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Iconic architecture and urban governmentality - Discussion process of the case study of Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall
Client:DFG (German Research Foundation)
Partner(s):University of Münster, Institute for Geographie, (Prof. Dr. Paul Reuber, Prof. Dr. Gerald Wood)
Time frame:09/2014 – 02/2017

In this project, the central question being looked into is in how far the current building of Elbe Philharmonic Hall and its related discursive practices can be regarded as an expression and means of a neoliberal urban governmentality. The production and representation of iconic architecture do not pass without contradictions and discursive disruptions. Thus, the case study analysis endeavors to lay open the entire contested arena of urban governmentality which includes powerful discourses of legitimation as well as subtle activating technologies of power within discourses dominated by donators and lobbyists down to defying and partly marginalized images of an alternative urbanity which lie beyond and stand in critical opposition to hegemonic ideas of neoliberal urban development. Drawing on discourse theory, this project particularly aims to make the rationalities of iconic architectural production and representation within contemporary urban development policies visible. With regard to the possibilities and scopes as well as the limits of political intervention, the constituent discursive contradictions and disruptions between hegemonic and marginalized discourse positions will be highlighted.

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