PD Dr. Heike Delitz

      
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PD Dr. Heike Delitz

Universität Bamberg
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie II
 

DFG-Projekt: Architektonische Modi der kollektiven Existenz /Architectural Modes of Collective Existence


The project explores the social importance of architecture within a comparative research methodology. This is the necessary basic step in order to inquire in future, interdisciplinary projects current and historical transformations of societies through architecture. For, in order to grasp for instance the current change of the Chinese way of living and of society through European architects; or in order to grasp societal changes caused by the avant-gardes in European societies today - one firstly has to spell out the part of architectonic culture for the different forms of society at all: What's going on within an urban architecture - which social differences are established by a vertical architecture compared to the mobile and flat figures of nomadic societies, or, which effects have the building materials for the visual and acoustic separation of gender or milieus? 
On the one side, sociology of architecture is part of cultural sociology. It is interested in cultural phenomena in regard of the social. On the other side, the project contributes to social theory. Given the omnipresence of architecture within all societies, the theoretical questions are to be answered anew: What is a 'society', in which way 'the social' is constituted, and in which society do we life? The already broadly shared thesis of the applicant - the thesis of the constitutive role of architecture, or of the emergence of a collective within the architectural formation of interaction, posture and perception; the division of the individuals and the figure of institutions (cf. Delitz 2010a) - is hereby enriched.
For, the project creates an interdisciplinary sociology-anthropology of architecture, which is interested not alone in 'modern' architectures. In view of the nonverbal logic of architecture, its relation to the bodies; in view of the non-existing distance to one's own architectural culture; but also and mainly in order to be as less eurocentric as possible, the project analyzes - within case studies - four ideal-typical, divergent "architectural modes of collective existence": (1) urban, infrastructured, fixated societies of cities; (2) nomadic societies of tents (Tuareg, Mongols); (3) residential atomism (Achuar, Philippe Descola); and sociétés à maisons creusées (Yaodong, Central China, Jean-Paul Loubes). 
The interest lies in the social positivity of architectures - within these different architectural cultures. Based on this structural comparison, historical and current architectural transformations of societies comes into view. In other words: the project wants to sensitize architects, and the public for the social force of urbanziation and fixated architectures. Not at least, the comparative view offers a method in order to analyze architectural and infrastructural colonizations of non-Western and extramodern societies.
The project enriches sociology of architecture by an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural view, hereby followong the comparative method of structural anthropology (Lévi-Strauss, Clastres, Viveiros de Castro and Descola), in its aim, to be as less eurocentric as possible, unfolding a symmetrical view on one's own, and other (cognitive, and material) cultures; or in its aim to 'permanently decolonize' anthropological and sociological thought (Viveiros de Castro, Cannibal Metaphysics).
Articles

Delitz, Heike (2009) Gesellschaften der Städte und Gesellschaften der Zelte. Zur politischen Effektivität der Architektur, in: Ernst Seidl (Hg.), Politische Raumtypen. Zur Wirkungsmacht öffentlicher Bau- und Stadtstrukturen im 20. Jahrhundert, Göttingen, 15-34

(2010a): Gebaute Gesellschaft. Architektur als Medium des Sozialen, Frankfurt/M., New York: Campus
(2010b)
»Die zweite Haut des Nomaden«. Zur sozialen Effektivität nicht-moderner Architekturen, in: Peter Trebsche/Nils Müller-Scheeßel/Sabine Reinhold (Hg.), Der gebaute Raum. Bausteine einer Architektursoziologie vormoderner Gesellschaften, Münster u.a.: Waxmann, 83-106

(2010c) Parasitäre Strategien der De-Konstruktion. Eine architektursoziologische Skizze, dérive. Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung N° 38: 1, 28-32
(2010d)
Editorial: Rekonstruktion und Dekonstruktion. Soziologische Analysen des aktuellen Städtebaus, dérive. Zeitschrift für Stadtforschung N° 38: 1, 5-6
(2015a) Genäht oder gegraben, ephemer oder in die Erde versenkt. Divergente architektonische Modi der kollektiven Existenz, Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung 6 (2015), 27-43
(2016a)
Yao Dong (窑洞): Die sich eingrabende Architektur und Gesellschaft in Zentralchina, in: O. Berli/J. Reuter (Hg.), Dinge befremden. Essays zu materieller Kultur, Wiesbaden: VS, 35-44
(2016b) Divergente Architekturen, divergente Affektkulturen. Architektonische Modi der kollektiven Existenz, kritische berichte 2/2016, 73-85
(2018a) Architectural Modes of Collective Existence: Architectural Sociology as a Comparative Social Theory, Cultural Sociology 12: 1, 37-57
(2018b) Architektonische Modi der kollektiven Existenz, in: Blickpunkt Archäologie 2018: 2
(2019b) with Felix Levenson: The Social Meaning of Big Architecture, or the Sociology of the Monumental, in: Felix Levenson et al., eds., Size Matters - Extra-Large Projects in the Ancient World, Bielefeld 2019
(2019c) Divergente architektonische Modi der kollektiven Existenz - divergente subalterne Räume und Subjekte, Forum Kritische Archäologie
(2020a) Architectures: Institutions and transformations of collective lives, in: socio.hu. Social Science Review 4 / 2020
(2020b) Architekturen der Gemeinschaft? Architectures of Community? (dt. und engl. Fassung) GAM 16: gewohnt un/common. Grazer Architekturmagazin 2020, 70-85
(2020c) Architektonische Modi politischer Existenz, in: Julia Schwanholz/Patrick Theiner (Hg.), Die politische Architektur deutscher Parlamente, Wiesbaden 2020, 455-470
(2021) Gesellschaften der Hütten (Sociétés à maisons), in: K. Krauthausen, R. Ladewig (Hg.), Modell Hütte, Zürich: diaphanes (i.E.)
(2021, with Stefan Maneval) Architectural Modes of Collective Identity: The Case of Hizbullah's 'Mleeta Tourist Landmark of the Resistance' in South Lebanon, in: Farhan Kahim/Patricia Blessing (eds.), Boundaries, Flows, and the Construction of Muslim Selves through Architecture, London 2021