The ORF story – a continuing liaison between the main Austrian media institution and the Austrian capital city: Spatial transplantation, transformation or reincarnation?
by Thomas Sieverts, Chiara Tornaghi, Sabine Knierbein, Philipp Krebs
SKuOR topic – The ORF story!
Since spring 2009, the public debate regarding the Austrian public broadcast institution ORF and its ever more concrete plans to move out from their headquarter building at Küniglberg (13th district) has gained a completely new importance. Whereas the current ORF headquarter building once designed by the Austrian architect Roland Rainer is a true hommage to the time when it was constructed – it represents an introverted institutional image of the 1970s, a nearly closed institutional setting within the city not addressing different publics and the urban society outside – recent ORF plans explicitly confirmed again lately raise a new set of questions especially spatial planners + designers and spatial researchers might consider their future fields of professional action.
What is the role of media institutions in the postfordist city? What type of spatial relationship can be constructed between the institution, the city and the urban society, namely, civic actors? How can the concept of the ‚media city within the city‘ be translated into contemporary urban context?
Goal of the course
The 5 SWS P3 course tackles a contemporary topic of urban development in Vienna: Since the ORF is considering to maybe move its headquarter (situated at Küniglberg in the Viennese periphery) towards another location in the city, an ongoing debate regarding spatial requirements, spatial needs and spatial benefits of such a restructuring process which takes place on an insitutional as well as on a morphological level might bring along. As the City of Vienna Visiting Professorship 2009 consists of a team that tries to create missing links between the learning fields of spatial research and spatial planning, there are at least two interrelated goals of the P3:
Learning field of spatial research (Chiara Tornaghi): To produce criteria for urban design and architecture in the construction of a public sphere/ a counter public sphere. The basic question which leads research is how ‚publics‘ can be integrated more interactively in the construction of the city.
Learning field spatial planning (Thomas Sieverts): To rethink alternatives of different relations between public media institutions and the city. This shall be achieved by elaborating a fictive briefing for a potential urban development competition regarding the spatial restructuring of the ORF.
SKuOR assumptions: points of departure of seminar work
Basic assumptions project work will be based upon:
The ORF has decided to move out from the Küniglberg areal and is going to settle down somewhere else in Vienna. This spatial transformation will be accompanied by a manifest institutional transformation with far reaching impacts on the sociospatial structure of Vienna.
SKuOR interests – The ORF goes public!
? How can the old concept of the ’media city within the city’ be translated into contemporary urban contexts ?
? What type of media architecture, media urbanism and media spatial planning and research is considered desirable more than one generation later, in the 21st century ?
? Which role might ‚publics‘ for this new type of a built institutional image play?
SKuOR approach- Your choice!
A main introductory phase will allow you enough space and support by us to figure out if you are more interested in spatial research questions or in spatial planning issues. During this introductory phase taking place in October 2009, you will find together in groups which than will go for the spatial research focus (with Chiara Tornaghi) or for the spatial planning focus (with Thomas Sieverts) in the following phases. For all the three learning fields, the aims and methods as well as the expected outputs and ways of interdisciplinary evaluation will be clarified right from the beginning:
SKuOR challenges – Your voice!
Regarding spatial planning, you will be working in close connection with Thomas Sieverts to prepare a conceptual framework as if you would define the call for submissions for the spatial planning, urban design, landscape architectonical as well as architectonical requirements of the succeding public competition proceedings. This is not just a fictive process, but as the ORF is just in this very actual situation of preparing the institutional move towards another district in reality, your ideas might be really considered an important stimulus and inspiration for the ORF management responsibles.
Nevertheless, for those students that rather want to get more insights on the relationship between spatial and institutional restructuring and the future potentials of an activation of civil society especially the spatial research focus offered by Chiara Tornaghi will be the choice to make. Here, ‚publics‘ are not just considered as passive publics in the sense of necessary spectators for TV productions, but especially as active parts of the society which might help the ORF to learn about its own role in the context of societal self-organisation. The contribution of the SKuOR learning field of spatial research will be a critical reflection of institutional and spatial restructuring processes combined with a prospective and proactive commentary on how civil society actors might be engaged to create such radical restructuring processes more smoothly and socially sustainable.
