Welcome to the 10th edition of the e-journal
MAP - Media | Archive | Performance


MAP #10
Moving Architecture – Architecture and Movement



In this issue, we understand the idea of ‘moving architectures’ as the fundamental exploration of spaces / houses / sites for current experiments in the (performative) arts.

Architecture and movement can be juxtaposed in many ways and layers, touching on aspects such as movement as the basis of spatial organisation, spatial perception and experience, movement and transformation as motives in architectural-spatial concepts and the connection of movement and movability to structural and institutional change. Movement in architecture provokes processual forms of use, encouraging users to appropriate spaces and sites. We find that performative formats of presentation from all fields of art are increasingly seeking spaces and sites that no longer conform to the traditionally clearly distinct venues of exhibition and performance. Thus, the aspect of movement and movability in architecture is becoming increasingly relevant. The theme of our tenth issue of MAP offers a space of reflection to the interdisciplinary exploration of the parameters of architecture in performative art.


In four sections, the authors of this issue trace various aspects of the relationship between movement and architecture and outline the possibilities of movable architecture from the perspective of theatre studies and performance studies, architectural theory and history as well as architects, designers and artists. The Dynamization of Sites and Spaces is the title of the first section. In it, the authors demonstrate or analyse various ways in which spaces and territories are artistically activated. Christina Thurner uses the example of three contemporary choreographies to illustrate how dance uses movement to appropriate and rewrite space, architecture and the specificity of a site marked by other uses. Movement proves to be at once a process and in process, temporary and incomplete. The meandering title of his essay already points to scenographer and stage designer Demian Wohler’s exploration of performance spaces as sites of continuous transformation. He opens a wide spectrum of associations from which these spaces can come to existence.

The building of the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, was inaugurated in 2005 and designed and planned by as-if berlinwien. It is based on the conceptual idea of a performative building that creates and embodies an entwinement of architectural and curatorial positions and practices. Christian Teckert, one of the architects involved in designing the gfzk, elaborates this process. One of its curators, Julia Schäfer, demonstrates the manifold uses inherent to the space with the example of the exhibition Puzzle, for which she invented a dynamic and co-operative form of curating.

Britta Peters, head of Urbane Künste Ruhr, has a conversation with dramaturg Dirk Baumann about considerations necessary in the curatorial process, going beyond clearly demarcated art spaces, while also remaining specifically tied to the Ruhr region. The curatorial and artistic presentation of a certain territory marked by a wide range of cultural environments brings awareness to the diversity of actors, participants and audiences. It also resorts to various forms of ‘found spaces’ and their stories.


The second section, Mobility and Movement as Contexts of Building and Performing features several contributions addressing mobilized architectures and transforming spatial practices in the performative arts. Annette Menting presents an overview of the discourse on architecture and movement beginning in 1960s. She focusses mainly on buildings designed for the performative arts and the typologies and purposes closely linked to them. How theatre has once again begun developing or re-appropriating practices of creating space in movement is explored by Verena E. Eitel by example of the recent history of Volksbühne Berlin, HAU, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Theater der Welt. Crossing the threshold of both house and institution is informed by the endeavour to create more open situations for wider audiences. One of the projects discussed is The World is Not Fair – Die Große Weltausstellung 2012. To refresh our memories on the conceptual ideas behind this performative exhibition parcours, we are re-printing a conversation from 2012.

Curator and theatre producer Amelie Deuflhard retraces the stations, concepts and experiments she went through during the course of her career at various houses and sites of Berlin and Hamburg’s independent scenes. Her aim was always to come closer to the idea of an open space for artistic, cultural and political appropriations and to initiate these transformations.

From past and current practices of creating spaces and the exploration of the discourses that surround them, we come to the question of which models for future projects can meet the architectural needs of various performative formats’ consistently shifting spatial practices.

Modelling and Design as / in Process, the third section of this issue of MAP, approaches this issue from another angle. Carolin Höfler unfolds current discourses on various definitions of models and their scope for research and design practices interested in their processual nature and productive uncertainty.

Barbara Büscher follows up on this idea and uses projects and practices from various historical contexts as examples of methodical and conceptual ideas of open architecture for all kinds of cultural performances and activities and their foundation in a user perspective that is considered radical.

Jan Lazardig’s essay explores Werner Ruhnau, architect and one of the key figures of movable theatre architecture in the West German context since the 1950s. He also elaborates on Ruhnau’s concepts in regard to play and space, which took shape in the 1972 Olympics cultural programme’s Spielstraße. Lazardig concludes that these concepts embodied an anti-totalitarian modernism.

We also consider the GDR building type Kulturzentrum, or cultural centre, serving as a model for multi-functional performance spaces. Juliane Richter traces the planning and building history of Chemnitz Stadthalle as an exemplary process, illuminating the context of innovative spatial solutions that were established at the time.


The final section, titled Appropriating Buildings and Spaces through Transformation, opens with an artistic contribution by photographer Annette Kisling. In fifteen photographs selected for this issue, Kisling appropriates the Theater an der Schaperstraße in Berlin built in the early 1960s by Fritz Bornemann. Her movements around and in the theatre reflect the openness of its interior, transitions to the outside and its presence within an urban space marked by a natural landscape.

Jan Lemitz and Kathrin Tiedemann look at movement and transformation in a completely different sense in their essay. They use the move of Düsseldorf’s Forum Freies Theater as the starting point for their reflections on principles of urban planning that have lost their focus on the common good. Andreas Wolf investigates instant architectures in projects by a new generation of architects who base their ideas on extending and appropriating spaces by repurposing them themselves and often realising them as temporary installations.

Hans-Rudolf Meier offers a historical contextualization of the topic in his presentation of spolia as movable architectural elements. Identifiable as reused building elements taken from earlier buildings or from other sites, they represent a form of appropriation and create references to historical constellations and symbolically connect different places.

In the final essay by Lukasz Lendzinski and Peter Weigand, who founded studio umschichten in 2008, present a selection of projects from their work which is at the intersection of architecture, art and urban development. They refer to themes around the circulation of materials, the principle of the temporary and illuminate their design and planning process.


This issue of MAP is based on the conference Bewegliche Architekturen – Architektur und Bewegung (Moving architectures – architecture and movement), held in January 2018 at three different sites in Leipzig. We have included additional texts in this issue. The conference took place as part of the transdisciplinary research project Architektur und Raum für die Aufführungskünste. Entwicklungen seit den 1960er Jahren (Architecture and space for the performative arts. Developments since the 1960s)

Translation: Margarethe Clausen


The editors would like to thank all authors for their generous cooperation. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Barbara Büscher and Annette Menting


Editorial staff:

Barbara Büscher, Franz Anton Cramer, René Damm, Verena Elisabet Eitel, Elisabeth Heymer, Annette Menting, Lucie Ortmann, Juliane Richter

October 2019
ISSN 2191-0901

We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) for support in the publication of this issue.


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