To create architecture today is a nomic game. The rules of the game are paradoxical, players are continually changing their minds and every operational process ends up being self-referential (1). The basic democratic rights pertaining to the built environment are: the right to natural light, the right to visual perception and the right to water. Therefore, the job of an architect nowadays is to find a new balance between ecology and urban planning. Our aim as thinkers and operators should be to once again play an active role in environmental quality optimization by acknowledging the complexity of this process and searching for sustainable changes.
BUSarchitektur has been working on issues affecting our contemporary society since it was founded in 1986. BOA bureau für offensive aleatorik has been developing cultural interactions since its establishment in 2003. Through their proposals both companies develop realistic utopias that help us to value and redefine our inherited legacy in a conscientious and committed way.
The new Campus WU project was launched in 2005 within the academic setting of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The project will culminate in 2013 with the handing over of the finished university complex within its budgetary framework of EUR 500 million. It is the largest University of Economics in the European Union with a population of 25,000 students, teachers and administrative staff and is moving into a neighborhood with approximately 100,000 inhabitants. This is where future generations of, hopefully competent, economists will be trained. It is a strategic example of a star system, employed by the user, which seeks to obtain the necessary funding by awarding the projects to Zaha Hadid Architects, Hamburg - CRABstudio, London - Carme Pinós, Barcelona - NO.mad Madrid, Hitoshi Abe - Sendai as well as to the Masterplan winner, Vienna’s BUSarchitektur.
The democratic organization of users, the power structures of the state, leading agencies’ inspections, monitoring costs and budgets, branding inflicted on architecture, multiple regulations, contract award mechanisms, the historical burden of a privileged place, the social tensions associated with one of the established centers of prostitution, the dissatisfaction of the student population, etc. – these are some of the factors causing stakeholder interests to be in permanent unstable equilibrium.
As a result, the Masterplan authors’ constant search for a holistic equilibrium continued throughout the entire project process and into the execution, with an unstable balance of power between users, residents, developers, politicians, experts and author design implementers. We will present the architect’s roles in three micro-worlds, which seek to put forward the idea that a sustainable balance between the four quadrants (2) is not a pre-existing element of our work as architects and urban planners.
Ultimately, striking the balance between personal achievement, objectifiable technology, cultural interaction and social urges, means recognizing the importance of permanently changing our point of view and encourages us to take other factors into consideration. Every single detail should force us to recognize the many different ways a given intervention’s micro-action can be interpreted and to proceed accordingly. However, our open-minded approach to searching for added-value, which must necessarily incorporate our actions, often leads us to adopt casual strategies for managing projects. The imbalance between the four quadrants is the starting state that compels us to set off interrelated chain reactions in an attempt to awaken the potential for coOpetition (3). This potential is present both in the direct actors and in the domino effect that will occur once we take control of the reality in which we act. CoOpeting public and private actors that acknowledge the simultaneous presence of both cooperation and competition when talking about quality of life and capital repayment. Competing cooperatively in order to successfully invent and develop alternative design mechanisms to those of globalization.
Intellectual curiosity as a journey to discover not-so-obvious game theory applications in architecture – this is our way to play an active role in our daily productive output. The game played is a game of society since it leads to the socialization of the individual in a virtual community and, as a consequence, to the development of a real community. The only way for Campus to have a future is if we activate the urban potential of the educational habitat.
MSc. Arch. Arq. Laura P. Spinadel
Masterplan and Executive Project Director for Campus WU in Vienna
BUSarchitektur & BOA büro für offensive aleatorik, Vienna, 2015
1 Peter Suber 1990 The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Logic, Law, Omnipotence, and Change ISBN-10: 0820412120 ISBN-13: 978-0820412122
2 Ken Wilber 2000 A Theory of Everything. An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality ISBN 3-924195-79-X
3 Adam Brandenburger, Barry Nalebuff 1996 Co-Opetition : A Revolution Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation ISBN 0-385-47950-6