9. May 2017
The current faculty structure has been in effect since October 1, 2004, and is composed of the following organisational units: dean’s office, 5 institutes (architecture) and 1 department (regional planning), as well as the computer laboratory. Following the previously effective institute structure, the new institutes and department are subdivided in research-based and topic-centred workgroups (departments of the architecture institutes, centres of the planning department).
E251 Institute of History of Art, Building Archaeology and Restoration
Beyond the theoretical aspects of building history, teaching and research at the department focus on its significance in the history of architectural and urban ideas. Historic building research and documentation work offers students the opportunity to engage in the problems and possibilities of architectural structures. The immediate experience of “architecture” is intensified in such direct encounters with it as concrete object and thus manifest illustration of a “realised history of ideas” – concepts that can literally be “grasped.
The Institute of History of Art, Building Archaeology and Monument Preservation sees its overall mission statement as being the practice-related commnunication of the breadth of the subject - best described as the management of the cultural heritage - through both research and teaching to its students as the basis for the architect´s profession. In this context, the close colloboration in theory and practice with the Institute´s other two departments is of fundamental significance.
The Department of Art History is part of a close network of other universities and subject related institutions in Austria and abroad. Teaching focuses on a number of skills targets, including the communication of the relevant subject knowledge, the training of aesthetic competence and the faculty of judgement, specifically in the dialogue between the old and the new. Another central function of the subject ist to teach its students to produce academic work and to equip them with the theories, methods and practice of architectural research, thus opening up new professional fields to the prospective architect. A necessary component is a variety of topics that take account both of contemporary trends in art and architecture at regional and international level and of prominent aspects of history and their relevance for current issues of the architectural and artistic process.
E253 Institute of Architecture and Design
The Department of Building Theory and Design promotes a process-oriented definition of architecture and architectural production. This signifies that architecture is not an object, but a specifically organised planning method and a planning process. Architecture is simultaneous and synchronised planning irrespective of context as text, presentation, structure, exhibition or assertion. Architecture is representation in the most varied form and is always a reality as such – and as a reality it is never merely an experiment.
The Department of Housing Construction and Design sees itself as an open space for university-level teaching, research and experimentation in which teachers, students, guests and non-students cooperate on an equal level to create a knowledge pool on the subject of architecture and living culture. From as many different approaches and by looking at topics, contents and methods from as many different points of view as possible, different positions are worked out, contents discussed, questions asked, and established concepts in architecture and living culture critically examined in order to be able to develop new concepts, content and programmes for architecture and housing conditions of the future.
Architecture is a sensuous medium that can mobilize emotions and create identities. Spatial Design affects anything at any scale from furniture and objects to buildings, urban spaces and virtual worlds. We work at the intersection of art, architecture and design and we are searching for new spatial solutions and visions and look into their potential consequences for users as well as the environment.
How do you teach people to become architects today? This question lies behind our discussions and is usually not answered. This means the act of teaching becomes the method by which we explore the question. What do we know?
Architecture is more diverse in its range than ever before. Changes in social attitude, materials, communication and environmental concerns have resulted in architects having to be much lighter on their feet than ever before. We have to teach that.
We see now that the major cities, constructed by technical experts, are failing globally and that millions of inhabitants try to escape at every opportunity, in the face of the various environmental problems caused by technical interventions and the over exploitation of landscape, nature and raw materials. It is clear to see that the design of the built environment must not be seen primarily as a technical task but as an ecological, economic and social problematic that requires technical means only at the point of realisation. Therefore it is highly necessary to broadly establish the criteria of sustainable architecture in education and to advocate a perception of the role of architects that considers the overall system.
The thematic focuses of the Department’s range of teaching are the Basic Course in the first academic year and Design in the following semesters. The educational expectations of the courses are oriented towards the spectrum of content-related analysis, ranging from landscape topography and urban development to the designing of individual objects and their constituting elements.
