Skip links

My head aches and the universe too

Poetic project of European vision for the library of the University of Graz

27 November 2020
Year :
Location :
University Library of Graz, Graz

The project for the library in Graz is conceived as a triptych. Each part places the individual at the center of crossroads and conceptual dialogues: between the first original concept (education), the cartography of human desires and contradictions, and the concept of infinite territories.

Our proposal, named ICH HABE KOPF – UND WELTSCHMERZ, enters into the “ecumene-like” perspective. The project unfolds like an “environment poem” that calls for citizen’s awakening through a series of three engaging dimensions. An awakening by which anyone is invited to interpret, inscribe, design, and think how he/she belongs to the world.

A library is the only place where the individual can connect and engage with the universe, as it is represented and interpreted in its archives, books, stored published research, and the many ways in which a modern library provides access to archives elsewhere and digitized information. We believe that libraries also need to tell their own stories. Our triptych proposal will place the individual between a territory, a concept, and the cartography of human desires and contradictions.

We intended to carry this idea using 3 sectors of the exterior spaces:

1-Library square:
The right to education and knowledge, article 26 of the Declaration of Human Rights, concerning education, tolerance and friendship, will be located under the ceiling of the building.

2-Infinite territory:
As you climb the stairs, you will slowly discover a series of lines and dots, creating a star map or a territorial connection network. Is it a map of the European train system ? Or is it a map of the stars on the floor? Is it the universe? What about the mobility of knowledge? Is it a neuronal system?

3-Cartography of human desires: The “Tree of Graz”.
On an adjacent building, we proposed to create a participatory ceramic artwork with 60 to 100 people from the university and the neighborhood. The “Tree of Graz” expresses people’s ideas about what their university stands for. The specific fields of research for this artwork will be chosen with professors Barbara Reiter and Lukas Meyer and with participants.


Françoise Schein
Nils Le Bot architecte
Barbara Reiter, philosophe
Lukas Meyer, philosophe


Université de Graz