Victoria is a PhD student and young practitioner. She believes that architecture and the society it derives from are inseparable matters, and that in light of our current global situation, we may need to rethink both – in a holistic and profound way. Her research and architectural practice thus aim to formulate empathetic and perceptive architectural responses.
Victoria studied Architecture (BA & M-Arch) at the Technical University Munich (TUM), Queen’s University, Belfast and the University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury. During her studies, she worked for a range of practitioners, as well as for DETAIL Magazine and for the ICP Munich, doing volunteer work with disabled adolescents. As she developed her own design language, Victoria began to focus on elements of philosophy and phenomenology, studying the emotional impact of the built environment. This led her to design with increasing attention to composition, rhythm and proportions and to engage with the wealth of knowledge related to this gained from traditional architecture.
Currently, Victoria is doing a PhD at the Prince’s Foundation, with a thesis focussing on the principles and potential of the Sublime in contemporary architectural practice. Victoria’s research into this idea is informed by research into uncompromising sustainability, architecture psychology and socio-political considerations, expressed and developed in speculative designs and paintings. Alongside her part-time work in practice, this allows her to explore whether the Sublime, a concept to which the capacity to shift thinking has been attributed, may help us see connections in order to coordinate better solutions, considering the urgency of a reaction to the rather pressing issues we are confronted with today.
In lieu of a precise definition, the Sublime is associated with a stimulus exceeding one’s expectations, triggering cognitive realignment, resulting in a shift in one’s perception of the world, and increasing connectedness with other people (Allen 2018). The phenomenon was first discussed circa 1st century AD and later, during the Enlightenment, became a focus of philosophical discussions around aesthetics and subject of artistic expression amongst architects and artists. ‘Naturally’ related to Beauty and at the same time in need of ‘eternal distinction’, the Sublime is described as ‘productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling’ (Burke 1757). Such a strength of spectacle makes the phenomenon extremely topical, when the UN is calling for ‘transformative change’ in light of 1/4 species threatened with extinction and ‘insufficient’ global response (UN 2019).
Linked In Profile: Victoria Schulz-Daubas