Sebastian Gatz

Human / Nature / Technology: Architectural Relationships through the Lens of more-than-human Epistemologies, Degrowth Practices and Occulture  

Is there such a thing as post-anthropocentric architecture? The building industry is one of the biggest material extractors on the planet and infrastructurally deeply entangled in the Anthropocene and Capitalocene. Buildings are human-centric by definition and are designed to exclude all kinds of others: unwanted weather phenomena, animals, plants, dirt, smells, sounds and other humans. Current European and technophile construction regulations force architects and clients alike to contribute to the continuation of unsustainable material extraction. Required wall thicknesses of up to 60cm exclude the human body from its natural environment and perpetuate the false mindset of a human-nature dichotomy. The PhD project aims to relook at human-energy relationships from a physical and metaphysical point of view and to employ degrowth design methods as a practical tool for sustainability. Technology is seen as an infrastructural problem and as a tool for individual agency. The experimental production of drawings, objects and buildings aims to generate a malleable and open-ended knowledge field rather than one final answer.

Sebastian Gatz is an architect, artist and trained car mechanic, who works and thinks at the intersection of art, architecture, occulture and science. Previously he worked and taught at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture in Copenhagen. As a researcher, he explored the role of robots and artificial intelligence in architecture, as means for bespoke architectural fabrication and as integrated elements of plant-robot-architectures. As an artist he investigates the relationship between humans and plants through the lens of artificial intelligence, robotics and experimental metaphysics.

Principal supervisor: Loove Broms
Assistant supervisor: Minna Räsänen
Admitted to HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg 
Project period: 2020-2024