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The international orientation of a_ku in research and teaching allows varied views of estetic, cultural and social qualities in architectural, artistic and urban projects within different contexts. Architecture, city, landscape and the arts are examined and challenged regarding their potentials, limitations and interweavings within the 'reflexive modernism'.

In joint research projects with international european partners, new research questions and future-oriented research fields are developed. Symposia + PhD Peer Reviews of international orientation establish a forum to exchange knowledge and to network as well as to discuss questions in broad and transdisciplinary contexts to which guest lectures by internationally active architects and city planners add to.



Research projects I Research networks

Architecture knowledge and scientific research

To what extent can architectural design and design-based research be considered scientific? If science operates on the basis of common methods and approaches that are made explicit, is there not an element in architecture and other creative arts that is destined to remain outside the realm of scientific inquiry?

This research proposal builds on the supposition that there is an uncodifiable form of knowledge embodied in the material products of architecture from treatises and drawings to models and buildings 'that, in fact, we can' know more than we can tell? (Polanyi, 1968). Yet it also proposes that certain aspects of this tacit knowledge can be articulated. Therefore, it asks questions such as: what are the types of criteria that identify the knowledge specific to architecture, and how can we enhance traditional standards of scientific research through the knowledge generated in the studio and materialized in professional practice?

As such, it focuses on material products as the basis for evalution and analysis. Departing from the idea that 'designerly ways of knowing' may contribute to the criteria and approaches of scientific research in general, this project draws together a network of European scholars already working at the crossroads of design, cultural analysis, history and philosophy. In combining the efforts of reflective cultural analysis and the material propositions of design, architecture stands as a test case for a new perspective on knowledge.

The project was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and affiliated with TU Delft. Project partners include: Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert (Leibniz Universität Hannover) Prof. Dr. Christof Grafe (BU Wuppertal), Prof. Dr. Mari Lending (Oslo School of Architecture and Design), Prof. Dr. Angelika Schnell (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), Prof. Dr. Lara Schrijver (University of Antwerp)

Related publication: Lara Schrijver (ed.), The Tacit Dimension. Act 1, Delft: TU 2014


Architecture and its ways of knowledge

This project initiates an innovative Training Network that will train young researchers in the development of advanced theoretical frameworks and specialised investigative methods to analyse the specific knowledge that architects employ while designing buildings, neighbourhoods and cities. It focuses on the characteristics, the dissemination and the heuristic potential of this knowledge that is particular to architectural design practice.

Academic Partners: Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; Assoc. Prof. Helena Mattsson/ Hélène Frichot,  KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Denmark; Prof. Dr. Tim Anstey/ Prof. dr. Mari Lending/ Prof. dr. Mari Hvattum, Oylo School of architecture and design, Norway; Prof. Dr. Christoph Grafe, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany; Prof. Dr. Gennaro Postiglione, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Prof. Dr. Angelika Schnell, Academy of fine arts Vienna, Austria; Prof. Dr. Lara Schrijver, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Dr. Barbara Penner/Prof. Jonathan Hill, University College London, UK; Prof. Dr. Margitta Buchert, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany