The research program 'The Architectural Project and Its Foundations' of the Department of Architecture explicitly focuses on architecure as ‘métier’, or a ‘craft’ in the broadest sense of the word; a field where making and thinking are inextricably linked. It regards the ‘architectural project’ as the cornerstone of architectural practice and reflection. It holds that the architectural project forms the junction where a complex combination of cultural, social, functional, economical and ecological factors is articulated as a concrete spatial proposal. This articulation requires a specific expertise that characterizes the discipline of architecture.
The aim of the research program is to firmly reposition architecture as a field of expertise with its own specific logic, rationale and instruments. While in recent years, research in architecture has often implied a quest for intangible forces, the focus on architecture as ‘craft’ and ‘project’ entails a return to the history, tools and paradigms of the discipline. This encompasses an in-depth investigation of how architectural projects can perform at the scale of the building, the city and the territory (sub-program ‘The Architectural Project’) as well as a study of existing approaches and perspectives, instruments and disciplinary boundaries (sub-program ‘Foundations’).
The Department of Architecture presents itself nationally and internationally as a center of expertise towards the public and private sector, approaching important societal issues through the concrete spatial dimension of the architectural project. The research group has maintained a strong international reputation in the fields of typological and design-oriented research, which is underscored by various international exhibitions, publications and keynote lectures by group members.