In the summer semester 2016, the two-semester project “From Las Vegas to New Cairo” focused on the theoretical architecture text, “Learning from Las Vegas” by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown from the 1970s. The works by Venturi and Scott Brown on the iconography of the American city, were forerunners of the architectonic postmodern and are still relevant today. By analyzing the built environment as a visual sign language and a form of communication, they point out our changed forms of perception and principles of every day spatial experience. In the winter semester 2016/17, Robert Venturi and Scott Browns’ previously discussed thesis was examined on their applicability to today’s phenomenon of city development – the desert city of New Cairo being an example. An excursion to Cairo also took place at the start of the winter semester, which included working collaboratively with the students of the architecture and media design departments at the German University Cairo. In joint field studies with the students of GUC, various town topologies of the planned city New Cairo were researched and documented.
Back in Karlsruhe, the collected visual material was sifted through and ordered according to recurring elements of the public space. A selection of single images served as the template for the development of three-dimensional models. A total of forty-nine models were created out of different materials using this method, presenting an abstraction of the experiences in the city space of New Cairo. These were shown in an installation on a platform accompanied by sur-titles describing how the models were created.

Andreas Müller, Aaron Werbi