Headed by Prof. Dr. Michel Müller unit LEAR, the laboratory for experimental architecture, art and research, tackles the topics of artistic studies, experimental spaces, building prototypes and architectural research.
The laboratory’s primary focus is an integrative approach, taking ecological, economic, cultural, social and artistic aspects into account. It examines the interactions between these various aspects and assessed with a view to creating architecture for the future. The key question its work addresses is “What factors influence the way we build and what methods can we use to create architecture that meets contemporary needs?” The main objective is to develop sustainable approaches towards shaping our architectural environment.
The plan is essential to any architectural endeavour. It serves to define precisely how the space is to be organised. The plan gives an object form, incorporates the various design requirements, and the finished building is checked against it to ascertain that construction has been completed correctly. The architectural plan describes the projected end result of the planning process.
Architecture that has a fixed final form is increasingly becoming anachronistic in a world in which buildings must adapt to constantly changing requirements and frequent changes in use. The central question is therefore: “What basic methods and what technical requirements allow us to design flexible buildings whose individual elements are not predefined or subordinated?” Such considerations could well mean replacing “architecture” with many “architectures” – substituting constantly evolving “places of transformation” for fixed spatial constellations.
Convertible buildings can be adapted to suit specific requirements, allowing us to shape our architectural environment step by step as needed and thus ensuring its sustainability in the future. This presents us with one of the key challenges in architecture, implying that if architecture is to be sustainable, it can no longer be the product of a self-contained, rigid system, but must continually evolve to reflect changing situations and conditions.
Integrative design unites technological, economic, aesthetic and cultural considerations to form an holistic approach to architecture. All parameters relevant to the design process are identified in turn and then incorporated into architectural concepts. Lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and design assignments are devised to complement one another and to impart basic principles, increase the depth of students’ knowledge and explore individual aspects of architectural design.
COOPERATIVE TEACHING & RESEARCH METHODS
Students in the programme work with partners from other disciplines such as engineering, science, urban planning, sociology, economics, design and art. The various complex factors involved in construction are placed within the overall context and are studied in detail using relevant examples.
The Laboratory for experimental architecture, art and research can accommodate doctoral students within academic research projects in collaboration with other Universities and Art schools.