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 / 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 […]

EX Excursion Vienna / Nina Rattensperger, Bart Lootsma

Our excursion takes this semester place in beautiful Vienna! In September, we would like to give you a look behind the scenes in museums and of course at architectural highlights. (Housing) projects of the turn of the century, the 20ies, as well as newer, contemporary projects will be on the program, we are looking forward […]

VO Architectural Theory 1 / Bettina Schlorhaufer

Each lecture is dedicated to a specific topic, e. g.”How the Other Half Lives”, “socialist Utopists”, “Americanness”, “Bentham’s panopticon”, etc. Presentation of the respective theme and the most important participants in the respective discourse in connection with the corresponding major works, the main features, and stations of their reception. Development of a fundamental base for […]

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 Curatorial Practices / Nina Tabassomi

The seminar gives insights into exhibition making with special attention to the staging of rooms. How are exhibitions of contemporary art created? How does the programming come about, how does the work with artists proceed, according to which aspects are the decisions for temporary exhibition architecture made and how is it implemented? In addition to […]

EP Design Studio M1 / Bart Lootsma, Eleni Boutsika, Melanie van der Hoorn

Story Telling / Scenario Planning Over the last decade, storytelling has become an important tool in architecture and urbanism and films and moving content in general are increasingly important in the communication of architecture.  According to Jeffrey Inaba, in his editorial to the special issue of Volume dedicated to storytelling, Storytelling has become so important […]

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.

SE Architectural Criticism / Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Contemporary Practices I  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. Digital platforms, websites, webzines, blogs, curated archives, Pinterest boards, Instagram profiles, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, Apps, Videogames… all these and other tools have expanded the quantity, […]

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 and […]