Transatlantic Architectural Discourse

International Virtual Academic Collaboration with VirginiaTech has started!


On March 11 students from the Department of Architecture at TU Darmstadt and from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech will join in a mutual transatlantic course. As part of the seminar „Public Life Studies / Comparative Urbanism“ they will design and develop research projects with the aim to identify similarities and differences of urban design and the usage of public spaces in the US and Germany.

This collaboration is funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) through the IVAC program (International Virtual Academic Collaboration) on the initiative of the International Office of the Department of Architecture (IO(A)), which also organises the one-year project that started in September 2020. IVAC aims to enhance the academic collaboration between German Universities and international partners through the exploration of digital tools and platforms that facilitate the collective learning experience. The cooperation with Virgina Tech is a test run for future collaborations of our department.

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech or VT, is a public university with its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. But it also has educational facilities in six regions statewide such as the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center and a campus in Arlington. Both located across the Potomac River only a few metro stops away from the US capital Washington DC, they serve as urban extensions of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies and offer unique learning environments with an international student body.

The collaborative seminar „Public Life Studies / Comparative Urbanism“ follows an intensive exchange between the teaching staff of the Urban Health Games Research Group at TU Darmstadt, the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center and the chair of Urban Affairs and Planning (Arlington) during the winter semester in order to explore each other’s learning environments and teaching methods as well as to solve the organisational and technical challenges of this virtual academic collaboration. The final objective of the project and this course is to explore new ideas for digital tools and to enhance the cooperation between the Department of Architecture and its international partners through blended mobility.

In the course „Public Life Studies / Comparative Urbanism“ students from both universities will participate and work together in tandems. Registration ist still possible.

Organisation and Project Management:
Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Valentina Visnjic
Anna Luise Schubert M.Sc.

Collaborating Units TU Darmstadt, Department of Architecture:
Urban Health Games
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöll
Gladys Vásquez Fauggier, M.Sc.

Collaborating Units VirginiaTech (VT), College of Architecture and Urban Studies:
WAAC (Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center)
Prof. Susan Piedmont-Palladino
Scott Archer, MS.Arch.-Urban Design
UAP (Urban Affairs and Planing)
Prof. Ralph Buehler

Duration:The project runs from September 01, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

Virginia Tech meets TU Darmstadt
Virginia Tech meets TU Darmstadt