Building Theory by Design


The Section of Building Theory and Design offers students a number of design subjects with the leitmotif “Research by Design” and “Design by Research” in which an intensive engagement with built architecture helps students to develop an independent position, critically assess basic conditions, and find individual answers to a specific task. “Research by Design” und “Design by Research” are structured within the individual design subjects both as comprehensive analyses of architectural references, as well as through bottom-up research in a specific local context.

Architecture as experience is a central motif in the Section of Building Theory and Design. Current topics such as community, participation and cooperation form the starting point of a societal understanding of architecture devised to stimulate new forms of interaction between users, their participation in the design process, and the appropriateness of architecture. Moreover, architecture should also be taught as a physical discipline comprising not only the development of spatial and haptic qualities, but also a critical questioning of conventions and standards.

In order to experience architecture and also to anchor what has been learned about built architecture in the long term, the Section of Building Theory and Design offers students multiple possibilities of experiencing architecture spatially, socially and haptically on a 1:1 scale. This happens both in the form of day excursions to selected buildings in Vienna, and also trips abroad – often in connection with intensive workshops that continually investigate in greater depth the principles of “bottom up” and “learning by doing”.

Research Unit Head & Professorship