SS 2019



ENTWERFEN 4 (153.507)
Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Brown
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Univ. Ass. Biljana Nikolic
Univ. Ass. Aleksandra Pavicevic
Univ. Ass. Christoph Solstreif-Pirker

In this year's E4 seminar, we want to transform desert outskirts and sparsely populated desert regions within Peru into habitable and productive habitats by the intelligent use of existing resources and the application of low-tech based strategies. Therefore, we will design in all connecting scales: From the object to architecture towards the landscape.

Peru's coastal strip lies in the rain shadow of the Andes and is influenced by the cold Humboldt Current of the Pacific. This unique combination results in almost no precipitation and extreme dryness, while the air is unusually humid. At the same time, Peru faces social, economic and political challenges. In this year's E4 seminar, we want to address these different agencies and show how they can be creatively combined into a synergetic, innovative whole.

A sensitized awareness of the problem should enable a positive reinterpretation of the prevailing conditions through the development of creative design solutions. We will design context-related, architectural prototypes, which use the climatic peculiarities to ensure a self-sufficient water supply, laying the foundation for new and inclusive living environments!

How do architectures look like that embrace the manifold challenges of the environment and even transform deficiencies into abundance?

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FUTURE LAB (153.807)
DI Andreas Goritschnig

With the Culture Year 2020 under the theme ‘Culture Creates Urban Future’, Graz places urban life ‘of the future’ at the center of an investigating, artistic, experimental and visionary debate. We are looking for innovative, interdisciplinary and/or participatory projects that will sensitize and ready the people of Graz to future issues in a variety of ways.

Questioning traditional economic models, answering to global challenges such as climate change, breaking with ‘business as usual’ as well as envisioning new neighborhoods are as much in focus as the activation of new public spaces. The culture year sees itself as a source of impetus for future urban developments.
Within the course FutureLab in the summer semester 2019, we will address this topic and its various implications, and will develop our own ideas, concepts and small-scale designs. To do so, we will reflect on global challenges as well as international trends, embark on the urban space of Graz, and work collaboratively to develop new practices beginning today and pointing towards future ways of living.

The aim will be to design projects so far that they can be implemented in the context of a larger project in 2020.

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Landlab CASE (153.805)
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Maria Chiara Pastore, PhD (Politechnico di Milano, IT)

More than 20 percent of the Earth’s surface are deserts – and deserts grow! While desertification is already known as caused by human action, it still continues to make essential agricultural areas become inefficient, thus withdrawing the livelihood of millions of people. Unprecedented forms and amounts of migration movements are to a great deal caused by anthropogenic climate-driven conditions, causing precarious situations on social, political, environmental and health levels, often resulting in a question of mere survival. 

Since the 1970s only a few projects have been succeeded to approach these challenges in an affirmative and inclusive way, developing practices for improving both local and global situations: Through cooperative re-afforestation projects in Africa, i.e. soil temperatures were reduced, wind streams changed and rainfalls rose. These projects suggest a different way of thinking, where desert areas can be transformed into flourishing forward-looking model regions.

CASE: OASIS – The Green Desert wants to further embrace contemporary challenges, realities and interconnections, and to develop tools and strategies to turn deserts into an integrative medium suggesting innovative solutions and creative environments for facing our planet in the epoch of the Anthropocene. Situated within 15th latitude, the course will design innovative architectural prototypes – affirmatively integrating deserts’ local conditions, resources, vegetation, climate, biodiversity and social structures – that creatively embrace low-tech, innovative technologies and cooperative local practices. 

CASE: OASIS – The Green Desert fundamentally rethinks the relationship between the human being and the environment, wherein “culture and nature” are not any longer a dialectic pair of opposites with apparently irreconcilable conflicts of interests. Nature and landscape, their ecology and dynamism may become an integral part of our societal ambitions and  decisions – developing a precarious situation full of abundance, and an architecture of living spatial practices! A Green Desert! Sign in soon!

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Univ. Ass. Biljana Nikolic
Guest: Christiana Pitsillidou, Atelier Oslo, NO

The concrete channelization of the Los Angeles river creates a global memory as endless plane and playground for fantasy production in many Hollywood films. 

Nowadays, the dry LA River zone is envisioned beyond its function as “escape-route” — now in a playful manner, as synthetic organism of recreation and urban revitalization oasis of restored habitats, introducing nature, art and play.

In a playful way, communities, spirits, minds and health of people can be built. Play involves and encourages us to be curious. Play is an essential element of the education of our children and future generations. Arts, culture experience and education are essential to 21st Century success.

