September 17, 2017
International symposion, 20–22 October 2017, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt/Main.
Standardization has played a key role in architecture and construction since the Enlightenment. It accelerates building production, reduces costs, and assures quality control, at least in theory. The classical modernists of the 20th century treated standardization and normalization as engines of social and technical progress. Even though concepts for mandatory, form-giving standards—like those proposed by Ernst Neufert—never established themselves, there are more standards today than ever before. Despite appeals to cultural specificity, standards shape processes and products all around the world through the digitization and rationalization of cognitive processes. With the introduction of BIM (Building Information Modeling), these processes are becoming increasingly relevant. At the same time, catastrophes like the Grenfell Tower fire in London or the collapse of the Savar building in Bangladesh are drastic examples of the failure of standards as a result of neoliberal policies. In the scope of the three-day conference at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), more than 30 international experts from a wide range of disciplines debate the cultures of standardisation from 1800 up to the present, focusing on the standardisation of design processes, construction processes and building components and their effects on architecture. […]