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R - Chronotopes


R1 - Otium and the Experience of Immersion in Music

Dr. Anne Holzmüller-Riechers

The project investigates musical immersion as a phenomenon of the manifestation of Muße and its limits. Based on the hypothesis that sound creates a virtual experience of time and space, we focus on discourses on and compositional constructions of immersive experiences: first, in the late eighteenth century, when literature and musical works promote the idea of musical immersion as a new aesthetic paradigm; and second, in contemporary works of music that pick up on the immersive quality of virtual media experience.

Johannes Bernet


R2 - Urban Otium in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century.
Flânerie in German Literature

Prof. Dr. Peter Philipp Riedl

Adding a new chapter to the history of the flâneur, this project analyses urban practices of otium in German literature and journalism. Travel writers’ and newspaper correspondents’ descriptions of London and Paris, but also Goethe’s observations of Rome, Venice, Naples and Palermo constitute the point of departure for our discussion of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century texts. Taking a closer look at their depictions, otium emerges as an analytical category that encompasses metropolitan ways of life as well as the spectator, both the city dwellers’ practices and the spectator’s otiose gaze.

René Waßmer (until 10/2020)


R3 - Otium in the Forest: The Construction of a Concept in Past and Present

Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit,
Prof. Dr. Uwe Eduard Schmidt

This project will explore the social construction of the forests as a space of Muße in the last two hundred years. Factors and processes which influenced this construction will be identified, and their present representations will be analysed. Based on the analysis of historical and present space constructions, influencing forest-related interpretations of individuals and societies, the project will generate fundamental insights concerning past and recent developments in forest policy.

Johannes Litschel
Andy Selter
Sibylle Roth


R4 - Spaces of Otium: Theory, Practice and Empirical Evidence of Modern and Contemporary Architecture

Prof. Dr. Hans W. Hubert

Looking at public spaces of contemplation, exhibitions, spas and libraries, this project discusses how contemporary architecture intends to create an atmosphere of otium for those using it. Following a thorough analysis, our aim is to discuss the relevant theories, debates and terminology informing otiose architectural design. By introducing empirical research on the perception of space and time, this project adds to traditional approaches to architecture.


Lorenz Orendi


R5 - Waiting and Expecting in Spaces of Otium: An Empirical Study on the Connection between Expectation, Atmosphere and Sense of Time

Prof. Dr. Roland Thomaschke

Waiting can be experienced in quite different emotional ways: as focused on time and full of impatience, or as enjoyable free time. Based on hypotheses inspired by the psychology of architecture, this project will investigate how architectural design can create atmospheres in rooms which have a positive effect on the waiting experience. The question of expectancy will also be addressed. The working hypothesis will be that waiting tends to be experienced more positively the less it is linked to strong expectations regarding the immediate future after the period of waiting.

Sonja Ehret