Mindsets as world-generative force

Research questions

  • Relation between mindsets and architectures: Mindsets and their constitutive ideas rested in cultural heritage (mythol. background included) and world view: to which architectures they lead? Evolution of lead ideas, and architectural expression. 
  • Vice versa: architectures, first of all spatial alignments and styles, as indicators for leading ideas
  • Evolution of longue durée-cultural traits
Reims Cathedral, Exhibition Ideal Spaces 2016



  • Architectural expression deeply rests in mindset, i.e. a certain world view with its constituting basic assumptions,
  • First of all as regards a conditio humana: for which kind(s) of human beings which architecture is made?
  • Longue durée-ideas are fundamental here, expressing themselves in such assumptions
  • Those ideas form part of a body commonly termed as “cultural knowledge”, being part of a culture-specific heritage
  • That heritage is more than just ‘tradition’ because it consists of those ideas/assumptions mentioned
  • All these aspects are undervalued in architectural discourse, despite they had been mentioned in the older literature (e.g., by Gottfried Semper, E. Panofsky, V. Vercelloni)
  • On methodological grounds, crucial is the connection of symbolic meaning and architectural expression, also in those cases where there was no explicit symbolism intended but pure “functionality”


  • Ulrich Gehmann & Flora Laughridge: Abstraction and the Gothic Cathedral.Conference Proceedings, AMPS/University of Kent conference (2020): Exploring Heritage, Architecture, Cities, Art, Media
  • Ulrich Gehmann, Marco Zampella, Matthias Wölfel: Liberated Formatization. Conference Proceedings, International Conference on Cyberworlds 2014, Vol. 1, pp. 332-339 
  • Ulrich Gehmann & Martin Reiche (2014): World Mountain Machine. Catalogue to the 2014 exhibition in Tallinn/Estonia,https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08PC985ZQ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0  
  • Ulrich Gehmann und Martin Reiche, eds. (2014): Real Virtuality. Transcript + Columbia Univ. Press
  • Ulrich Gehmann, ed. (2012): Virtuelle und Ideale Welten. KIT Publishing

People involved

U. Gehmann, M. Johansson, A. Siess, F. Loughridge.

References internal

  • Our exhibitions 2016, 18, 20; and all the texts for 2016
  • Conference contributions: Abstraction & the Gothic Cathedral 2020, Utopian societies studies conference 2019, Shaping the City 2018, World Mountain Machine 2014

References external

H. Nohl, K. Jaspers, E. Panofsky, Ch. Alexander, H. Belting, E. Cassirer, O. Spengler, F. Braudel.