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.

SE Architectural Criticism / Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Nowadays, everyone has free and immediate access to architectural works, just as everyone has the free and immediate possibility to say or write something about them.

SE Special Section of Architectural Theory / Anna Luison

DOMESTI-CITY Since the spring of 2020, when the first lockdown began, life turned to the inside. During this difficult period, our increasingly saturated homes have hosted a wide variety of functions and activities.

SE Architectural Criticism / Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Nowadays, everyone has free and immediate access to architectural works, just as everyone has the free and immediate possibility to say or write something about them.

SE Special Section of Architectural Theory / Tim Altenhof

In 1644, the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli built the first mercury barometer showing that air could be weighed. His conclusion that “we live submerged at the bottom of a sea of air” was a direct corollary to his invention. Everything we do and build and think takes place in this aeriform ocean, which, often held […]

SE Special Section of Architectural Theory / Bettina Siegele

Alternative ways of making architecture The seminar deals with alternative practices of architectural production and includes various thematic units such as appropriation, squatting, performance, participation, mediation, and subversion.

SE Architecture and Philosophy / Marco Russo

It is possible that Félix Guattari (1930-1992) saw in the then still young green movement of the 1980s those revolutionary forces at work that could still straighten out a world that had come apart at the seams in time.

EP Entwurfsstudio 2: Goodbye to Language / Eleni Boutsika-Palles, Bart Lootsma

The theme of the Master Studio of in the Summer Semester of 2021 is “Goodbye to Language” and will be taught by Eleni Boutsika-Palles and Bart Lootsma. We will make a series of films tracing aspects of architecture that cannot be expressed in drawings or language. And even though we will start the semester […]

SE Advanced Architectural Theory: OUT OF SCALE / Eleni Boutsika Palles

In this seminar we will engage with architectural and artistic projects that reframe our perceptions of the environments we inhabit using scale shifts. With a special focus on the translation of theoretical concepts into spatial probes, we will look into examples from art and architecture where familiar objects or actions are displaced from their original […]

SE Advanced Architectural Design / Eleni Boutsika Palles

FILM <> ARCHITECTURE This seminar will explore the multiple crossings between cinematic vision and architectural theory.

EX Excursion: VIENNA / Bart Lootsma, Tim Altenhof, Eleni Boutsika Palles

Our excursion this summer will bring us to Vienna, where we’ll stroll not only through the inner city, discovering some of the gems designed by the Austrian Avant-Garde, but also venture out to explore housing projects from the modern period to the present, spanning the Werkundsiedlung as well as IBA Wien. Every now and then, […]

VO Architectural Theory 2 / Bart Lootsma

In this course, students gain insight into the political, ideological, artistic and philosophical contexts of architecture, urban planning and landscape in the first half of the 20th century. Students develop skills in how critical analyses, theoretical strands or approaches can be derived from the positions presented. This academic year, the lectures Architectural Theory 2 and […]

EP Design Studio 3: ArchiComicals / Giacomo Pala, Bettina Siegele, Eleni Boutsika Palles

Playfulness: The irony, the comical, the grotesque and the marvel, the fantastic, the joke, the gimmickry, and the absurd transformation of things. These are going to be the keywords accompanying us throughout this year's Bachelor studio at architectural theory.