Research project - Prof. Dr. Georg Vrachliotis

The premise for this work was that infrastructures do not represent purely technical artefacts and systems but rather, are the very epitome of cultural integrative media of the built environment. Infrastructures determine social change, influence the form of buildings, cities and landscapes, dictate to what extent mobile services are available in urban contexts, and serve as fundamental parameters in architecture and urban planning. Architecture must accordingly be grasped not only as a platform for debating aesthetics but also – insofar as it plays an active role in the built environment – must be perceived as an indicator of concrete technological developments. This critical reading of architecture and architectural history challenges the traditional view – i.e. the idea that architecture is primarily a matter of authorial architectures – and instead seeks to broaden and complement current discourse by drawing on methods from the History of Technology, Media History and Social History. The aim of the present interdisciplinary project is to identify the points at which the history of architecture and the history of infrastructures intersect, in terms of theory and in actual practice.