Zurich, 16 February 2012. trans is a semi-annual professional journal of the Department of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETHZ and has been managed by an independent student editorial team since 1997. The journal addresses current issues in architecture and urban development from a variety of perspectives, such as the humanities, politics, philosophy and the arts. trans thus sees itself as a platform for interdisciplinary discourse. Order provides us with a sense of structure and security. It helps us integrate impressions and information and to store objects systematically. Order is also a strategy for coping in a world that is becoming more and more complex and changing faster and faster. «Space and light and order. Those are the things that people need as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.» (Le Corbusier) However, order can result in standstill, monotony, boredom, and something alien or even hostile to existence.
Architecture and urban planning create order that does not always consider the needs of individuals and society. The division of functions in modernist urban planning is a classic example of this. And increasing social segregation currently attests to the potential dangers of too much order. What are the global effects of order that has been designed and built by a select few? In this era of individualism and radical social change, do we now instead need a ‹new order›? Can order prevail even in chaos? «The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.» (Theodor W. Adorno) Is order perhaps an obstacle, a cage, that limits our horizons?
What does it mean to be ‹in order›? In German, it also means that something is okay. But is that enough? A compromise? The end result of a vision and its realization? The theme of <trans21> provides a forum to explicitly explore what is not in order in today’s architecture and what we should do about it. Is ‹in order› or ‹okay› something we should strive for or is it merely a consolation prize?
We are interested in fostering discussion of different positions, directions, and perspectives. The form of contributions to this discussion can be diverse, ranging from scientific articles, personal essays, comments, and portraits to illustrations, photo series, or collages, depending on the content. We welcome a short description of your proposed submission in the form of an abstract. This should be no longer than one DIN A4 page or 600 words, possibly supplemented with a few pictures. Please send us your abstract to the e-mail address below by March 25, 2012. The final contribution is due by May 27, 2012. <trans21> will be available in selected bookstores in September 2012.
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