In recent years the concept of value has had quite a renaissance. More and more activities, if not all activities are asked to produce or create value or even better ‘more value’, ‘surplus value’ or ‘added value’. This also counts for architect’s activities whether in design, architecture, landscaping or urbanism.
Once upon a time ‘surplus-value’ (merværdi, Mehrwert) had a very specific contested meaning coming from Marx’s Capital, denoting exploitation and domination. After the Cold War that certainly is not the case any more. What then are we talking about when talking about value and added value? I approach this question in three steps. First and from the point of view of philosophy, I explore the concept of value and the fact|value distinction.
This part will also include some remarks on the role of values in research. Secondly, I will present an argument that the concept of architecture is ‘reasonably contested’ because it is a complex and inherently value-laden concept. Thirdly, and now from a sociological point of view, I shall relate such contestability to different types of values that may justify architectural projects in different, often conflicting ways.
The overall message will be that values are plural and relational, that they very often contradict each other, but also can be composed into complex compromises.
Location: PhD School at Aarhus School of Architecture
Target Group: PhD fellows within architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, design and related fields.
Course Instructor: Niels Albertsen
ECTS Point: 1
Registration deadline and procedure: 1 October 2020 by signing up to the PhD School, Mia Mimi Flodager email@example.com.
A reading list will be distributed before the start of the course.