With the Biannual Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, architect H.R.Hiegel presents a paper “Sidewalk Stumbling Stones”
Aspects of architectural / spatial rhetoric - RSA 2014 panel, abstract, paper by H.R.Hiegel, architect
Presentation 4. Sidewalk Stumble Stones: Passion in Architectural and Urban Borders
A border is a threshold leading to new fields of awareness, dimensions, aesthetics. In this paper, I try to point to an emerging form of architectural rhetoric. Unlike the sill of a door, a threshold implies stepping into something new, altogether opposed to the border, a fringe, an edging, a trimming. Nothing around, just solid autonomy of the drama of individuality in urban space. The paper will explore a new architectural border on sidewalks of German cities. Can a border tell stories which become visible via Stolpersteine – Stumbling Stones, now being installed by the artist Gunter Demnig, grafting into the borders of sidewalks specific locations where Jews and other enemies of the Nazi regime were taken out of their homes or businesses for deportation…? And polished by citizens, copying palimpsests, thoughts written, erased, rewritten, the notions of stumbling and overlay that interpenetrate borders of aesthetic reception.
What kind of stories can a border tell, which ones are visible, intangible? Gaston Bachelard`s “Poetics of Space” and Leon Battista Alberti`s thoughts about architecture will be calm anchors leading to questions, a handful of beauteous slides illustrating the session.
What remains tangible and will be scrutinized is the tragic versus the shiningforth.
H. R. Hiegel (born 1954 in Kaiserslautern)
Studies in Karlsruhe and London, various scholarships, 1982 own practice. Teaching in England, France, Israel and Germany. Contribution to exhibitions e.g. Frankfurt, Bale, Helsinki, Paris, Barcelona, with S. Holl, J.Stirling, J. Beuys, M. Campi, A. Rossi, Micha Ullmann, L. Krier, R. Venturi, lectured in London, Hamburg, New York, Kassel, Karlsruhe, Milano, Freiburg, Jerusalem. Work: Bayer House, Campanile (a+u Tokyo 1986, UIA-projekt 2002, Guardian Witness 2013), Fritz House, kindergarden Oase, transformer East, Matthew Church. publications Tokyo, Frankfurt, New York, Paris, Venice, TV, radio, newspapers. Drawings / models in various collections, Frankfurt, Berlin, Florence, Karlsruhe, New York, London, Zagreb.
„Hiegel plädiert somit zugleich für die langsamere Stadt und für das Ende des architektonischen Schweigens. Er gehört zu den nachdenklichen Vor-Zeichen einer Architektur, die die Moderne korrigieren, ohne sie mit der Posaune widerrufen zu wollen.“ Mathias Schreiber (Der Spiegel) zum Hiegel`schen Entwurf Campanile, Frankfurt / Main