Sabine Kastner 


This website was last updated on August 23, 2020. More information on my work, academic and educational background as well as my involvement in past and upcoming events are listed on this CV spreadsheet which I frequently update. I actively use Instagram for more graphic and unfinished content as well as Are.na for idea networking and as a table of contents. For other informations, questions or collaborations contact me through my email (mail@sabinekastner.com).  

2020 Vacation Home Black Forest 
            Building Design / Construction
           planning stage

2020 Calm Colchónes Buenos Aires
            Warehouse, Office, Shop Design
          under construction

2020 Apartment Renovation         
          under construction

2020 Interview Kontextur
2020 Lecture  
          unlearning categorical thinking


2020 Panelaço 

2020 Register of Windows
          Edifício Falandria
          Edifício Barão Mota Paes
           always in process

2020 Club Libertad de Wilde
           planning stage 

2020 Klub

2020 Clubes Sociales y Deportivos
            research always in process

2019 Die Stadt im Präsenz 

2019 Trendbook: Unlearning
          Public Space
 

2019 Position of Waters 

2019 It’s a Problem of Perception 

2018 QQQ-Stool 

2018 Szenario als Werkzeug 

2016 Stadtlücken e.V.



Writing


Power of Resistance, 2020
With: Facundo Fernández
Submission Tbilisi Architecture Biennial


The phenomenon of resistance has brought us to this point, to this place, in this time, in this world. It has shaped this world – the landscapes we describe, the cities we occupy, the spaces we inhabit. Resistance has always been there, has always brought us and our environment together, has secured our existence. Existence not only in the sense of physical survival but also sensual, social, cultural survival.

Ways of resistance can be found not only in explicitly punctual, emotionally charged moments but above all in everyday, ordinary and banal situations. It is the implicit individual actions against spatial, architectural, social structures that shape our daily environments. It is the architecture without architects, the urban without urban planners, the laws without legislation that reveal the intuitive responses to the needs and desires of social actors. And without being aware of it, it is the resistance that creates the needs and desires of each individual actor: every appropriation, every domestication, every decoration is a sign of resistance to systems and structures. The power of resistance is the common shaping of the world, its cities and its domestic spaces according to honest needs and wishes.

If this resistance is made visible, if one understands it, if one learns from it, then systems, structures and architectures can become stronger, more diverse and more honest. Clorindo Testa‘s installation »Apuntalamiento para un Museo« (»Support Scaffolding for a Museum«, 1968) is an expression of this act – the spatialization of resistance makes it visible and strong. It reveals the meaning of the common and of the ordinary object. It shows the extraordinary of ordinary architecture and it celebrates ways of resistance. Places of resistance become daily places and therefore daily places become a symbol of everyday resistance. This phenomenon is diverse and can be seen both in Thomas Jefferson‘s reinterpretation of the hallway as a bedroom and in the spatialization of everyday resistance to one‘s own life and struggles, as in Chantal Akerman‘s film »Jeanne Dielman« (1975). The power of resistance reveals what we have in common – an omnipresent force, both explicit and implicit, that navigates our daily actions and thus shapes our common world.


Kitchen-less-Kitchen, 2020

With: Facundo Fernández, FLORA
Published in Room Journal’s Issue 2: The Kitchen, coming Fall 2020


Since the discovery of the fire, the kitchen as a domestic element in its broader sense has developed in parallel with societies and their values. In itself principles of our cohabitation can be revealed. Its role, meaning and spatialization is a reflection of different epochs, cultures and traditions. In its different inscriptions, however, it always remained a place for gathering, conversation, sharing as well as dominance, control, manipulation and power. As a domestic place of social encounters, the appearance and shape of the kitchen changed to a big extend with certain dominant values, mostly leading to efficiency and standardization.


The project proposes an experimental prototype of kitchen, which is partitioned into elements, each being mobile and free of limiting structures or defined environments. Not being subject to a utilitarian or morphological definition, the kitchen is configured or reconfigured according to use, intuition or need. The prototype is presented in a museal space where the architecture is not relevant for the displayed pieces. Therefore the kitchen, as an isolated object, is exposed to be questioned without cultural ties, heritage and thus being used, redefined or modified. Kitchen-less-Kitchen manifests itself as a platonic object, setting a political position and indefiniteness in front of the public.  


To understand the kitchen outside of its prevailed context as a space of social encounters that starts developing its own dynamics through its users, its spatialization today must be questioned. Through decontextualizing and reinterpreting »Kitchen-less-Kitchen« wants to explore the kitchen as a place of emotion and sensuality. The project addresses the translation of behaviors into space as well as the mutual influence and determination of design and spatial dynamics. What makes the kitchen a generator of social gatherings and can its design influence the course of encounters? Which limits and roles of domesticity have to be reached in order to understand the kitchen in all its potential? Gottfried Semper's description of the hearth or the fireplace as a moral and spiritual element of architecture and its transition towards the worldly importance of food processing gives an idea of the potential value and capability of the kitchen sphere.1


Besides morality, the continuous movements of emancipation form an additional political and an emotional foundation of the architectural element of the kitchen. The kitchen with its sensual inscriptions creates a space of lived moments and emotions through time. Not only within Gottfried Semper's interpretation, but also from Plato's allegory of the cave, fire is described as a sensual, if not magical, place that is the origin of truth and deception.2  The roots to which the characteristics of the kitchen could be traced can be described as phenomena that are greater than the pure preparation of food. A phenomenological view of the kitchen as well as its intangible sensual components could free the kitchen from its domestic dimension.

