Research Cultures

What are we talking about when we refer to research in architecture? What is the relationship between design and research? How is research situated and what is its role within professional practice, academic institution, or a design project itself? Is research a prelude to design, and is design only an illustration of research? What are the ways, means, and tactics of performing research through the medium of design?1 Moreover, what do we mean when we talk about design research and research by design, and how do these notions relate to disciplinary knowledge production? We aim to discuss these questions by presenting a range of disparate positions in the upcoming Sliver Lecture Series titled: Research Cultures.

For some time now, experimental approaches in the field of architecture have gained visibility and relevance in both practice and discourse. Artists, architects, and designers have increasingly associated themselves with researchers or have begun to perform research through their own (artistic) practices. On the one hand, architectural offices have created divisions inside their structures that focus on performing research-based practices beyond a specific building project - according to David Wang and Linda Groat, a far more recent phenomenon than project-specific research.2 On the other hand, the ongoing proliferation of labs, research-themed conferences, and research studios in academia question the relationship between learning, teaching, and research. The latter opens critical questions concerning architectural pedagogy: Should the classroom be a site for pre-professional training as well as knowledge production? If so, are students equipped enough to be able to perform “good” research?3

Since 1947 The Journal of Architectural Education has been revisiting and offering various positions on the nuanced relationships between design and research in architecture. Design and research are no longer considered as occupying opposite poles or as “equivalent domains of activity.”4 In his essay on Experimental Cultures, David Salomon compiles academic positions on both activities. He situates design swinging between being “a rational problem-solving technique or an intuitive aesthetic act.” While research unfolds as a “systematic inquiry or as a close study of something” oriented towards knowledge production. Accordingly, design revolves around problems, while research is carried forward by questions. While both notions (research and design) have a shared purpose that is projective in nature, research by design is one of the ways in which design can engage with the production of knowledge.5 Salomon insists that “both modes of experimentation are necessary whenever we seek to combine research and design successfully.”6

In addition, Jeremy Till observes the fast-growing maturity of design-driven research over the past decade manifested as practice-led, practice-informed, and practice-based methods. “It is necessary for design research to accord with the basic tenets of research in terms of rigor, originality, significance, and communicability. However, it should not be shoehorned into the methods of other disciplines.”7 In support of multiplicity of research methods, which elevate research beyond the scientific method, Bruno Latour argues that design and research are open, flexible and timely concepts, composed out of “objective truths and personal fictions.”8

We invite all guest-speakers to unpack a specific project or a body of work by showing its relationship to research and design as an interconnected affair, as well as its methods and contribution to the production of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge.

I oA Sliver Lecture Series is curated by Maja Ozvaldic and Kaiho Yu.

1 Moloney, Jules., Jan Smitheram, and Simon Twose. Perspectives On Architectural Design Research: What Matters - Who Cares - How. (2015), p.10

2 Wang, David, and Linda N. Groat. Architectural Research Methods: David Wang, Linda N. Groat. Second Edition (2013), p.7

3 For the discussion on the agreed research criteria see David Salomon´s "Experimental Cultures: On the "End" of the Design Thesis and the Rise of the Research Studio." JAE (1984-) 65, no. 1 (2011). In short: research must be systematic and self-conscious of the method it uses. It must be original and significant in order to advance the current state of knowledge.

4 Wang, David, and Linda N. Groat. Architectural Research Methods: David Wang, Linda N. Groat. Second Edition (2013), p.21

5 Hensel, Michael. Design Innovation for the Built Environment – Research by Design and the Renovation of Practice (2012), p.?

6 Salomon, David. "Experimental Cultures: Onthe "End"of the Design Thesisand the Riseofthe Research Studio."Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)65,no. 1(2011), p. 3




This academic year SLIVER is presenting a „Mixtape“ compiled by members of our faculty who contributed with their professional interests and pedagogical objectives. The summer term is as well a collection of architects, artists, and theoreticians whose work is circulating through the IoA in form of theoretical underpinnings, built references, and research ambitions.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, all lectures will take place via Zoom during the summer term.


Sliver Team:
Curated by Maja Ozvaldic and Kaiho Yu
Graphic Design: Sara Ozvaldic
PR by Roswitha Janowski-Fritsch
Supported by Sabine Peternell, Leonard Kern and Emma Sanson.


This academic year SLIVER is presenting a “Mixtape” compiled by members of our faculty who contributed with their professional interests and pedagogical objectives. The winter term is a collection of architects, artists, and theoreticians whose work is circulating through the IoA in form of theoretical underpinnings, built references, and research ambitions.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, all lectures will take place via Zoom during the winter term.https://zoom.us/j/97404905241

Sliver Team:
Curated by Maja Ozvaldic and Kaiho Yu; PR by Roswitha Janowski-Fritsch; Supported by Sabine Peternell and Leonard Kern; Graphic Design: Sara Ozvaldic

Greater Futures

Almost all challenges societies around the globe face today are complex, interconnected and placed in a rapidly changing environment. The rhetoric about what is to come is swinging between utopia and dystopia, between nostalgia and techno-utopias. The only fact about the future is that it is inevitable.

The grandfathers of futurism, the Italian Futurists, showed that the future is not only a domain of time but also of ideology. Subsequently the fathers of futures studies developed principles on how to study the future. Hence, according to futures studies scholar Jim Dator: "The future cannot be 'predicted' but alternative futures can be 'forecasted' and preferred futures 'envisioned' and 'invented'- continuously." (Dator, 1996)

Yet, the world as it is has its own impact on the future and according to another futures studies scholar Ziauddin Sardar the relevance of futures studies resides within the present. According to Sardar the value of change in people's perceptions and motivations, channeled into an evolution of present values and immediate action, can only be judged within its present or immediate future.

