Dossier: Panopticon


Smells & Sounds


© Sensarama Consulting GmbH


Langstrasse, Zürich

Yanaka, Tokyo

Smells & Sounds – The Invisible In Public Space


As part of the research project "city_space_transitions", two independent interventions on the sense of smell and hearing are planned, which are grouped under the title "smells & sounds". The project "Missing Link" focuses exclusively on the sense of smell. The aim is to investigate the perception of smells and scents in the city. Fragrances are suggestive, associative, subtle and, above all, more intense than visual impressions. They can not be perceived distanced, but are directly present and immediately evoke memories and associations.

One week of intervention for each investigation is carried out in Zurich's Langstrasse and in the Yanaka district of Tokyo. These are planned as interactions with the urban street space, which, even apart from the differences in the two cultures, could not be more diverse than in the cities chosen. The long axis of Langstrasse lies within a uniform block-perimeter building plan that dates from the late nineteenth century. By contrast, the winding, sometimes very private streets of the district of Yanaka, feed directly into large boulevards.

Zürich Oktober 2006

Tokyo Oktober- November 2006



Window to the city

Beitrag Biennale Herbst 2012


Herbarien 2012 Frühjahr

Gitterstein 2011


Geoverwerfungen 2011











Galtür is a small community situated in the west of Tyrol that achieved a tragic kind of fame due to an accident provoked by an avalanche in 1999. The protective wall erected after the accident consists of an avalanche baffle works and a multipurpose complex of buildings which houses, among others, the rooms of the Alpinarium.
The Alpinarium was designed as both an exhibition and memorial with an integrated event and seminar centre. It is there, that the Tyrol National Exhibition took place in 2005. Till this date, the Alpinarium showed various alternating exhibitions which focused on the history and future of Galtür. The National Exhibition was a platform to host a sustainable interdisciplinary dialogue between the various life strategies in this Alpine region and beyond. An interactive laboratory conveyed experiences, events, and topical matters to visitors. Outside as well as inside, different modular cells focused on and present specific exhibition topics spread over the entire premises.

June - July 2004


Four Tor Panorama




Site plan, sight connections and footpaths

Model Four Tor Panorama

Dioramas of discoveries that have been done during the walks



Mirror Fog Wind










About Books and Trees

The world of plants is comparable with an apparently infinitely large library of books. How else can we describe the abundant shapes, colours, sizes and smells? In everyday reality we are helped by the manageable qualities of a garden, whose contained dimensions and resources have a liberating effect. Our attention is drawn not by the totality of the plants, but by the selection. Hence a perfect garden can move us more than untouched nature. But the magic of a garden does not lie only in the accumulation of plants, for our perception of the texture of the leaves, the fragrance of the blossoms and the shadow of the trees is immediate and direct.

The potential of the urban landscape lies in the heterogeneity of the city. Nowadays, urban nature is more diverse than nature in the countryside, largely owing to the substratum of the location. Manifoldly fractionated, the form of the urban vegetation represents a narration about its own history.

November 2004 - January 2005


The Mediated Motion

On all four levels, odours, fog, water, plants, and soil caused the strictly orthogonal, concrete-and-glass architecture of Peter Zumthor to metamorphose into a path ”of experience and awareness of experiencing” (Eliasson).
This installation, to be walked on, describes a space of experience fashioned out of cultivated nature in which the visible also includes the hidden. Precisely because of the seeming invisibility of the physically perceivable, the various vistas create their own tissue of references – through seeing and remembering. A familiar theme situated in a strange environment refers to the background. Vivid and graphic thought releases insights in the beholder’s memory. He thus recognises the familiar but invisible connection: the theme is physically real, the background
virtual. The precise presentation and experience of the visual surface evokes – by looking and remembering, seeing and thinking – individual and social ideas and recalls familiar experiences.
Eliasson described this relationship as follows: ”The public is the work, as everything else continually changes.”


un-common Venice

A small, turquoise-coloured kiosk in Venice on the corner of Via Garibaldi and Riva dei Sette Martiri is part of a project by Günther Vogt adopted at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, which devotes itself to the topic of “Common Ground”. Günther Vogt’s contribution takes the topic literally, whereby he sees the public space as common land (‘commons’) and has examined this accordingly with regard to the relationship between resources and utilization. Venice seems to be a suitable paradigm for this observation because of the clear separation of public and private space, and because of the tension between local and global use - against a backdrop of the critical question of a potential overuse by mass tourism (see ‘Tragedy of the commons’). 