PLAY: L.A. aims to envelop contemporary urban realities and fantasies, and to further develop concepts through micro interventions in urban context. What you learn: Through urban micro interventions you will explore and learn how to implement the knowledge of analyzing complex urban contexts and applying contextual learnings to future urban design tasks.

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Univ. Ass. Biljana Nikolic
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Univ. Ass. Christoph Solstreif-Pirker

- How can architecture initiate a potential future that builds on contemporary global challenges?

- How can architecture react on weather phenomena and climatic conditions to propose and enable new ways of living?

- How can architecture design vibrant interactions to motivate living social, cultural, ecological and economic practices?

- How can we think and design “inclusively” and create spaces that open up living conditions and stimulating qualities?

Following the topic of “weatherarchitectures” in the arid context of Lima, Peru, we are answering these questions and set off for creative and diverse small-scale solutions for contemporary and future practices in urban space.

Departing from the cultural technique of “fog catching”, we will create spaces and constructions that build on weather, climatic, social, geographical or cultural conditions, re-think them anew, and suggest new prototypical future-headed solutions.

In the one-week workshop, you will learn methods and strategies for conceptualizing, drawing and designing “weatherarchitectures” that give space to novel forms of living, producing and acting in extreme environments! Sign up soon!

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WS 2018/2019



Landlab CASE (153.804)
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Dipl.-Ing. Katharina Hengel
Univ. Ass. Bernhard König
Univ. Ass. Christoph Solstreif-Pirker 

ENTWERFEN 3 (153.506)
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Brown
Dipl.-Ing. Katharina Hengel
Univ. Ass. Christoph Solstreif-Pirker

In the Master Studio “From Object to Field”, we will unfold the creative performativity of future ARCHITECTURES. In this future-focused studio approach to architecture we will think inclusively! In immersing in local microclimates and social networks, we will develop ARCHITECTURES that shift from singular objects to “field conditions”. As the emphasis on the object often negates the complexity of living systems – we will focus on alive social connections, varying climate and site conditions, and social processes that constantly are emerging and are in formation.

In the Master Studio “From Object to Field” we want to answer the questions: What are the ARCHITECTURES of performative field conditions? How can ARCHITECTURE embrace the temporality of a given site? How does ARCHITECTURE adjust its atmospheric conditions due to climate and changing program? And how can ARCHITECTURE and LANDSCAPE symbiotically perform as microclimatic instruments, in applying the advances of future technologies and system thinking?

To give answers to these questions, we will focus on Portugal – and on the specific context of the urban district Marvila – Lisbon’s newest creative hub. We will expand the task of designing a Community and Interpretive Centre (3000 m2) to become more than the design of a mere object: we will experiment, think and practice how architecture can perform in enhancing the district’s social, economic and environmental and climatic qualities.

Let us turn from one to the many, from individual to the collective, from mono-functional objects to living and multidimensional fields!

The Master Studio “From Object to Field” takes part in the University Award Competition of the 2019 Lisbon Triennial of Architecture.

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Living productive microarchitectures for Lisbon, Portugal

WORKSHOP 1 (153.513)
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Goritschnig
Univ. Ass. Christoph Solstreif-Pirker

- How must our public spaces be designed to play an active and productive role in people's lives?

- How can we think "inclusive" and generate spaces that open up changing conditions and stimulating qualities?

- How do these architectures react to local climatic conditions in order to stimulate or even make possible uses?

- How can architecture design living interactions to motivate diverse social, cultural, ecological or economic practices?

With the topic of microarchitectures in the context of Lisbon, Portugal, we are following the trail of imaginative and formative small solutions for present and future practices in the public space and urban field.

We create spaces that are shaped by social, climatic, geographical or cultural conditions, rethink these conditions and propose prototypical, forward-looking solutions.

The one-week workshop will teach methods for developing, drawing and atmospherically depicting "micro-architectures" that create space to new and reinterpreted practices in an urban environment: Objects in a field full of possibilities!

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Univ. Ass. Biljana Nikolic

Imagine that you can control the weather, the Sun, the Moon, the land. Imagine you being an architect of your own universe! The Institute for Architecture and Landscape is giving you the seminar on worlding! Worlding is defined as an artificial art of creating an environment by choosing a present/condition, storytelling its past, simulating the future and nurturing it’s changes with its characters and ecologies/live matter – similar to the attributes of architect’s task.

Learning Result:
-Learn basics of video game software and 3d modeling for ecological simulation and representation, as opposition to parametric software, focused on geometry.
-Following given examples, you will learn how storytelling can be translated into a moving image.
-Learn about systems, networks, and technologies that are responsive, scalable, adaptable, non-linear, and multivalent, evolving through time and space.
-Learn about environmental imagination, while making sense of the complexity of technological and ecological systems
-Looking at the unpredictability of economic, ecologic and climatic conditions that leads us to imagine new means of design in given field conditions.

