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Ten Windows Following Christian Norberg-Schulz: framing, mobility and self-reflection explored through the fenestral essay film

Andersen, Anna Ulrikke; (2019) Ten Windows Following Christian Norberg-Schulz: framing, mobility and self-reflection explored through the fenestral essay film. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the window in the life and work of Christian Norberg-Schulz, aiming at finding new nuances and ambiguities within his existing oeuvre, and questioning my own position as a ‘follower’ of Norberg-Schulz. Taking the window as both literal and figurative, I ask in what ways the window can become a tool for investigating Norberg-Schulz’s concept of mobility and his theory of place through the fenestral essay film – specifically through mobility, framing and self-reflection. Norberg-Schulz’s theory of genius loci – the spirit of the place – has been widely discussed and critiqued (Loevland et.al. 2009; Otero-Pailos, 2010; Wilken 2013). Yet, no one has yet looked at the role of the windows in his life and work, and specifically in his theory of genius loci: which is surprising because he describes the window as the place where “the genius loci is focused and ‘explained’”(Norberg-Schulz, 1980: 179). I argue therefore that the window plays a vital role both in Norberg-Schulz’s life and work, particularly related to his reading of the work of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Through oral history, site-visits, close-readings of texts, archival research, film-making and essay writing I follow Norberg-Schulz’s window on a return journey between Norway and Italy. Building upon existing methodologies of Jane Rendell’s site-writing as a critical spatial practice (Rendell: 2010) combined with the genre of the essay film (Corrigan: 2011; Rascaroli: 2017) and architecture essay film (Haralambidou: 2016) I consider how the window features both literally and figuratively in a series of fenestral essay films which explore mobility, framing and self-reflection conceptually, visually and spatially. Introduced through an itinerary, and concluding with a framework and reflections, this thesis is located at the junction between film-making and architectural history, presented through 10 Windows, each one comprising an essay and a film.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ten Windows Following Christian Norberg-Schulz: framing, mobility and self-reflection explored through the fenestral essay film
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Christian Norberg-Schulz, Windows, Essay Film, Architectural History, The Fenestral Essay Film, Framing, Mobility, Self-reflection, Practice-led Research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066784
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