Within the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Innsbruck, the Department of Architectural Theory teaches cultural theory, concentrating primarily on those aspects that affect the design of our environment, but also scientific research, curating and publishing materials on architectural, urban and landscape issues. In doing so, aspiring architects and architects gain conceptual and communication skills. Additionally, the chair prepares on specialized occupations, which reflect on the cultural aspects of architecture reflecting: architectural theorist, architectural historian, architecture journalist, curator, editor, occupations in museums, cultural funds, in PR and marketing, etc.
In lectures, seminars and projects, students are introduced to and study important architectural theoretical treatises and positions. Studio projects deal subsequently with concrete projects for books, exhibitions, websites, etc., using all potential skills for their realization. Courses dealing with theory as theory are alternated with ones that deal with an encountered built reality. Of course, essential social, philosophical and cultural positions are reflected upon in the process.

Important learning objectives for all courses beyond the central theme of the course are also:

• “Learning to Learn”: learning from books, from lecturers, from other students and from reality.
• Acquisition of learning strategies and content in the context of the research of architectural theory and history.
• Learning an effective use of the library(s) and archives. Learning important research techniques, also for archival research.
• Writing texts, using pictures, making books, curating exhibitions, editing videos and designing websites on the basis of the investigated material.
• Use of several presentation techniques in varied contexts and with different media: essay, short presentation with PowerPoint or Keynote, book, exhibition, website, video.
• Teamwork: we usually work in teams of two students. The topics and presentations are structured in such a way that all teams can benefit from each other and the individual presentations are part of a larger whole or product.

EP Design Studio M1 / Bart Lootsma, Bettina Siegele

Space production and heterotopias The Master Studio offered by Architekturtheorie deals with architectural heterotopias: Constellations of spaces with specific scenarios, programs, atmospheres, lifestyles and freedoms that form spaces for specific subcultures, lifestyles and individuals. The studio consists of 3 sections. In the first section texts are read together and summarized concerning spatial production and heterotopias. […]

SE Gender Mainstreaming in Architecture / Alexa Baumgartner

The discussion about gender and sexuality in architecture is influenced by the dualistic model: woman and man, interior and exterior, object and subject, emotional and rational, body and mind, nature and technology, tradition and innovation. At least since the movements of the 1968ies, it is tried to dissolve this dualistic approach and expand the idea […]

SE Design Theory / Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Architecture into the Universe of Social Networks Since the 1990s, the relationship between architecture and media has become the object of interest of a growing community of scholars and designers. Nevertheless, the vast majority of researches on the topic tend to address traditional media such as books, magazines and fanzines. Therefore, an important question emerges: […]

EM2 ArchiFicture. Episode 2: Revenge of the Post – / Davide Tommaso Ferrando & Giacomo Pala

I regard architecture as a sort of sophisticated bullshit – Peter Cook In its second iteration, the “ArchiFicture” studio will once more speculate on the multiple and different ways in which architecture is being and can be addressed as a fictional discipline, in order to produce original architectural theories, narratives and fictions. “ArchiFicture” is based […]

SE Architectural Criticism / Melanie van der Hoorn

Mélanie van der Hoorn gives students an insight into her ongoing research. Her book “Bricks & Balloons: Architecture in Comic-Strip Form” was published in 2012 and her successor “Spots in Shots: Narrating the Built Environment in Short Films”. 2019 marks the start of the third part of this research project on ‘architectural games’ (covering both […]

SE Architectural Mediation / Megens Manon

The mediation of architectural subject matter to politicians, media, industry and the general public. The aim of this seminar is to gain insights into the field of architecture mediation and architecture communication through theoretical discussion and discussion as well as through research, case studies and interviews. The insights gained will be critically discussed and then implemented […]

SE Gender Studies / Katerina Haller

GenderSpace – Feminist strategies in space production and appropriation of space. The course analyzes the interconnection of gender, race and class along key texts, blogs and artistic interventions in public space.  How is built the city? What are regulations and exclusions – where are gaps? These issues will be reflected along the interdisciplinary gender studies […]

VO Architekturtheorie Zwei / Bettina Schlorhaufer

The course provides students with an insight into the political, ideological and philosophical interrelationships of architecture, urban development and landscape of the first half of the 20th century. The students develop skills on how to derive critical analyses, theoretical strands or approaches from the presented positions. In the winter semester 2018/2019, Architecturaltheory_2 will be presented […]

SE Architectural Theory M / Bart Lootsma

European architectural theory has a long tradition that goes back at least to Vitruvius. The academic institutionalization of architectural theory in Europe, however, is a relatively new phenomenon that only began in 1967 in Germany and Switzerland, and in the United States at the end of the 1970s. In the summer semester of 2019, Architekturtheorie […]

SE The Theory of Art / Thomas Feuerstein

REAL ART In recent years, biological organisms, methods from the sciences and “real” processes are increasingly becoming the material of art. Regardless of tendencies of a new realism in philosophy, questions arise about a new realism in art: how do the new correspondences between art and science, fact and fiction, construct themselves in contemporary art […]

VO Architectural Theory 1 / Bettina Schlorhaufer

The course provides students with an overview of the most important social and cultural aspects of 18th and 19th century architecture and urban planning in Europe and the USA. The students develop skills on how to derive critical analyses, theoretical strands or approaches from the presented positions. The course is designed against the background of […]

Studio E4 New Social Housing / Davide Tommaso Ferrando & Bart Lootsma

New Social Housing Against the Background of Individualisation, Globalisation and the Rise of Social Media   On occasion of the IBA (International Building Exhibition) Vienna 2022, the studio research of this year is dedicated to new forms of social housing. In this context, we aim at interpreting anew what is meant with “social”, as […]