Translation Transposition Translocation

Translation Transposition Translocation: The Development of a Phenomenology of Architecture by Christian Norberg-Schulz, 1973 – 1980.

The title Translation Transposition Translocation derives from an until now unknown, single page document written by architectural theoretician Christian Norberg-Schulz in 1979. By interpreting this document through a step by step analysis uncovering his references, this report aims at allowing new aspects of Norberg-Schulz’s theoretical formation to be brought to light. A particular focus is on the period from his research-related stay in Rome 1973-74 until the publication of his landmark treatise Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture in 1980. This development of a phenomenology of architecture is seen in relation to the reality of his life; a polyglot and frequent international traveller, translation and translocation was an integral part of his every day. A journey through this document invites a broader theoretical framework and discourse of architectural history including Vitruvius, Gottfried Semper, George Steiner, Rosi Braidotti, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Jorge Otero-Pailos and the wider field of translation studies. Norberg-Schulz’s conception of Norwegian Architecture, specifically adapted to Norwegian conditions are also key. This enquiry is based on archival research; in particular exploring the Christian Norberg-Schulz Archive, but also The NRK Archive (The Archive of the Norwegian Broadcasting Collaboration), Oslo, has led to pivotal discoveries. Close sustained reading of the multiple texts Norberg-Schulz wrote in the period has been key in investigating the multilingual process of publishing, writing and translating Genius Loci. Additionally, several people who knew and worked with Norberg-Schulz has been interviewed and this oral history has filled the gaps of existing biographical literature.

Read the MA report here: Translation Transposition Translocation Anna Ulrikke Andersen