Mies van der Rohe’s Zeitwille: Baukunst between Universality and Individuality

Architecture and Culture 10 (2):243-271 (2022)
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The article explores the relationship between Baukunst and Zeitwille in the practice and pedagogy of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the significance of the notions of civilization and culture for his philosophy of education and design practice. Focusing on the negation of metropolitan life and mise en scene of architectural space as its starting point, it examines how Georg Simmel’s notion of objectivity could be related to Mies’s understanding of civilization. Its key insight is to recognize that Mie’s practice and pedagogy was directed by the idea that architecture should capture the driving force of civilization. The paper also summarizes the foundational concepts of Mies’s curriculum in Chicago. It aims to highlight the importance of the notions of Zeitwille and impersonality in Mies van der Rohe’s thought and to tease apart the tension between the impersonality and the role of the autonomous individual during the modernist era.



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Marianna Charitonidou
Athens School of Fine Arts

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