E259 Institute of Architectural Sciences
The Digital Architecture and Planning Department of the lnstitute of Architectural Science is the successor of the Department for EDP-Aided Methods (IEMAR) which was founded in 1994. Both in the fields of architecture and planning the Department’s focus is on the double role of digital media, as tools used in planning processes and as an actual part of the planned realities.
The Department’s research and teaching activities focus on structural design (for architects) and timber construction (for architects and civil engineers). Integrated into the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, the Department also serves as a civil engineering department for structural design in wood. This bridging position between the building faculties is used for interdisciplinary work and events that span across faculties to foster an understanding of building as a complex whole.
More than ever before, professionals in the building design and construction field are expected to possess the knowledge and competencies required to address the following two fundamental requirements:
How can buildings provide their occupants and users with adequate spatial and indoor-environmental qualities and conditions needed for healthy, satisfactory, and productive living and working processes?
How can buildings fulfill these requirements, while minimizing both the use of resources (land, materials, non-renewable energy resources) and the environmental impact associated with construction and maintenance and decommissioning of buildings?
Interdisciplinary and externally funded, the Media Architecture research project exemplifies the kind of architecture theory that Kari Jormakka wants his department to represent. He likes to quote Abbé Laugier, who in the 18th century insisted that for architects, ›it is not sufficient to know how to work; it is above all important to learn to think‹. For Jormakka, however, it is equally important that thinking really affects practice. ›We stand for architecture theory that is neither an extension of architectural history nor a form of criticism,‹ he explains. Instead, he wants to forge links between critical thinking and current trends in design and technology – such as the effect of ubiquitous computing on the built environment – as well as investigate the links between architecture and social structures.
E260 Institute of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture
Within the context of the architecture programme there is clearly only scope to acquaint students with a small part of the field of landscape architecture. The main goal of the Department of Landscape Architecture within the architecture programme is to sensitise architecture students to the need to pay as much attention to site planning and design of space outside the building, as they do to the building itself. In their future practice they will frequently collaborate with landscape architects, therefore there is also the need to acquire a common language and a mutual understanding. Courses offered by the Department aim to give all architecture students a basic insight into the main parameters influencing the design of outdoor space as well as a broad overview of a range of contemporary and historic approaches.
The endowed professorship for real estate development and management does research concerning succesfull organisational forms and processes for sustainbale real estate and infrastructure development. Based on reseach results the division teaches competences for successfull situation specific behavior and decission-making in development and management of real estate and construction projects.
E264 Institute of Art and Design
Straddling the fields of fine arts and architecture, the Department of Drawing and Visual Languages addresses a broad range of issues relating to visualisation techniques (conception, presentation, documentation) and trends in contemporary art. The traditional disciplines of freehand drawing and sketching are complemented by the use of photography, video and virtual space simulation technologies in architectural training. Research and teaching activities explore the nature of artistic freedom and practical application at the interface between art and public space.
›On the computer, I cannot develop any sense of space and measuring scales. This is precisely why it is important to deal with three-dimensional form and design in a material reality, as well. We would like to offer our students, as part of various design tasks, the possibility of developing an intuition for form-finding, but also for materials,‹ emphasises Professor Christian Kern. A model is not only something that emerges as a result at the end of a drafting process and which anticipates the object that will be built, but it is also a helping tool during the drafting. Real, manual, as well as machine-produced models may be grabbed, but forms are intelligently made and tested. The Department is not only about inventing/finding, but also about producing forms – which, due to the digital drafting methods, become more and more complex.
E280 Department of Spatial Development,Infrastructure,Environmental Planning
The Centre for Legal Sciences persues the following aims: to ensure an practice-relevant education for its students, to prepare students for a variety of professional challenges in an expanded Europe, collaboration with industry and interest groups, as well as to improve and optimise the legislative-political conditions of technology-related jurisdiction.
Research and teaching focus on issues of city and town planning, establishing and maintaining competitive advantage, as well as on concerns of infrastructural investments and innovation for regional development.
