The future.lab is a platform in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning for experimental and inter-/transdisciplinary research and studies in urban and regional development. Moreover, it works to create opportunities and to support projects that stimulate research, studies, and professional practice specifically as open knowledge-sharing, thus reinforcing our image and profile. Planned for a limited period, the platform challenges teachers, students and colleagues from the professional planning industry to develop realistic projects and ideas and to transpose the aspirations of a transdisciplinary scientific praxis into concrete action.
The future.lab sees itself as an open format! Its life blood is the broad-based cooperation and collective creative ideas of as many colleagues as possible from research, academic studies and praxis. The sole condition is the creative approach to achieving the fundamental aspirations of inter-/transdisciplinary studies, likewise the experimental, application-oriented character of the projects.
Networking and pooling of contents
The platform is based on the fields of research and funding priorities of the TU Wien and the Faculty of Architecture and Planning. Hence the project supports the discussion pertaining to regional planning and developmental concepts, strategies and projects from the fields of architecture, urban design, planning, urban management and urban governance. Not least, it is also involved in fostering the dialogue between the planning-related sciences and professional practice.
Experimental and interdisciplinary formats in academic studies and research
The development of the urban environment always depends on the achievements of various partners, institutions, disciplines. This also affects how we deal with the complex tasks, actions and research areas of an urban development related to architecture and planning. This very aspect in particular requires a culture of cross-thinking, of networking and learning with and for one another. It is from here that the future.lab launches out. It is founded on its inter-/transdisciplinary aspirations and also on the open format, in which competences of method and of those relating to society and the individual are required and supported in tackling regional planning and architecture. Topics of regional development will become visible and thus open to discussion via the future.lab projects. So the future.lab has the goal of enriching and intensifying the social discourse on the future of the urban environment and the perspectives of urban life.
In brief, the future.lab of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning stands for:
Key topics in academic studies and research
Focusing on key topics relating particularly to academic studies and research in the cross-linkage of architecture and planning
Awarding of scholarships to students (diploma/degree/doctorate) who apply themselves to the thematic and methods of the respective key topic
Financing of guest professorships for the respective annual topics
Organisation of public lecture series on future issues pertaining to the urban environment and society
Teaching programmes and research projects
Organisation and support of teaching programmes and research projects
Networking of participants and players
Networking of different players from research, science and praxis
The Mobile Urban Lab
Programming and management of the Mobile Urban Lab
Temporary work spaces
Renting of temporary work spaces for project and research groups
Pooling and specifying communication of the projects and achievements in research and academic studies.
The Mobile Urban Lab
The key location of the future.lab is in the Mobile Urban Lab. It is designed as an event location for discourse and as a facility within the Faculty of Architecture and Planning. The Mobile Urban Lab is the “basis station” of the future.lab, it is the physical space for an experimental and transdisciplinary platform, a multifaceted setting for academic research and studies in the urban environment and social context of Vienna. The Mobile Urban Lab was established within the framework of the faculty’s Design Build Studio and planned and built by architecture students.
In autumn 2015 the Mobile Urban Lab relocated from Karlsplatz to the development area of New Marx and was developed further under the project title of OPENmarx. Various functional models evolved within barely a year: a collective workshop shifts the focus especially onto the topic of mobility; the communal kitchen creates a setting for getting to know one another and communicating while cooking together; a long table offers place for forty people for communal meals and discussions; a hiring box offers scope to lend out all kinds of implements and utensils free of charge for scenarios of use in the free area; the seminar room can be deployed for diverse workshops, teaching and learning formats. These function modules are arranged around the Mobile Urban Lab and span a public action space that serves as place of encounter, exchange and the sharing of expertise.
Through the agency of players from academe, OPENmarx primarily orients its activities on the urban district and NGOs working in education, the community and in the help and support for refugees and neighbourhoods. The life’s blood of the project is the work and the participation of many. It is designed as infrastructural framework that can be filled with specific contents, and can be developed and tested based on new constellations of players.