Utermann / Talking House

Talking House (former: Make it Real)

Author: Hinnerk Utermann, University of Applied Arts Vienna

Supervisor: Jan Svenungsson, Univ.-Prof., University of Applied Arts Vienna

Research stage: intermediate - final doctoral stage

Category: Artefact

DDR Statement

Talking House is a practice-based PhD that departs from a building-as-research to investigate proximity. It draws its methodology from crafting, anthropology and creative research, rather than a traditional hypothesis based thesis. This is necessary due to the ambiguity of the subject, as the effect of proximity and space on personal interaction is phenomenological in nature and difficult to measure quantitatively.

The methodology is divided into three broad steps:

  1. The creation of environments. These are hand crafted spaces, and draw on my experience as an architect, my knowledge and feeling for materials and space, including previous study on the Japanese teahouse. This is supported by architectural models, drawings, and design reports.
  2. Sharing and using of the spaces. This takes the form of exhibitions, events and ‘performances’, in which I act as host in a variety of situations. (This includes finding ways to develop and encourage the trust necessary to share these intimate spaces. Inviting and planning gatherings where it is important to have a dialogue that allows for free flow, without a script).
  3. Finally, a written thesis that will offer a reflective narrative and qualitative analysis, supported by architectural models, drawings and descriptive reports (lived experience description).

Talking House is an experimental architecture, looking for a multiple perspective of space such as build spaces, shared spaces, imaginary spaces, relational spaces, conversational space,….Representing architecture at the junction of cultural, social, functional, economic and ecological factors. In doing so, this creates the possibility for new knowledges between building, writing, testing, sharing and debating.

For the conference Talking House invites other researchers to a site-specific conversation (in and about Talking House).