Founding Director of the Vertical Geopolitics Lab
PhD Candidate, AD (City-Architecture),
Architectural Association with P. V. Aureli
To understand how spatial practice is conditioned and regulated by social context, it is necessary to assess its prevailing professional practices and principles from outside. More than ever, there is an urgent need to reveal the deep complicity of architecture with social order. Frameworks of politico-economic policy or of cartographic representation can organize and shape urbanization. Spatial practice is both configured by and a resource for power. The built environment compels us to recognize the instrumentalities and values that sustain and amplify politico-economic power relations, through architecture’s own workings. As a cultural form that has long-standing ties to decision-making interests, architecture should not be considered solely as artistic practice concerned with aesthetic form and semiotics. Investigating the permeation of politico-economic logics into daily lives can be controversial, not least because it challenges a number of the fundamental values that characterize and serve to obscure this relation. But the illusion of political-economic disinterest, as maintained by some of the dominant discourses within the field, must be revealed as such.
Lukas Pauer is a licensed architect, urbanist, and educator. He is the Founding Director of the Vertical Geopolitics Lab, an un-disciplined non-profit think-tank and speculative design practice dedicated to the interrogation of cross-scalar agency to expose hidden systems and intangible agenda within the built environment. Currently pursuing a practice-led studio-based PhD in AD (City-Architecture) at the Architectural Association with P. V. Aureli, Lukas holds an MAUD from Harvard University and an MSc Arch from ETH Zürich. Previously working for Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, Lukas has led design studios, co-taught history/theory seminars, supervised thesis students, and conducted original research at RMIT University, BAC, AHO, Harvard University, and Columbia University. He has published in periodicals such as the UCLA Planning Journal, Landscape Architecture Australia, Horizonte Journal, and given public lectures at institutions including the University of Oxford, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Toronto.
Recently, he was appointed as Curator of a public program at the Biennale Architettura di Venezia 2016. Besides numerous international recognitions, he was selected as Ambassadorial Scholar by the Rotary Foundation in 2012, as Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2015, and as Swarovski Scholarship recipient by the European Forum Alpbach in 2016 – leadership programs committed to change-making impact within local communities.
Image credit: Lukas Pauer