PROPS: What is the role of images in your research?

Philipp Schaerer: The buildings represented in the Capriccio Series cannot really be ascribed to a particular era, function or even typology. The thoroughly classical architectures, with their three parts – constituted by the base, the body (façade) and the roof (fascia) – make use of the most diverse architectural epochs and constructive forms. Components from various architectural styles and landscaping projects are freely combined and joined, at varying scales, into a new whole. References to built reality are hinted at, the fictitious buildings however, due to their uncommunicativeness and embedded changes of scale, elude our conventional habits of seeing. The theatrically staged image architectures follow their own logic in terms of reality. Despite the realistic composition of the surfaces and joining together of the individual image elements, the constructions have no depth of perspective, but instead are reduced to a frontal view and to surfaces. Thanks to the arrangement of the façades parallel to the picture plane, the images underscore their flat effect and self-referentially point to the basic two-dimensional quality of any visual representation.

It goes without saying that images will continue to be of major importance for the communication of visual content. However, the photograph-like image will move further away from its origins of documentary status because of the emergence of new digital image software. The reference to reality in photographic images in the field of architecture will recede into the background and “architecture as image“ will increasingly cut its ties to built objects and establish itself in its own right. Thus, the focus of my work is on working with experimental and visual compositional techniques. The main interest lies in the visual: connecting and rearranging of what is seemingly incompatible, image constructions that have very little to do with reality, images that are utopic in terms of content, composed in the visual vocabulary of photographs, appearing very plausible and realizable.

Constructing the View features a selection of student work compiled from courses taught by Philipp Schaerer related to the field of art and architecture. The works are organized in work series and are selected from the following semester courses and institutes: "Art and Architecture - Constructing the View", School of Architecture at the Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and "Image and Architecture" Master of Arts HES-SO in Architecture, Joint Master of Architecture Fribourg JMA-FR.

PHILIPP SCHAERER is a visual artist and architect. He studied architecture from 1994 - 2000 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Architect and knowledge manager at Herzog & de Meuron (2000-06), taught the postgraduate course for CAAD headed by Prof. Ludger Hovestadt at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ). Since 2010, Schaerer has been teaching at various Swiss universities and, as of 2014, is visiting professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the EPFL in the discipline Art and Architecture. His work has been published, exhibited and represented in several public and private collections – The Museum of Modern Art MoMA in New York, the collection of the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe (ZKM), Fotomuseum in Winterthur and others. Philipp Schaerer lives and works in Zurich and Steffisburg/CH.