Sophie Hochhausl: Otto Neurath, City Planning: Proposing a Socio-Political Map for Modern Urbanism

Department of Architecture Lunch Lecture Series

Austrian philosopher, economist, and member of the Vienna Circle, Otto Neurath (1882–1945) investigated representational maps for more than two decades of his life. In search of "humanizing knowledge" he revolutionized the discipline of chart making by quantitative maps (picture statistics) accessible to a large public. Sophie Hochhäusl argues that Neurath's "city planning" maps served not only as one of the first accessible socio-political maps of a city, but it was in effect also a heuristic architectural device. Hochhäusl explores the extent to which Neurath perceived of the city as an agglomeration of social facts and how far his socio-political map contributed to planning the city on such basis.

Hochhäusl received her M.Arch. from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (2008), and is currently a Ph.D. student in the History of Architecture and Urban Development Program at Cornell. Her previous work includes the Viennese architecture children's book Pinsel, Paula und die Plaudernden Häuser (2006) and collection of teaching materials for high schools on the urban endeavors of Red Vienna (2008). A book emerging from her master's essay at Cornell University, Otto Neurath – City Planning, Proposing a Socio-Political Map for Modern Urbanism, is forthcoming with the Department of Architecture Theory at the University of Innsbruck and Innsbruck University Press. The book is edited by Bart Lootsma

In 2008 Hochhäusl organized the exhibition ITNOA – In the Name of Architecture, which showcased student works from the architecture departments of Vienna's Technical University, die angewandte and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the Albertina Passage. The exhibition featured discussions with Wolf Prix, Nasrine Seraji, Kari Jormakka, and Christian Kühn as well as talks with deans and politicians. In the following year the exhibition, Master Planning Paradise, dealt with 110 years of communal housing in Vienna and was shown in cooperation with the Austrian Museum of Architecture (2009).

Since 2010 Hochhäusl has served as the president of Cornell Convivium, which organizes informal gatherings and talks among the graduate students of architecture.