The Centre of Sociology (ISRA) deals with the interrelations between society, space and technological development. The main aim of the Centre teaching staff is to deepen the realisation that different social contexts are relevant in forming and using respective appropriations of space, and in the development of technology; that building, planning, designing and technological development are conditioned by society, and that also the roles, the demands and the fields of action of the involved groups are societally embedded.

Research and counselling focus on the origins of and also the transitions affecting social-space and socio-political structures and processes in cities and regions, and on embedding the technological development into them. Likewise they address the interrelations of social-space structures, building-physics structures and recent technological developments in various locations. Spatial, social, political, cultural and technological developments in cities, conurbations, metropolitan regions and other regions are treated as product of the interplay between macroeconomic processes and structures and group-specific perceptions, interpretations, evaluations and action patterns. Research deals not only with the analysis and evaluation of these developments, but also recommendations for action to assist different protagonists – above all in the action fields of spatial planning and architecture, also in other action fields such as energy and mobility. Key focuses are social inequality (segregation, poverty, etc.), governance (urban governance, protagonists and institutions, etc.), social urban (district) development (urban renewal, urban management, etc.), and technology and society (digitalisation, energy, mobility, etc.).

The Centre of Sociology provides for the education of architects, planners and technicians/engineers by imparting knowledge about the social framework conditions and socio-cultural backgrounds in shaping the built and social environment and technological development. Studies in the Centre cover a broad-based spectrum of social analyses (with focuses on current social changes, the forms of social-spatial inequalities). They address fundamental aspects of spatial and regional planning and architecture (participation, sustainability, governance), respectively tackle the groundwork (planning theory, spatial theory, methods of empirical social research, approaches to the theory of action, sociology of technics and technology) or – more generally – knowledge management and interactive networking. In the style of the respective study objectives, qualification profiles and contents of the Bachelor and Master degree courses – to which the Centre contributes – we endeavour to convey in diverse study formats the aims of sociological ideas and tasks for planners, architects and technicians/engineers; to teach scientific techniques and work methods; to make planning, architectural and other fields of action practically usable, and also to promote and develop social and communicative skills.

Research Unit Head & Professorship