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Logo: Architektur und Kunst 20./21. Jahrhundert
Logo Leibniz Universität Hannover
Logo: Architektur und Kunst 20./21. Jahrhundert
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Research activities at a_ku focus on the history and theory of architecture and on design methodology. Specific approaches include Aesthetic Theory and Reflexive Design. Based on a transdisciplinary approach a_ku focuses on the interplay of architecture, art, urbanity and nature. An international orientation strengthens a_ku’s efforts to widely reflect on on aesthetic, cultural and social qualities in various architectural, artistic or urban contexts. Methodologically research at a_ku is based on a qualitative approach in a hermeneutic-phenomenological research tradition.

‘Reflexive Design’ defines a research agenda for architecture that explicitly addresses the growth of knowledge as an intrinsic part of the design process. The realized project, often predominant in both architectural discourse and practice, obscures the actual relevance of thought in the process of architectural design. This process interactively comprises the continuous growth of implicit and explicit knowledge that precedes and exceeds the single project. This process shapes the attitude that includes styles of thought and approaches to architecture as well as the designers’ personal ideals and values. This process also generates a growing body of knowledge on how to implement ideas and concepts into the design project.



Design and Research in Architecture


Reflexive Design defines a research perspective within architecture, that explicitly addresses the benefits of knowledge as an inherent part of design processes.

Within the context of architecture as discipline and occupational practice, the dominance of the realized project inhibits a view on the actual relevance of thinking in architectural design processes.The specific and not theoretically foreseeable design progression is interactively linked to a continuous process of growth in implicit and explicit knowledge, which not only preceeds, but accompanies and exceeds each single design. This process of growth generates an approach that includes the designers' mindset, understanding of architecture, ideals and values. It also creates a growing body of knowledge on how to realize these concepts through designing.

Several research activities of a_ku are pooled in the project within the context of scientific conferences and the masters and doctoral training. The international symposia 'Design and Research in Architecture' were patronized by the Leibniz Universität Hannover and by the AULET Research Incentive of the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape.

Person responsible: Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert


Das besondere Buch. Architektur Theorie Praxis, Hannover: a_ku 2019

Prozesse Reflexiven Entwerfens | Processes of Reflexive Design. Entwerfen und Forschen in Architektur und Landschaft | Design and Research in Architecture and Landscape, Berlin: Jovis 2018

Praktiken Reflexiven Entwerfens. Entwerfendes Forschen I Forschendes Entwerfen in Architektur und Landschaft, Berlin: Jovis 2016

Reflexives Entwerfen I Reflexive Design. Entwerfen und Forschen in der Architektur | Research and Design in Architecture, Berlin: Jovis 2014

also see International



On the genesis of architectural design

A refined knowledge of different dimensions, properties and impacts of design archives facilitates the option to work out and better understand the criteria of distinction for architectural qualities and ways of designing. To foster successful actions, these are essential in conditions of radical pluralism. Dimensions of implicit knowledge, as currently being discussed, can be identified and developed by delineating conditions, under which specific experiences can be made or updated. Research on design archives in architecture can make essential contributions on this.

Person responsible: Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert

Publication in progress.



Ways of architectural design


The project integrates specific teaching methods and research activities of the a_ku section and doctoral training. Exhibitions at the Faculty for Architecture and Landscape have been held in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2017.

Seen from the view of architectural theory, an approximation to design is achieved through this research. It highlights the relevance of gestalt-related design aspects and the foundations of their communication. By focusing rather on the process of designing and less the overall design as an outcome, a methodic approach is made, in which different concepts, strategies and methods of architectural design are pooled by a themed approach.

Persons responsible: Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert | Dipl.-Ing. Laura Kienbaum


Related publications:

Einfach Entwerfen | Simply Design. Wege der Architekturgestaltung | Ways of architectural design, Berlin: Jovis 2013

Further publication:

Margitta Buchert, Transparenz. Potentiale und Wertsetzungen in der Architektur, in: Fakultät für Architektur und Landschaft LUH (ed.), jahrbuch Hochweit 17, Berlin: Jovis 2017, 10-15




Knowledge on design and composition in the intersections of architecture, city and landscape is in focus of this research. By means of Case Studies, On-site studies and investigation and projections, a_ku aims to broaden and enrich this knowledge with a focus on the contemporary city. Western-international values like urbanity, security, landscape or identity are seen as potentials and capacities in these contexts and will be examined, discussed and presented including their historic origins and future perspectives.

Related publications:

Margitta Buchert, Bigness and Porosity, in: Sophie Wolfrum (ed.), Porous City, München: Birkhäuser 2018

Laura Kienbaum, Stadt : Seilbahn : Architektur. Entwurfsbausteine und Gestaltungszusammenhänge, Hannover: Universitätsverlag 2017

Margitta Buchert, Landschaftlichkeit als Architekturidee, in: Wolkenkuckucksheim 30 (2016) / 35, 111-129

Margitta Buchert, Landschaftsentwürfe in der Architektur von SANAA, in: Wolkenkuckucksheim 29 (2015) / 35, 233-248

Felix Hoepner, Stadt und Sicherheit. Architektonische Leitbilder und die Wiedereroberung des Urbanen: 'Defensible Space' und 'Collage City', Bielefeld: Transcipt 2015

Karen Beckmann, Urbanität durch Dichte? Geschichte und Gegenwart der  Großwohnkomplexe der 1970er Jahre, Bielefeld: Transcipt 2015

Margitta Buchert/Norbert Rob Schittek/Hendrik Toepper, Documenta. Landschaft Kunst. Positionierung, Hannover: Universität 2003

Margitta Buchert, Über Architektur. Bernard Tschumis Parc de la Villette in Paris, Hannover: Universität 1995




Within research and teaching in a_ku and doctoral thesises, ideas and concepts as well as projects and contexts in architecture and art, including the creative act of production and the realms of experience of the created, are seen and addressed within their analogies and contexts. The attention is especially laid on the fact that both architecture and art are human practices that by constantly searching for spaces of possibilities, create qualities for the human environment. A nuanced focus is laid on those sensual qualities, that contribute fundamentally to the human understanding of the self and the world, e.g. the experience of movement and place.

Persons responsible: Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert


Related publications:

Mobile und Stabile, in: Anett Zinsmeister (ed.), Gestalt der Bewegung. Figure of Motion, Berlin: Jovis 2011, 50-73

Margitta Buchert/Carl Zillich (eds.), In Bewegung... Architektur und Kunst, Berlin: Jovis 2008

Margitta Buchert/Carl Zillich (eds.), Performativ? Architektur und Kunst, Berlin:  Jovis 2007

Margitta Buchert/Carl Zillich (eds.), Inklusiv. Architektur und Kunst, Berlin: Jovis 2006

Kunst Architektur Denkform, in: Thomas Kaestle (ed.), Wo ist die Kunst? Zur Geographie von Schnittstellen, Bielefeld: Kerber 2004, 100-102

Kunst in der Architektur. Spurensuche am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts (Diller & Scofidio, Kollhoff, Herzog & de Meuron), in: Maike Kozok (ed.), Architektur Struktur Symbol. Streifzüge durch die Architekturgeschichte von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Petersberg: Michael Imhof 1999, 467-478