Architecture and Philosophy: Between Craft and Knowledge


“philosophy and design are heading for the same point – philosophy in thinking, design in making.” Otl Aicher

Architecture is frequently understood as a discipline which combines the useful with the beautiful, but distinguishes between techne and poesis; bridging technology and art while navigating between experience and knowledge in an attempt to be and to dwell. Architects today seem to be more and more interested in philosophers and it is not rare to find quotes from Plato, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Lefebvre, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and others in papers dealing with architectural and research in design. Focusing on our contemporary global, but fragmented world, full of conflicting, but intriguing complexities, this session will be (re)opening questions about the communications between these two disciplines. Some suggested sub‐topics for papers, although submissions do not need to be restricted only to these:

Can architects use philosophy to rediscover and redefine their role in society?

What conditions and limitations, obstacles and possibilities are imposed on architects when they read and interpret philosophical texts?

What exactly are architects really looking for from philosophy?

What can philosophy bring to contemporary architecture?

Should an architect’s own view and understanding of the world, be aligned with or informed by a particular philosophical position? Or is the need for philosophy in architecture a sign of the discipline’s weakness to rest its base on its own firm grounds?

Can a better understanding of how the world itself is constructed improve the way architects construct?

In their never‐ending struggle to make, improve and construct the world, is it possible for architects and designers to attain an understanding of the world as it is, in and of itself?

Session chairs: Aleksandar Kostić, Department of Architecture, Waterford Institute of Technology; akostic[at] and Dr Brendan O’Byrne, Department of Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin; obyrnebr[at]

Call for Papers