DOI link for Stadtraumgestaltungen
There are many tools of the trade in architecture and urban planning to analyze and depict architectural space, the urban fabric, and the built environment as a whole. Usually this happens through plans, physical models, and other means of abstraction. When architectural space is seen from a phenomenological perspective, however, one can’t help but ask whether these tools are sufficient for understanding space as an architectural or architectonic phenomenon. They mostly provide the opportunity to illustrate findings rather than lead to new insights. Following the example Lucius Burckhardt set with his strollology at the University of Kassel in the 1980s, a reflexive stroll through urban space can function as a conscious analysis of one’s own spatial perception as well as an analysis of the relationship between the human body and the architecture of the city.
The objective is to use the sensory impressions acquired to enable the mapping of phenomenological space and develop insights for any design derived from the experiential structure of the city.
The challenge is to decipher and trace the virtues of urban space and to find out where it produces interior or exterior architectural qualities. This text describes the experiences of teaching Stadtraumgestaltungen through frequent strolls with students over several years in the Department of Spatial Design at RWTH Aachen University. It tries to develop the didactics of strolling as a perceptual exercise, especially in the context of studying the architectural aspects of urban space.