Searching the Meaningful … Inside the Garden of Narratives


Personal Info

Name: Armin Lahni

Nationality: German

Institution / Company: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Instagram: ___aaarmin


-FINALIST of Non Architecture Award 2022 Competition | Category: Urban & Landscape


In a society, it is indispensable to have discourses. When Berlin became the new capital of reunified Germany, the master plan for the “Band des Bundes” also provided a space for these discourses, but this citizens’ forum remained a fiction. This is where this project comes in.

Based on Jean-François Lyotard’s reflections on the notion of “Narrative” and Wolfgang Welsch’s concept of “Open Unity”, this work is based on the understanding that such a discourse is determined by the encounter of different “Narratives”, in which not the final state is decisive, but the process itself. Thus, the discursive interaction and its potential to reveal new insights through the encounter of the contradictory and the opposite are more important than the aim of reaching an (impossible) consensus. In this context and under the topic of digitalization, the project’s thesis is that architecture can stimulate such a social discourse and thus contributes to a critical questioning of society. 

To achieve this, the architectural approach combines central concepts of literature studies with analyses of specific architectural approaches linked to the concept of the “narrative”. Here, the appropriation of architecture becomes the basis for the social discourse: architecture becomes a communication medium of society.

However, the chosen design methodology, borrowed from John Hejduk’s “Masques”, questions the understanding of appropriation in architecture. Can architecture only be physically appropriated? Does architecture have to be built to have an impact? Through its conception and location in political Berlin, the design eludes its classical desire to be physically realized.


Project Type

The project defies clear categorisation. Nevertheless, the category “Landscape” was chosen, as the title names the project a garden. As seen from the description above, it is a garden dedicated to a connection between architecture and social conditions. As such, it moves at the transition between walk-in installation, landscape architecture and museum-cultural use.

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