An attempt was made by means of a pedestrian survey conducted at various public places throughout the city with the help of students from the IUAV (University of Venice) to identify a differentiated perception of the “resource of Venice” and its regulatory framework in relation to everyday life. It dealt with the question of how this place is used, assimilated and mentally conceived, how one gets about there and orients oneself, and what its specific characteristics and qualities are. The understanding of Venice, respectively of the public space as the “commons”, and the focus on the subjective perspective of users - from local residents to the global day-trippers – should, as it were, open up an unusual view of Venice (“un-common Venice”) stemming from an everyday perception and familiar events. 

An initial, low-profile occupation of the urban space takes place from August to December with posters that address the residents and tourists in all the languages of the countries participating in the Biennale. The posters launch the public debate with statements and questions on the subject of common ground. 

A second occupation takes place over the period of the Biennale with the running of an existing kiosk in Venice, located at the corner of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Riva dei Sette Martiri. This type of kiosk, of which there are only a few in Venice, is a formal reminder of the Islamic roots of this kind of small-scale architecture. There were small street kiosks during the time of the Ottoman Empire from the early 16th century, which served as a public fountain house, because under Islamic law, the supply of the urban population with safe drinking water was one of the duties of the ruling families and wealthy individuals. There used to be a servant inside the fountain houses, who would serve out free drinking water to the passersby. As water is one of the most important public assets (commons), this tradition has been resumed at the occupied kiosk in Venice. 

The kiosk also serves as a communication and presentation platform for the results of the pedestrian surveys. The findings derived from the surveys will be translated into the language of the kiosks, where this unfamiliar side of Venice will be sold in the form of newspapers, postcards and various uncommon kiosk articles. The inventory of the kiosk is supplemented by contributions from students and friends from the fields of architecture, art and design, whereby the kiosk becomes the common platform for a diversity of views and opinions on the ‘un-common Venice’. All the articles in the kiosk will be given to the passersby on the condition that they participate in the survey, thus making them a part of the project. 

In the context of the Biennal Exhibition at the Corderie there is only the more abstract, empty shell of the kiosk from the Via Garibaldi, in which the copper surface reflects the posters mounted on the exhibition walls. The installation in the Corderie is therefore the reflector and archive of the ‘real’ common grounds in the city outside. 

Without wanting to see the kiosk as an allegory for public space or the city, it seems suitable to us as a strategy and common platform: As the guardian of trivia, it thrives on the juxtaposition of variety wherein every little thing has its own identity, but the quality is first created when it is combined in the context of diversity in the smallest of spaces. In an unruffled summation of necessities, the everyday and the specific, mediating between local and global, diverse, colourful and seductive.

More information...


un-common Venice Kiosk Inventar



Mapping Everything – Abdruck der Landschaft

‘Mapping’ bedeutet ein begrenztes Gebiet zu erfassen und erhobene Daten in eine Karte zu übertragen. Geologische Karten, Stadtpläne, Mindmaps, Handskizzen, S-Bahn-Linienpläne, topographische Modelle, Vegetationskarten – die Darstellung von Raum auf Karten, Plänen und in Modellen ist so vielfältig wie es ihre spezifischen Zwecke sind; die Darstellungsformen so variabel wie die Raumwahrnehmung ihrer Autoren. 

Die Summerschool 2013 der Professur Vogt, die vom 1.-17. Juli im case studio VOGT stattfindet, widmet sich dem Abdruck der Landschaft. Konkret gilt es, die Stadtnatur in Zürich kartografisch zu erforschen, sich anzueignen und zu überarbeiten. Diese Untersuchung bildet im zweiten Schritt die Grundlage für eine gestalterische Arbeit, die vor Ort umgesetzt werden soll. Anhand von verschiedenen Experimenten, Workshops, Vorlesungen und Ausflügen findet eine Annäherung ans Thema ‘Mapping’, als Prozess verstanden, statt. Die individuellen Arbeiten, Ergebnisse und gemachten Erfahrungen werden im Anschluss an die Summerschool in Form einer Ausstellung präsentiert:

case studio VOGT
20. Juli-31- August 2013