methodology – general approach

27/08/2013 | birgitklauck

Future Cities IP is a joint research program run by TU Berlin, TU Graz, University of Ljubljana and IUAV di Venezia.

Architecture is a field in which making and thinking are inseparably linked and thus the workshop program involves both „thinking“ in terms of refining the theory and „making“ in terms of developing a design proposal to verify the theory. This approach is called „research by design“ and has entered the academic field as a valid scientific methodology. Research by design mostly refers to one or more case studies. For this program Trieste and Venice serve as a case studies – to test the theory and to verify the envisaged positive effects.

The applied methodology for the Trieste and Venice case studies follows three phases:

  1. determination of parameters for the preparatory analysis and implementation (will be done at the respective home universities using ICT tools), fieldwork and development of design project proposal in virtual teams,
  2. confrontation with the “real world” – public presentation and discussion of design proposals,
  3. evaluation of the case study (lessons learned).

Within this process an emphasis will be on the design. Design is an interdisciplinary, multi-phase process with the goal to propose and realize interventions in our environment. Design is taught as so called project study. Project work as didactical approach implements a training program which is organized in such a way to enable students to solve complex assignments and thus to qualify them for the management of real situations.

Although project work is still considered to be a progressive learning methodology design is usually taught in a “protected” environment. This means that the students work on fictional projects which very often do not relate to the challenges of the “real world” (for example limited financial budgets, restrictive building regulations or most notably political and social conflicts which aggravate or sometimes even obstruct the realization of architectural projects). This drawback of traditional architectural education will be overcome in our “working weeks program” by 1. confronting the students with community members, local stakeholders, city planners and representatives of the property owners and  2. the task to moderate the formation of opinions.

From every participating university 10 to 14 students will take part. Each university will send one professor plus one or two assistant professors.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This 
publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot 
be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained 

Comments are closed.