As the groups in both mentioned learning fields will be working parallely, the young SKuOR tradition of linking both fields will this time be realized by offering a third learning field regarding creative processes in spatial planning and spatial research: Sabine Knierbein and Philipp Krebs will offer their special expertise in bridging and connecting both fields in theory and practice. Therefore, collective discussion and exchange formats where you are given time and space to take a professional position and learn to discuss and to defend it will be a substantial part of the SKuOR project III.
SKuOR basics – Our offer!
The staff of the SKuOR is dedicated at combining creative approaches to enable a complex understanding of spaces and to exploratory ways of trying to steer spatial development by planning and design interventions. We do not offer you a prefabricated scheme of working processes, but we invite you to bring in your particular ideas and to take part in the joint experiment of rethinking, reshaping and redesigning spatial planning and spatial research ways and tools in contemporary Vienna. The basics of our work is mutual respect towards other opinions and positions – be they different in terms of disciplinary, cultural or other aspects. This is reflected in the particular expertise each member of staff can offer.
SKuOR credits – 7 or 14 ECTS in winter term 2009/2010.
The SKuOR P3 will be offered as a 5 SWS project (7 ECTS) for one semester. Nevertheless, we can offer you a second option: If you want to get 14 ECTS, the SKuOR is going to offer an excursion and a seminar (or similiar) course which are directly linked to the topics of the P3. Therefore you can visit all this three courses during winter term 2009 and get 14 P3 ECTS credits in the end of this semester. Of course you would be given sufficient time to hand in your final works in February/March 2010. For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us personally (-26816 or -26817).
SKuOR additional courses (P3 upgrade)
The excursion is thought to deal with cities where media institutions recently have been important issues on the urban political agendas recently e.g. Cologne, Düsseldorf and Berlin as a three-cities tour in one week. We try to keep costs for you to a minimum (approx. 250 Euro). The seminar will deal with more theoretical reflections on the interrelationship of media institutions in the society and their new role for urban development. Very likely, we will discuss case studies such as BBC London and Bradford, WDR in Cologne, Adlershof in Berlin as well as the new media urban development in Copenhagen. Further information regarding the organization and contents of these courses will be published on this homepage by mid July 09.
SKuOR general information
Course language is English. The intensive project work will last one semester and will be organised in…
– three intensive teaching blocks delivered by the City of Vienna Visiting professors in close collaboration with the Vienna SKuOR team and
– a continuous semester programme delivered in complementary manner by the Vienna SKuOR team (weekly or in two-weeks cycle)
The PA 3 is offered in close thematic and organizational context to three additional winter term courses (280.055,280.057 and additionally 280.056).
Especially master students from spatial planning and architecture are invited to take part, yet we explicitly welcome as well students coming from other Viennese universities as well as ‚Mitbeleger‘.Inscription is possible via TUWIS++ (LVA 280.054/groups).
Please note: Course 250.532 Design Workshop „Szenarios for the ORF centre Küniglberg“ by Visting professor Much Untertrifaller (credits: 8h) is held in winter term 2009 within the teaching programme of architecture.
A main introductory phase will allow you enough space and support by us to figure out if you are more interested in spatial research questions or in spatial planning issues.
The staff of the SKuOR is dedicated at combining creative approaches to enable a complex understanding of spaces and to foster exploratory ways of trying to steer spatial development by planning and design interventions. We do not offer you a prefabricated scheme of working processes, but we invite you to bring in your particular ideas and to take part in the joint experiment of rethinking, reshaping and redesigning concepts, paths and tools of spatial planning and spatial research ways.
Dates of the three intensive teaching blocks are:
13th to 16th October 09
9th to 11th November 09
18/19th to 21st January 10
Please note that the guest professors require a min. of 80% of attendance during the core times of the course during the whole semestre as well as puntuality.