Comparative Urbanism

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Students from both faculties are joining in the transatlantic course “Comparative Urbanism“ in which 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. Each semester has a different focus.


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. 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.

Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), School of Architecture of Archiecture + Design
Prof. Susan Piedmont-Palladino
Scott Archer, MS.Arch.-Urban Design
Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP), School of Public and International Affairs
Prof. Ralph Buehler
Prof. Paul Kelch

Partner at the TU Darmstadt is the research group Urban Health Games which develops innovative approaches in people-centred urban design. Their research delivers first empiric data and evidence-based strategies with the aim to inform the much-needed transformation towards more healthy and inclusive cities.

Urban Health Games
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Knöl
Gladys Vásquez Fauggier, M.Sc.

The collaboration is funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) through the IVAC program (International Virtual Academic Collaboration) on the initiative of the International Office at the Department of Architecture (IO(A)), which also organizes the project. 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 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.

International Office at the Department of Architecture
Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Valentina Visnjic Lang
Anna Luise Schubert, M.Sc.