Drawing by Hans Hollein for the Traum und Wirklichkeit installation. Credit: AzW
On Dreaming Realities

Cultural critique, design speculation and full-scale mock-ups






mock-ups, fragments, assemblage, Medicine, Karl-Marx-Hof, billboards


This essay delves into the installation designed by Hans Hollein for the Künstlerhaus facade in Vienna in 1985. It serves as an illustrative case of material speculation in architecture, particularly regarding the incorporation of ‘historical’ elements in contemporary architectural practice. Through a close reading of this installation, realized in the context of the exhibition ‘Traum und Wirklichkeit, Wien 1870-1930’ (Dream and Reality, Vienna 1870-1930), I discuss how such speculation entails the physical replication of carefully chosen ‘historical’ forms and their reassembly in what would be best described as a ‘fragmentary whole.’ However, the reintegration of historical fragments into the present can manifest in diverse ways. I argue that in the installation that reshaped the facade of the Künstlerhaus, Hollein explored two contrasting modes while tracing the possibilities (and pitfalls) of their synthesis.

How to Cite

Sklavounos, I. (2023). On Dreaming Realities: Cultural critique, design speculation and full-scale mock-ups. SPOOL, 10(1), 37–56. https://doi.org/10.47982/spool.2023.1.03





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