The research profile of the Department of Architecture

Our department carries out research into architecture and cities as structural, technological and artistic manifestations of society, characterised by history and culture. Engineering expertise is used to develop visions of the future for – and with – society by applying design and planning methodologies and insights gained in the humanities. Building culture is thus not only the result of sustainable design but rather the requirement for the sustainability of our constructed environment in the future.

The research profile of the Department of Architecture overlaps in numerous areas with the three research profiles of TU Darmstadt (Energy and Environment, Informatics and Intelligence, Matter and Material). Due to its highly interdisciplinary nature, however, the department’s research profile represents a central focus point for these three fields of research. New technologies as beacons of hope cannot solve the complex challenges of climate change, resource scarcity or urbanisation on their own; these technologies need to be examined and integrated within a political, sociological, cultural and not least spatial context. Architecture is thus not just a question of building things but rather a clear example of how technology needs to prove itself within a sociocultural context and in our everyday lives in order to improve social participation and the quality of life of people. Therefore, our research reflects, on the one hand, on the most pressing research issues in these three fields of research, while on the other hand, it tests and directly transfers research results to society through the constructed environment: Our department thus embodies the Third Mission of higher education.

Architecture translates information into form, and form into information. Our department carries out research into how new materials, energy issues, historical/cultural context, autonomous robot-controlled (dis)assembly/reassembly, condition monitoring sensors integrated into building components, AI for a circular economy and smart cities for energy-efficient urban life can change the design process and become driving forces in the design of our constructed environment. Conversely, innovative technologies are developed and social issues are examined with respect to their creative and social sustainability using the central methodological skill of design (and other aspects such as co-design or participation processes). This ensures that future-oriented research carried out in joint cross-departmental projects and collaborations with industry and local authorities is transferred to the very centre of society – manifested as the constructed environment.