The focus of studies and research activities covers all aspects and dimensions of the architectural space in its relevance to the city, to the landscape and to social, cultural and societal factors, also in its formation, structure, materialisation, public image and atmospheric qualities, and last but not least in the experimental and holistic concepts of space. Spatial design interprets architecture as a design tool of space, of spatial qualities, and stands for an all-embracing understanding of architectural qualities as they affect artistic, societal, ecological and economic regards.
The Raumlabor – the Spatial Lab – established since 1992 is a supportive research and teaching facility. This experimental space can be used to test design and spatial concepts and their effects on people. The lab offers scope for spatial simulations and object creation on a 1:1 scale. Work is done with constructional systems and the supplementary use of simple building materials. Experimental lighting design forms a one of the facility’s main interests. The exercises performed in the Spatial Lab offer the opportunity of developing three-dimensional designs – this fosters constructive, creative and organisational thinking. The collaboration in the group promotes an engagement with different ideas and generates a dynamic design process.
The material library originating in 2008 with the aim on one hand of demonstrating building-relevant materials through material samples, and on the other of preparing essential product-technical and ecological data. The option in the meantime of having a tactile opportunity to touch seven hundred materials, to sense their weight, surface structure or smell, is an invaluable support for the research-based course of study. By classifying selected materials based on their creative and ecologically relevant properties, they can systematically be put at the disposal of the interested teaching staff and students. Besides sensuous and sensory properties, other aspects can be investigated in an easy and immediate way, such as material designations, trade names, processing options and ecological characteristics.