The installations and performances of the artist Rirkrit Tiranaija, which mostly involve the preparation and consumption of food, serve as an important inspiration for Kitchen-less-Kitchen through his provocative juxtaposition of context and object. The function of his works is always related to where they function.3 Location and installation form a close but contradictory relationship. This provocation is not the desired final state of the work of art, but only the means for deliberately questioning given circumstances, discovering emotions while guiding the viewers eyes.


»Questioning the neutrality of such a space by encouraging unexpected behavior and by redirecting the viewers attention from looking at objects to engaging in ordinary activities in that space.«4

His art only works with and through the interaction of the audience, whereby the audience becomes part of the performance. Unforeseen reactions and behaviors serve as a creation per se and widen perspectives. In this understanding, Kitchen-less-Kitchen wants to test the scope of contexts, the dynamics they create and by implication their genuineness. The provocation of the unpredictable leads to an expansion of our understanding and thus to unlearning what appears to be as given. In order to make the political, emotional and sensual dimensions part of today's lived moments in the kitchen, it has to become a living object again. Therefore the play with its elements is a tool for exploring the understanding of its composition, processes and atmospheres and ultimately the means of knowing how the kitchen can be lived.


1 cf. Semper, G. (Ed.). (2011). The Four Elements of Architecture and Other Writings. Cambridge, United Kingdom: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
2 cf. Plato, (Ed.). (1963). The Allegory of the Cave". Scotts Valley, California, United States: Createspace.
3 cf. Tiranaija, Rirkrit (1977). Catalog text from the exhibition Perfomance Anxiety, April 19-July 6, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois.
4 Tiranaija, Rirkrit (1977). Catalog text from the exhibition Perfomance Anxiety, April 19-July 6, Museum of Contemporary Art,Chicago, Illinois. P.2


Bauhaus Safari, 2020, Submission 2020 Bauhaus Residency
With: Andreas Beulich, Alexander Richert, Facundo Fernández


Within the Bauhaus Safari, the concept of the Bauhaus is to be examined with daring and curiosity from its origins through various transformation processes to completed mutations. Specific cultural contexts, spaces and norms shaped the Bauhaus in its original and innovative language, which over time developed into a spatial form of expression with which large parts of German society today identify. It takes only a limited capacity for observation to understand the sprawling and unifying effects of the Bauhaus on the understanding of the design of everyday spaces. Supposedly known territories of the local culture are to be rediscovered, investigated and differentiated within the Bauhaus Residency. The safari as a tool turns the acceptance of known structures to exploring unknown territories – the smooth new building settlement areas become an impassable terra incognita. The exploration seeks for the »Big Five«, the basic rules of architectural modernity postulated by Corbusier, which ensure high reproduction rates due to their universal predisposition.


The safari as a voyage of discovery wants to document design elements of primary ideals of the Bauhaus as well as new species and unique crossings through observation and photography. Not only the observation of the unknown, but also the exploration of the habitat with its specific as well as generic embeddings in shared or divided habitats, is part of the study. The starting point of the expedition is the Bauhaus as the beginning of a search for new forms of living and coexistence. Conclusions about the processes of mutation can be important for the development of new designs and for the reflection of current social issues.

Just as in the days when safaris were created in colonialism, the discoveries, artefacts and descriptions should become part of a spatially experienceable diaroma. The diorama as a tool of representation tries to make distant, unknown spaces experienceable for a foreign audience in a maximum compression. As a result of sharp observations and extreme reductions, the replication of what has been experienced is visualized in a small space that, simultaneously, creates a new habitat through the designer's interpretations. Along with photographs, cartography and other means of exploration, the realization of a diorama is to be the presentation of the project. An important part of the safari will therefore be the definition of the territories to be explored as well as the identification of genus, species and mutation and the reproduction and preparation of the identified elements in their natural environment. Reproducing and spatially reconfiguring discovered manifestations of the Bauhaus in Germany can not only point to the origins of the genus, but can also create new relationships that both reproduce mutations that have already occurred and provoke new species in their artificially created habitat.


Prescribed Comfort, 2019

Prescription and Comfort describe phenomena that are shaped by feelings, ways of life and environments. It is not just a social, but a spatial phenomena that constitutes these terms, conditions and ultimately makes them experienceable. The respective context creates the framework for specific constructions and interpretations of Prescription and Comfort, which become perceptible by transfering these definitions into space. In the prescribed comfort, the two concepts that seem rather contrary, enter into a relation that not only addresses the spatial manifestations of their multitude of single meanings, but also describes the oddity, disorder and tension of their encounter in space.


It’s a Problem of Perception, 2019


The motivation to act rises from our perception. Each action is thus subject to the individual consciousness of the world. Therefore the field of perception provides a fundamental basis for the exchange of different imprints in the design disciplines. These disciplines are not just practices for shaping the environment, but above all practices for shaping perception. The specificity of a context is made by transferring social and cultural behaviors into space. If one wants to understand the context, the foreign must be admitted first. However, in order not to have to face the complexity of other perspectives and therefore the foreign, the known is quickly put to the unknown. The transferring into a familiar context prevents us from learning from the unknown and keeps us from understanding that the specific can remain specific. Experiencing different contexts gives the chance to reveal one’s own behavioral patterns and in the juxtaposition shows social and cultural characteristics that manifest themselves in space and norm. Each context has its own definition of valuable or worthless, domestic or public, near or far – supposedly set design parameters are always renegotiated. Experiences and perceptions of everyday life differ from time to time, from place to place and from person to person. Individual imprints determine how one sees the world, which tools one uses to describe it, and by implication how one shapes it. Sharing these views and tools of perception reveals readings that allow to explore the depth and complexity of our environment. When doing so one might discover that what at first seems to be problems of societies could in the end be only a problem of perception.