Friedrich Christoph Wagner spent the years between 1965 and 2002—with few interruptions—lecturing students of architecture on the basics of design. This book represents the summation of
his teachings. He presents an insight into his working methods, a definiton of the position of the basics of design, a practical didactic system for creativity, perception and aesthetics as well as a large
number of examples of his students’ work.
A first insight into creative training, both for individuals and for groups, is followed by a number of freely and playfully addressed themes. The author subsequently presents us a broad selection of
sculptural themes by means of study pieces based upon “body space” and “the logic of the form.” This is followed by chapters that deal with the phenomenon of space, with basic topological
and geometrical patterns, with the realm of primal images and primal acts in architecture, with space and time—incorporating symmetry and movement in space—and with studies of light in relation
to space. This is followed by a discussion of surface and of surface structures, again with a number of examples. Finally, a number of projects serve to demonstrate the properties of the line, with
the concomitant topics of sequences and proportions.
The next chapter deals with “elements of architecture” featuring students’ projects and findings, with an emphasis on proxemics, locations, situations, the ways in which people behave and the
corresponding forms in architecture; worlds of sound also play a role here. In connection with this, a number of excursions were undertaken to the island of Sifnos in the Cyclades, where students
assisted in making measurements and conducting research at the Kato Petali site. Finally, a number of summer academies were held on the theme of “architecture as a relationship space.”
The book contains a DVD with sound samples and films concerned with “space and light.
About the Author
Friedrich Christoph Wagner graduated as an architect from the School of Egon Eiermann at the former Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe (today Karlsruher Institut für Technologie). After completing his studies, he was an assistant of Rolf Lederbogen at the chair of “Basics of Architecture” in Karlsruhe. It was during this period that he wrote his dissertation on the potter settlements on the island of Sifnos. After some years as a practicing architect in the studio of Erich Rossmann in Karlsruhe (where he was involved in the new buildings for the Berufsförderungswerk Nürnberg and the Psychiatrisches Landeskrankenhaus Wiesloch), in 1974 Wagner became professor of “Basics of Design” at the Peter Behrens School of Architecture in Düsseldorf where he taught until his retirement in 2002.