The seminar will be divided in two parts:
-in the first part, you will learn about responsive technologies through theory and speculative or built projects in the realm of different climatic conditions, scales and its representation
-in the second part, you will be having technical crash courses on tools.

The final phase will be following in the intensive week when realizing your storyboards on given examples into video format, representing your perspectives through time and space. Collecting the data and digitalizing the given environments inserting borrowing material from
digital libraries, the priority will be given to ecological performances. If you are familiar with other 3d packages, you are free to use them.

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SS 2018





Landlab CASE (153.805)

Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Univ. Ass. Andreas Boden
Univ. Ass. Bernhard König

DESIGN 4 (153.507)
Univ. Ass. Tobias Brown
Univ. Ass. Christoph Pirker

The aim of the Master Studio "Living Forest" is to relate the performance of the forest to the urban environment. We want to create a dense neighborhood that enables for new integral forms of life, work and exchange to grow within the urban grid of Palmas, Brazil.

Based on references to site-specific practices and specificities, we investigate how forest and city can be built together. Let us design new hybrid typologies of a living forest ecosystem! The city of Palmas is structured by a modernist grid, which means a clear separation of meaning and content. Embedded in the tropical climate of the Amazonas basin, the lush vegetation and climatic conditions of the site are suppressed by technocratic patterns of urban planning.

Furthermore, the applied Brazilian Social Housing Program in Palmas ignores the climatic, ecological and social dimensions. At this point, we are facing the need for a new model, and the question is: Can we create vibrant systems that do not exclude, but explicitly connect existing influences and human aspirations? – Yes, we can! Today, more than 130’000 km2 of forest are cleared every year to serve human purposes, industrial agriculture, and non-functional urban development. We want a different concept of urbanity to become reality! 

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (R. Buckminster Fuller)

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FUTURE LAB (153.807)
Univ. Ass. Andreas Goritschnig

In the Futurelab in the summer semester, we will develop 'microarchitectures' that connect human habitats with novel urban forest zones. 

These urban forest zones are equally habitats for animals and plants, improve the urban climate and create green oases in the city. The site of application for the micro architectures is defined as an urban development area in Palmas, Brazil, with a tropical climate and a diverse range of forest vegetation. 

The aim of the Furturelab is to use micro-architectures to show, draw and atmospherically depict new practices of interaction with the new lively urban green zones. From the communal urban forest kitchen to the coworking area in the shady open air.

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Univ. Ass. Marcello Fantuz

The seminar is part of an ongoing study on the role of thermodynamic interactions between climate and architecture.

The modern division of enclosed spaces from their surroundings has made architecture dependent on mechanical installations to achieve the comfort required by its inhabitants, and therefore has marginalized the architects' ability to create stimulating atmospheres. 

The seminar aims to surpass this division with a new thermodynamic understanding that allows architects to design spaces, select materials and plan program with the awareness of how local climatic conditions can be used and enable them to work integrally to achieve the desired performance. 

From the molecular to the territorial organisation every scale and shade of the research will offer us the opportunity to learn how heat is stored, transmitted and dissipated within the urban fabric. By analyzing a number of remarkable conditions we will be able to distill design principles that provide us with a thermodynamic understanding of spatial arrangements that can be offered to architects and planners alike. 

Our goal is to formulate a new diagrammatic vocabulary that will enable architects to work towards the creation of healthy, comfortable, and inspiring spaces while contributing to the formation of cities of the future.

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WORKSHOP 2 (153.514)
Prof. Klaus K. Loenhart
Univ. Ass. Marcello Fantuz

Air, climate and atmosphere connect all living beings on earth. Air is food, information carrier, energy producer and resource at the same time. Their property, composition or movement contributes significantly to determining the atmosphere of a place and to establishing its specificity. Although air is one of the most important elements, as a creative design material it is difficult to grasp when compared to physical elements.

During the workshop we will ask ourselves: How can we depict air? Can we design with air? Can we create an air stream? What is air made of? What does it transport? Can we smell, hear and feel air?

Building on the expertise of the Institute for Architecture and Landscape, the workshop will explore new ways of thinking about air. Each group of students will design a conceptual artistic installation that places air at the center and addresses its nature, meaning, characteristics and potentials. The students encounter the sensory experience of a space in which each breath leads closer to an ecological consciousness.
„When you take a breath, you touch a part of the planet, with the inside of your body.“ (Tor Nørretranders)

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WS 2017/2018

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SS 2017

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WS 2016/2017

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SS 2016

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WS 2015/2016

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