Open Architecture (2010)

Dr. Michael Steinbusch / Prof. Dr. Dominik Walcher

Since the beginning of the cultural evolution of mankind, architecture has been forming social interactions, and serves as a collective memory, as well as builds an institutional framework for human life.


For the most part, architectural production in history was anonymous, in the sense that only architects were involved in the development process and deeply rooted in cultural practices. Nowadays, architecture is mainly a globalized profession in which cultural aspects only play a minor role. We have become a society of innovations, and inventions, the latest development being the opening of innovation strategies, and their transformation into network structures that extend beyond a company’s systemic borders. Taking into account the deep impact architecture has on human societies, the following question arises: Why don’t we develop architecture applying open strategies? This question has a special thrill because architecture itself has grown into an open strategy: Open innovation is not only a transgression of company borders but also of (organizational, professional) borders within a company as well.


As the latter are the products of organizational practices they cannot be overcome (for the sake of innovative power) by organizational means by itself, but have to be transcended in a realm of perception, and embodiment without giving up strategy. Architecture embodies those non-organizational perceptions, and embodiments that are based on form, function light, and material. Open architecture strategies are a special way of self-organization helping communities to develop their own visible structures of social perception.

Watch the presentation about this project on Slideshare