#2 Bau auf! & Abbau, Anbau, Aufbau
#3 Local Material, Local Design, Local Built.

The arch.lab is a platform for research in teaching at the Faculty of Architecture. It has the task of developing and promoting research-oriented studying and teaching in the context of the degree programmes in architecture and art history. Each academic year, the arch.lab awards up to six grants to seminar concepts of the faculty, which are introduced in the module “Research Fields” in the Master’s programme in Architecture. The funded teachers together form the arch.lab, which is structurally connected to the study commission, works across institutes and is integrated into the KIT-wide project “LehreForschungplus”. The working formats of the arch.lab explore the possibilities of peer-to-peer reflection of research-oriented teaching with the inclusion of methodological approaches of “design-based research”, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” and the autoethnography. Critical reflection on one’s own methodological approach to research forms the starting point for an individual sharpening of research and its didactic mediation.

#2 Bau auf!

Ceramics is now gaining a new status within architecture through a series of innovative technologies in the fields of manufacturing, materials and technologies. Digital fabrications, computer-controlled kilns or the use of robotics in construction provide for different fields of application and also appearances. Instead of mass production, individual solutions for individual buildings are now possible. These recent developments enable architects to link material and functional systems that, in addition to new aesthetics, also go far beyond standardised manufactured building materials in terms of construction and function.

The seminar highlighted some of these approaches. Generative technologies also offer great potential in terms of resource-efficient production. This is because the layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process makes material necessary only where it is actually needed based on aesthetic criteria and mechanical stress. The topic of saving resources and digital fabrication of traditional building materials offers unimagined possibilities here.

#2 Abbau, Anbau, Aufbau

The growing world population and the simultaneous finiteness of our resources require a consistent closing of material cycles.

The seminar dealt with the problem of dwindling resources, showed current solutions in the construction industry and introduced the practice of materials research. After initial research, a selected material was explored experimentally, with the students developing their own series of tests.

#3 Local Material, Local Design, Local Built.

What does local mean? What is a resource? Where are they available? In what form? In what quantities? How are they mined, produced and processed? Which suppliers are there? Are the materials really sustainable? Why? What criteria are there? Do they make sense? What is the potential in terms of reusable and recyclable materials? A research and design journey through local resources.

The seminar “Local Material, Local Design, Local Built – A Research and Design Journey through Local Resources” dealt with a methodical answer to these questions and an innovative presentation of materials, products and craft processes from material sample to prototype in two consecutive semesters.

Download the three research preprints here: Bau auf!, Abbau, Anbau, Aufbau & Local Material, Local Design, Local Built.