• Detail Kultur—If Buildings had DNA: Case Studies of Mutations
    Christoph a. Kumpusch
    AADCU, 2016
    Christoph a. Kumpusch

Christoph a. Kumpusch, Detail Kultur—If Buildings had DNA: Case Studies of Mutations, 2013, New York. Courtesy of the artist.

The detail has fallen into a cyclical misunderstanding within the conceptual and technical spectrum known as architecture. Detail Kultur is here to settle this mistake through an investigative matrix of case studies, scaled drawings, interviews, and analytical texts, claiming yet again the fundamental importance of the detail. The challenge involves opening up details as typological elements with their own histories and cultural associations. A door, for example, is a physical thing and a metaphysical construct—details get implicated in both directions of door-ness. Is it fair game to recollect all the implications of a door or threshold when also studying their handling by select architects? Multiple case studies, many details, and a profusion of drawings are a part of the story, and their organization as a cross-referencing index is central to this investigation. In this way, Detail Kultur is a compendium, but also a trigger for new work and research.

Christoph a. Kumpusch is a New York-based architect and the principal of cak-productions. He is the director of Forward-slash (/), an interdisciplinary practice founded in 2008, and the head of their research division Back-slash. Kumpusch is a Leonardo da Vinci Fellow, a Rudolf M. Schindler Scholar, a USAA Scholar, and a National Collegiate Engineering Award (NCEA) winner for outstanding commitment to academic excellence. He has taught at the Cooper Union, Cornell University, the Ohio State University, SCI-Arc, and Guangzhou University (China). His studios and seminars focus on political space, affect, and the critical role of technology across cultures. At present, he teaches at Columbia University’s GSAPP and Pratt Institute. He is coauthor of System Wien, editor of IDEA(u)topsy, Built Ideas, Idea(L), and The Light Pavilion. His latest publication is Urban Hopes: Made in China by Steven Holl (Lars Müller Publishers, 2014). His recent projects include a community embassy in Kenya, Africa; a social housing tower in Budapest, Hungary; and the Earthwave in Los Angeles, California.