Architecture and expressionist film: ideology, utopia, project

Rothwell, Vanessa. (2007). Architecture and expressionist film: ideology, utopia, project B.A. Thesis, School of Geography, Planning & Env Management, The University of Queensland.

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Author Rothwell, Vanessa.
Thesis Title Architecture and expressionist film: ideology, utopia, project
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning & Env Management
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type B.A. Thesis
Supervisor Dr Andrew Leach
Total pages 44
Language eng
Subjects 1201 Architecture
Formatted abstract

The aim of this dissertation is reinforce the value of the architect as an idealist and highlight the strength of the link between architecture and film. An investigation of the relationships and links between ideology, utopia and the project is included, particularly as this relates to architecture. The triangle of ideology/utopia/project and its defining qualities support the essential nature of the architect’s role as an idealist. Within the field of architecture, idealism has helped to enhance and progress not only architecture itself, but other disciplines which are influenced by architecture and in which the architect participates. These links are firstly examined abstractly by drawing upon four particular literary sources. Utopics: Spatial Play by Louis Marin (1984), Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development by Manfredo Tafuri (1976), The Loneliness of the Project by Boris Groys (2002) and The Architecture of Utopia by Colin Rowe (1982) are used to form this important theoretical framework. Theories about reality and their relationship to ideology, utopia and project form an important component of the dissertation. Reality should not be recreated within a project, but rather made reference to. It is much more valuable for the project to create/illustrate a new and unique world in which to test ideologies. Utopian concepts need to be extreme, not only to garner the attention of society, but to push the ideologies underpinning them to their limits. Furthermore, projects do not need to be fulfilled to be of value to society – the process involved in their development, and its documentation provide results which can be useful to society. Their significance may not become immediately apparent; however utopian projects must continue to be formulated to advance not only architecture, but society in general.

The project of Expressionism is introduced as a way of investigating the way in which projects are formulated and the way those outside of the project’s creation respond to them. Expressionism is a ‘phenomenon’ which truly spread across artistic disciplines, demonstrating interesting and informative ways of referencing reality in an abstract manner. The values and projects of Expressionism particularly lend themselves to discussion of project/utopia/ideology. Within the artistic fields involved in Expressionism, film is established as a valid and enlightening way of further investigating and describing the connections between ideology, utopia and project. Furthermore, film has often been recognised as a truly modern art form and an informative medium for investigating architecture. There have been strong links between the disciplines of architecture and film since the late nineteenth century, as detailed by Anthony Vidler in his The Explosion of Space: Architecture and the Filmic Imaginary (1993), and these bonds continue to be relevant in contemporary society. Three expressionist films are focused upon as ‘case studies’, Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920), Der Golem: Wie er in die Welt kam (1920) and Metropolis (1927) to investigate these links and their applications, confirming the value of the relationship between film and architecture.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Thu, 04 Apr 2013, 10:54:02 EST by Mr Yun Xiao on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service