Title page for ETD etd-03252008-191510

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Mindrup, Matthew
URN etd-03252008-191510
Title Assembling the Ineffable in Kurt Schwitters’ Architectural Models
Degree PhD
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Co-Chair
Frascari, Marco Committee Co-Chair
Feuerstein, Marcia F. Committee Member
Kunze, Donald Committee Member
Prez-Gmez, Alberto Committee Member
  • Assemblage
  • Anagogy
  • Dada
  • Model
  • Architecture
  • Kurt Schwitters
Date of Defense 2007-11-09
Availability unrestricted
During the early 1920s, the German artist and poet, Kurt Schwitters, developed a method of creating models of architecture using found objects based upon his Merz approach to art. While many leading architects joined the Arbeitsrat für Kunst and Bruno Taut’s Gläserne Kette at the end of World War I to speculate upon what to build for the new post-war German architecture, Schwitters challenged the predominant views by probing how it could be designed through models. Compared to the normative practice of molding clay and casting plaster into scale models after completed designs, Schwitters assembled found objects into two models, Haus Merz during 1920 and Schloss und Kathedrale mit Hoffbrunnen in 1922, to imagine new combinations and transformations of material, form and space in building designs. Schwitters’ Merz interpretation of found objects as models of architecture held that all materials have an ineffable transitory content that contributes to their identities as natural or man-made utilitarian things. In the Christian medieval exegesis of religious objects, the interpretation of materials as a dichotomy of visible form and invisible content was described as “anagogy.” However, unlike this Christian conception of the invisible that was transcendental and a priori, the anagogical Merz interpretation seeks to find the invisible within the visible through the active imagination of found materials assembled as a model of architecture. This dissertation examines Schwitters’ proposed use of found objects to construct architectural models as an anagogical approach to the material imagination of architecture.
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  00_TITLE_PAGE.pdf 58.65 Kb 00:00:16 00:00:08 00:00:07 00:00:03 < 00:00:01
  01_FRONT_MATTER.pdf 164.21 Kb 00:00:45 00:00:23 00:00:20 00:00:10 < 00:00:01
  02_INTRODUCTION.pdf 140.75 Kb 00:00:39 00:00:20 00:00:17 00:00:08 < 00:00:01
  03_CHAPTER_ONE.pdf 256.67 Kb 00:01:11 00:00:36 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01
  04_CHAPTER_TWO.pdf 214.57 Kb 00:00:59 00:00:30 00:00:26 00:00:13 00:00:01
  05_CHAPTER_THREE.pdf 265.84 Kb 00:01:13 00:00:37 00:00:33 00:00:16 00:00:01
  06_CONCLUSION.pdf 73.81 Kb 00:00:20 00:00:10 00:00:09 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  07_IMAGES_1-36.pdf 17.45 Mb 01:20:47 00:41:33 00:36:21 00:18:10 00:01:33
  08_IMAGES_37-72.pdf 13.89 Mb 01:04:17 00:33:03 00:28:55 00:14:27 00:01:14
  09_Images_73-94.pdf 7.54 Mb 00:34:53 00:17:56 00:15:42 00:07:51 00:00:40
  10_BACK_MATTER.pdf 1.08 Mb 00:05:00 00:02:34 00:02:15 00:01:07 00:00:05

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