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Part 1 Dissertation 2001
Friedrich Ludewig
Architectural Association London UK
The work is an investigation into the ‘home’ which needs to be distinguished from the more common ‘house’. It surpasses the limits of a pure built manifestation, traceable in the lexical symbology of the word. The separation cast into the term Heim/Heimat, dividing the space a priori into a space of belonging and of displacement, Heimat and Fremde, mirrors the definition of the self in post Freudian Psychoanalysis.
Realizing the separation between interiority and exteriority, the ego and the outside world one cannot step back through the mirror into the world of unitary wholeness/Gesamtheit. A house identifying the ego is called ‘home’. Home/Heim is a surrogate for, and extension of, the self and the body, as important to the definition of the ego as our personal memory.
Departing from an analysis of spatial divisions based on identity and gender in the stone age and pre-antique home, the thesis begins to construct a history of the interior gaze, the relevance of visual privacy and exposure as constituting elements within the changing definition of the home. The antique architecture of domesticity and its spatial asymmetries of visual exposure and seclusion is set against Albertis discussion of the individual space within the home and its implications in the Renaissance. The history of the gaze departs from the definition of god and the eye in christianity to outline the evolving ideas of panopticism and visual control in the late 17th century and their adaptation within the architectural context. The retreat of the emerging individual into the singular privacy of the withdrawing room is then traced within the domestic spatial pattern and contemporary research. The increasingly private home constitutes a changing relation to the space of the public, in which Berlin and Napoleon’s Paris serve as case studies.
The emerging materialities of the 20th century give rise to new concepts of exposure and transparency, which are analysed in the visions of the ‘glass chain’ and the role of the domestic picture window. The philosophical concept of transparency is reframed in a discussion of Eisensteins ‘glass house’ project and the transparent canvas of Duchamp’s ‘large glass’ work of non-retinal art.
Contrary to the ideas of literal exposure, the role of the electronic media in the 20th century allows for the emergence of a passive exposure of the individual to a mediated space of the public, which serves to explain the spatial relocation of the private home in the post-war suburbia. The recent phenomena of web-cam could thus be explained as a substitute for exposure within the privatised home. The role of the camera as prothetic devise for an exposure, that the home could until then accommodate differently is analysed in reference to psychoanalytical readings of the mirror, the selfrecting gaze and the necessity of exposure for the construction of individual identities.


Friedrich Ludewig


Friedrich Ludewig’s thesis is exemplary. It grew out of his unit’s work but he understood completely that a thesis in support of the unit work, still needed to be a phase apart from that unit work. What he has produced in effect is a critical history of the relationship between a house and home. His initial distinction between the two of them allows him a considerable leeway in giving an account of the house in antiquity and in the renaissance period as opposed to the home. Perhaps the most impressive part of the thesis concerns the post-renaissance transformation of the house into the home. There he brings to bear architectural evidence from England in the most concrete manner which avoids all generalities about the rise of modernity or individuality. The thesis is both a synthesis of contemporary views about the difference between the house and the home which it articulates as a highly plausible history while and at the same time giving a clear sense of what might be accomplished in the future. I do think that his thesis is a most fluent, thoughtful and intelligent account of the issues involved, that I have ever seen coming from the hands of a Diploma student.
I recommend it to the board without reservation and with warmth.

2001
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