Keynote Speakers – Susanne Hauser
Susanne Hauser (Prof. Dr. habil.) studied history, linguistics, art history, philosophy and literature and was research associate at the Research Unit for Semiotic Studies (TU Berlin). She received her doctorate in 1989 (“Der Blick auf die Stadt”) and habilitated in 1999 (“Metamorphosen des Abfalls. Konzepte für alte Industrieareale”). She spent the academic year 1995/1996 as Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies Berlin. She was Visiting Professor of Landscape Aesthetics at the University of Kassel (2000-2003) and Professor and Head of the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies at Graz University of Technology (2002-2005). Since 2005, she has been Professor of History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of the Arts Berlin (Faculty of Design/Architecture).
Since 2005 she is a member of the advisory board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Semiotik (DGS) and served as a board member from 2017 to 2021. In 2010, she was appointed to the DASL (German Academy for Urban Design and Regional Planning). She co-founded two graduate programs (Graduiertenkollegs), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG): Das Wissen der Künste (Knowledge in the Arts, UdK, 2012-2021) and Identitat und Erbe (Identity and Heritage, TU Berlin/Bauhaus University Weimar, 2016-2025). She has published widely in the field of urban and landscape studies and on the history and theory of architecture and design.
On Places. Semiotics, architecture, and everyday environments
In the 1980s, ‘places,’ usually understood as geographically localized sites of everyday activity, determined by their history and material form, and invested with meaning and significance, became the subject of extensive debate. One background for this new interest in places was the increased mobility of people as well as of capital, goods, and information. As possible consequences of this development, a tendency to the de-localization of social processes as well as a homogenization of the perception of global space were assumed. But ‘places’ did not disappear in the course of growing mobility. They still emerge, change, or continue to exist under constantly changing conditions. The design of urban space today is confronted with complex entanglements of the local and the global and a diversity of lifestyles. Maintaining or creating long-term or temporary ‘places’ is relevant now as a common individual and collective practice and has become an important aspect in architectural designs. A challenge for architecture and urban development lies in maintaining or redesigning structures that can be appropriated in a variety of ways, where processes of localization can take place in an unspectacular and everyday way. In my paper I will focus on some aspects of the semiotic construction of places as social practice and as an option of architectural and urban design.