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Max Osswald Photographs

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Gathered by historian of architecture Sabine von Fischer, this set consists of sound photographs taken by Franz Max Osswald, the founder of the first laboratory for the study applied acoustics at ETH in Zurich, ca. 1930. These photographs, which are now finally archived in ETH’s image library, demonstrate how the non-visual senses claimed a presence in photography’s presumed visual objectivity. They invite us to rethink the ocular hegemony in architectural historiography and show us how we might begin to recuperate that which we cannot see—in this case, what we hear—when discussing architecture. As such, this set offers a great opportunity to engage with emerging conversations on the place of senses and sensory experience in the history of the built environment.


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