The project

At first sight, urban spaces and architecture obviously belong to the so-called actuality of the real world. They are material structures whose immediate perceptiveness and direct experience in every day life is undeniable.

However, if one takes into account the factors of the formation of buildings, public spaces and urban structures, it becomes apparent to what extent cities and architecture depend on actions such as planning and designing both of which are led by differing interests and goals. Such activities, interests and aims are both historically as well as in the present fundamentally determined by linguistic discourses. In addition, architectural design is often accompanied by extensive linguistic reflection and debate.

In view of these circumstances the research group deals with the analysis and determination of the technical and actual categorical systems of the domain of knowledge. It emphasises the aspect of how the systems have been coined linguistically in discourses on buildings and urban spaces. Additionally, these categories are determined and related to the non-verbal forms of expression of architectural and urban design as well as to the specific culturally-embedded framework. Thus the most important interferences between symbolic and functional design principles and their communicative adaptation through linguistic signs in technical and non-technical discourses are clarified. Of special importance, in this context, is their relationship to social value systems, mentalities and their discursive negotiation.

The investigations follow the basic hypothesis that buildings are always the result of activities that are realised through linguistically categorised systems. Thus, language and linguistic signs function not only as a means of explanation, but also as a constitutive prerequisites and essential parts of the respective domain of knowledge. Accordingly, the specific linguistic constitution of the respective subject needs to be taken into account not only with regard to technical discourses but also with regard to the mediated discourses that interpret between the expert and the public.