The sub-program ‘The Architectural Project’ concerns itself with the actual object of architecture in particular: the building, the design as manifest in models and drawings, and the materialization of ideas in the project.
The sub-program “The Architectural Project” concerns itself with the actual object of architecture, in particular the building, the design as manifest in models and drawings, and the materialization of ideas in the project. The research group “The Building: types and models” (AP-1) holds that the architectural project at the scale of the building represents a rich body of knowledge that can be made explicit through comparative and interpretive study.
The group continues a long tradition at the Faculty of Architecture of the TU Delft of investigating the composition of architectural projects (as the simultaneous expression of formal, material and cultural aspects) in a comparative fashion in order to offer a knowledge base for architectural debate and practice. This group relies on methodologies such as critical plan analysis. The output of the group also encompasses analytical studies (types) as prescriptive studies (models).
The AP-2 research group focuses on and questions the mutual relationship among public buildings, public spaces and the public realm. Their functioning and organization are physically, symbolically, socially and economically fundamental to the city. Architecturally, they form a domain both of convention and experimentation. And due to the nature and ever-changing character of the public realm, this relationship can only be seen in socio-cultural and economic context.
This research group focuses on the study of complex spatial mechanisms and systems within contemporary cities and territories, as they constitute the contextual basis of architectural interventions. These urban and territorial conditions are considered the prime forces of influence for contemporary architectural reflection and production. An understanding of the underlying philosophical, cultural, political and aesthetic value systems that influence the production of architectural form is considered of vital importance.
The “Borders & Territories” research group aims to chart this “field” in order to establish the rules for and the reasons behind architectural conjectures in the context of the emerging territory and the spatial conditions around borders and within territories. In “Borders & Territories,” the specific, at times emergent, spatial conditions found in contemporary cities and territories are considered to be a rich field in need of exploration and ultimately comprehension.
Metropolitan city-regions as well as specific urban border conditions will be investigated in order to determine the rule, or minimal preconditions, underlying their construction, which is simultaneously considered essential for an informed operation of design practices in this context. Within the contemporary built environment, the architectural object does not stand in isolation nor has it solely emerged out of architectural considerations. Fundamentally, architecture operates in an ‘in-between’ field that is unstable, complex, fragmented and non-hierarchical.
The particular field of study in “Borders & Territories” deals specifically with spatial boundaries and fields of operation within a framework that relates theory to practice and research to design. This framing of architectural operations is investigated in four distinctive ways:
(1) Discussion of architectural space and form within a multi- and trans-disciplinary framework (discussing the similarities and differences among disciplines, such as urbanism, geography, art, technology, and philosophy, to mention a few.);
(2) Development of architectural form as an object situated within the spatial conditions of the (urban) territory;
(3) Employment and testing of different, trans-disciplinary means in order to conduct experimentation in architectural design;
(4) Development of specific methodologies and instruments informing the architectural project.
The sub-program ‘Foundations’ revolves around understanding the issues present in architectural discourse and their historical precedents.
Special attention is given to the evaluation of approaches that can be qualified as “revisions of the modern” during the period 1945 to 1979. There is a rich body of architectural projects, realizations, texts and methods (mitigated moderns, other moderns, situated moderns) that offer alternatives to the paradigms of the pre-World War II modern avant-garde and what could be described as “high modernism.” This architectural body of work is of substantial interest for contemporary architectural debate and practice.
The group thus draws together a number of different areas of research in order to work more comprehensively on the question of architectural knowledge: what is it, how is it formed and how is it communicated? This includes questions on the learning process in the studio, the embodied forms of knowledge that become apparent in the design process, and a re-thinking of the relation between making and reflecting, between the discourse and the project, and between the expertise of the architect and the reception of the public.