Architecture in the Making

Architecture as a Making Discipline
and Material Practice

The architectural profession is facing new challenges: Sustainable development promotes advanced building technology; the re-use of the existing building stock will be an increasingly important task; urban development have to integrate different fields of knowledge; advanced ICT tools influence design practice and modes of production.

Current challenges represent opportunities for the architectural profession in creating sustainable built environment, and the potential of architectural thinking in managing complexity can contribute to research. For this we need to develop integrated theories and methods, clearly based in architecture as a discipline, in which design thinking stands at the centre. This strong research environment defines the built environment as a material culture, and the architectural profession as a "making discipline".

From this perspective, connecting to sustainable development, four research themes are identified:

  • Material mechanisms
  • History
  • Investigative modelling
  • Alteration

It assembles a unique set of leading Swedish researchers, international scholars and architectural practitioners, to create a dynamic research platform promoting the potential of architectural thinking in research on complex issues in built environments.

Concentrated research projects will be combined with externally oriented activities which will make significant contributions to theories and methods in architectural research as well as practice.'

Architecture in the Making: Architecture as a Making Discipline and Material Practice forms a research environment and platform to review and develop theories and methods in relation to architectural practice with architectural thinking and making as its point of departure. With the intention to develop theories and methods grounded in the practice of architecture, the built environment is defined as a material culture, and identifies the architectural profession as a making discipline and a material practice, i.e. working and developing knowledge through the formation of artefacts and spaces as well as systems and processes shaping the built environment. From this basic perspective on the field, connecting to sustainable development and the contemporary challenges in the profession, we identify four integrated themes for this research environment: Material mechanisms, Investigative modelling, Alteration and History.

Hosted at Chalmers, the environment gathers researchers from LTH, Chalmers, KTH and UMA together with national and international participants from architectural practice as well as international scholars. The scope of work spans from research-by-design projects to historical studies and from detailed issues of projective practice to questions of policy-making. The research environment initiates and offers funding for research projects and forum activities by senior and junior scholars, as well as supporting post-doctoral and doctoral studies. Particularly the research environment aims to create dialogue and synergies between existing research cultures within the Swedish Schools of Architecture. A particular emphasis is on the creation of fertile interchanges between academia and architectural/engineering practices.

Architecture in the Making is a collaboration between Chalmers Department of Architecture, KTH School of Architecture, Architecture and Built Environment LTH and Umeå School of Architecture. 


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