The scientific activities of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies thus concentrate on the analysis and modelling of town and region structures, developments, and processes. Research into the causal relationships and the driving forces of regional developments forms an essential basis for strategic consulting and assessment of alternate planning solutions with respect to the range of stakeholders (politics,planners, public).
The Centre of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy was founded on June 20, 1972, with the aim to educate students about the existing factors involved in decision-making in the public sector and their influence on natural space, the economy and society, as well as to advance scientific research in this field.
In treating all regional life and material matters of local politics, regional development is by definition a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and application-oriented field of planning. Research and teaching activities address issues of professional practice in the context of town development and renewal plans, as well as investigate conceptual and applied design parameters in urban site development, with a focus on concrete design tasks.
The aim of the Centre for Transportation System Planning is to scientifically advance the solution of regional planning problems related to transportation (traffic system planning) by way of instruction and research. Issues that are identified as currently relevant, as well as factors anticipated to be of relevance in the future are investigated, whereby students gain an understanding of how transportation system considerations must be spatially integrated in the complex discipline of regional planning.
The interdisciplinary team of the Centre for Sociology includes sociologists, economists, planners, and architects to investigate socio-economic structures and processes by the means and methods of the social sciences.
The social and spatial structures and processes of contemporary societies are related and analysed in their historic context. Such knowledge serves to inform decision-making at several levels of architectural and urban planning practice.
The Centre focuses on academic teaching and applied research in the field of regional development at the national, European and international level. Austria’s accession to the European Union in 1995 opened up new opportunities and created access to additional instruments of regional development planning. The Centre has actively participated in different European assistance programmes from the beginning and benefits from the extended scope of opportunities through cooperation with the other regions, enterprises, institutions and research establishments involved.
In Arbeitsbereichen werden wissenschaftliche Arbeitsleistungen organisiert und umgesetzt. Arbeitsbereiche widmen sich Aufgaben, die fachbereichsübergreifend sind bzw. interdisziplinäre Ansätze voraussetzen und damit nach der gezielten Zusammenarbeit mehrerer Fachbereiche zur Steigerung der Forschungsleistung beitragen. Arbeitsbereiche sind selbstständige Einheiten im Department. Ihre Einrichtung dient auch dem Ziel, gemeinsam mit den Fachbereichen eine institutionelle Netzwerkstruktur als künftiges System der inneren Ordnung des Departments einzurichten.Derzeit verfügt das Department über fünf Arbeitsbereiche, deren Zahl sich aber durch neue Forschungsfragen erhöhen kann:
Arbeitsbereich Entwicklung ländlicher und alpiner Regionen
Leiterin: Linzer Helene, Vertr.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Arbeitsbereich Europäische Raumentwicklung
Leiter: Giffinger Rudolf, Ao.Univ.Prof. Mag.rer.nat. Dr.techn.
Arbeitsbereich Räumliche Simulation und Modellbildung [SimLab]
Leiter: Voigt Andreas, Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. | Scheuvens Rudolf, Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing.
Labor: Yamu Claudia, Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Dr.
Link: Website des Arbeitsbereichs
Arbeitsbereich Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum (SKuOR)
Leitung: Knierbein Sabine, Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Dr. phil.; Scheuvens Rudolf, Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing.
Studienassistenz: Johanna Aigner, BSc
Link: Homepage des Arbeitsbereiches und der Stiftungsgastprofessur Stadtkultur und öffentlicher Raum (SKuOR)
E290 Computer Laboratory of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning
The IT Lab provides the faculty for Architecture and Space planning with necessary computer workstations needed for its research and teaching work. In 8 student lab rooms we offer in total 169 CAD/BIM workplaces (160 PCs running Windows 7 and 9 MAC G5 on Mac OS X) with all the relevant software tools our students need for their studies, direct internet access from 6:30am to 10pm 7 days a week. Printing up to size A3 and large format plots up to size A0 complete the offer.
Furthermore we offer comprehensive department support in all areas of ICT, from planning and implementation to ongoing support and informal help whenever issues arise.