The Philosophicum Lech 2024 in the new Lechwelten

Three questions for Konrad Paul Liessmann - philosopher and academic director of the Philosophicum Lech

From next year onwards, the Philosophicum will take place in the new Lechwelten and fill the hall with thoughts and debates. What does "new space" do to philosophy or does philosophy do something to the new space?


Liesmann: "Spaces create atmospheres - also for thinking. The Philosophicum Lech already has a long "spatial history" behind it: from the Hotel Krone to the Fux, from the Neue Kirche to the sport.park.lech: and the venues and their infrastructure have always had a certain effect on the atmosphere, the discussions and the intensity of the exchange of ideas.

It's the little things, of course, but how a room is designed also has an influence on how comfortable you feel as a speaker or participant, for example. The ambience can be motivating but also demotivating. And vice versa: rooms also gain their character through what happens in them. The best example: the Neue Kirche was simply a different space during the Philosophicum than at other times of the year.

Spaces must be characterised by the activities that take place in them. And so we hope that the Philosophicum can contribute to giving the Lechwelten a distinctive character."

There are very mixed feelings about the new Lechwelten: some people think the new building is great, others don't like it at all. What advice does philosophy offer in situations of disagreement about something new?


Liesmann: "New things are always unsettling, otherwise they wouldn't be new. And controversy should therefore be allowed. Art and architecture in public spaces are always a question of taste. The impact of such a building on the townscape, the way it is perceived, also depends to a large extent on the way in which these facilities are "used". Acceptance certainly increases with the experience that a new multifunctional centre has been created here that offers something extraordinary that would not be possible in a different setting. But this centre must also be proactively promoted and we must not fall into the trap of denouncing critical views as backward or obdurate."

This year's guiding principle of the Philosophicum was "Everything will be fine". What can be done mentally around the Lechwelten so that this can also happen here and they can be brought to life?


Liessmann: "This will depend very much on what takes place in the Lechwelten and whether this is perceived as an event in the place itself or whether the Lechwelten are seen more as an external space where only guests spend time. I believe that a balanced mix of events of different types, which also includes many offers for the people of Lech, will be decisive for how lively these spaces will and can become and how much they will ultimately be experienced as an integral part of Lech's identity."