Looking at design proposing bigger technological and cultural innovations/changes the lecture series gathers thoughts and approaches inspiring for the discipline of architecture, aiming for a greater world after tomorrow.

All lectures are free of charge and open to the public!
Due to COVID-19 all lectures in the summer term 2020 will happen via zoom.

Sliver Team:
Curated by Maja Ozvaldic in collaboration with Andrea Börner; PR by Roswitha Janowski-Fritsch; supported by Sabine Peternell, Leonard Kern and Julian Heinen; Graphic Design: Sara Ozvaldic

In Theory…

“In Theory,...” considering architecture as an inherently cross-disciplinary affair, SLIVER seeks to present positions from a scattered theoretical discourse with the aim to expand and nurture architectural thought. Drawing from theoretical frameworks of diverse backgrounds and performed by theoreticians and practitioners alike, the lecture series is set to open up a Wunderkammer of current thoughts.

Art & Architecture have been subjected to exemplify all sorts of theoretical thinking, hence being influenced by and to borrow from other discourses has been architecture´s common practice. The digital turn and the current post- conditions propelled an additional wave of needs, agendas, opportunities, and investigations into the field of architecture as well as to the cosmos of thought. Nurtured by the rapid proliferation of technoculture: ubiquitous computing and AI, new ways of production, materiality, and representation; information and communication networks of planetary scale; the environmental crisis; the emergence of new economies of reality; new ways of organization and governance; novel approaches towards spatiality,... SLIVER is collecting “bodies of knowledge and research” which address aspects of this complex ecology.

SLIVER is interested in the relationships between theory and practice and maybe even in new methods within both in relation to production and performance of knowledge. At the same time we would like to expose the discourses between theory and culture which might (for now) impact architecture only on its peripheries, but are important in understanding cultural developments and might be of relevance to contextualize our own doing as well as empower to imagine possible evolutions of the architectural.

All lectures are open to the public!

Sliver Team:
Curated by Maja Ozvaldic in collaboration with Andrea Börner; supported by Roswitha Janowski-Fritsch, Sabine Peternell, Leonard Kern and Julian Heinen; Graphic Design: Sara Ozvaldic


The Unfolding of Architectural endeavors

Die Angewandte is celebrating 150 years of innovation and creativity within the field of art, architecture, and design. The industrial revolution and its profound changes on society propelled the necessity for design education in the middle of the 19th century. Die Angewandte, founded as the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule back in 1867, was the first school, which offered a specialized architectural education in the Austrian Empire.

The institution was highly instrumental in promoting ideas of modernity (in terms of art & craft) and under the direction of Josef Hoffmann the school of architecture was aiming towards the notion of a transdisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk. This strong modern direction of the school was amplified by the faculty of other departments, such as Kolo Moser (painting) and Arthur Strasser (sculpture). The school of architecture hosted important leaders of the modern movement: Josef Hoffmann, Josef Frank, Oskar Strnad, Heinrich Tessenow and others. Those architects and educators were not only deeply embedded in the Viennese local discourse and defining the Austrian building and design culture at large, but were transcending geographic boundaries and therefore gained influence and respect worldwide.

This line continued and evolved ever since, starting with post-modern figures like Johannes Spalt, Wilhelm Holzbauer, Zvi Hecker and Hans Hollein - a generation of educators who worked “globally” and were able to involve the Viennese school with the international architectural scene. Followed by Wolf D. Prix, Klaus Bollinger, Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher, Greg Lynn, Hani Rashid, Kazuyo Sejima and its multi-cultural body of teachers, students and external critics, the school continues its tradition of operating across geographic and cultural borders, expanding the notion of architecture and push the boundaries of the building industry.

(Matthias Boeckl, Baukunst aus Reformgeist, 2016)

Just like the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule (dieAngewandte) challenged the education and scope of the design profession and promoted an autonomous architectural discipline back at the turn of the 20th century, today the faculty along with their students and the school’s graduates try to respond to the complex cultural, social, environmental and technological challenges of our contemporary, globally connected condition through the apparatus of architecture. After 150 years of outstanding activity, die Angewandte and its architectural school created a network of innovative thinkers, designers, and architects who inspire generations of architects all over the world.

In order to reflect on the past, present and the future, the SLIVER Lecture Series: POSITIONS is happy to invite its alumni’s back in order to exchange and discuss.

We want to examine the various experiences our alumni’s had while defining and working on their own practice. We want to expose the various directions their work took. We want to discuss how the architectural landscape, in Austria and abroad, is evolving in the context of profound cultural changes and what are the new challenges for our profession younger generations will face. But we also want to stress more fundamental questions about the scope of architecture in the future? What is the role of an educational institution today and their relation to practice/profession? Who do we educate and for Whom?

All lectures are followed by an open reception!

Sliver Team:
Currated by Maja Ozvaldic, Bence Pap, Indre Umbrasaite supported by Andrea Tenpenny, Marion Waid, Dimytro Isaiev, Dieter Fellner; Graphic Design: Atelier Dreibholz

Architecture & Technology

“Technology is the answer ... but what was the question?”
(Cedric Price, 1966)

The Greek term téchne, is a term which up until today particularly in European philosophy, coined the notion of Art, Science, and Craft. The histories of technology with all of its branches could also be looked at as the history of inventions in form of tools and techniques. Those are again closely connected to other historical developments such as science, economics, political and social agendas – a history of the very human condition itself. Whether viewed through the topic of energy, information, productivity, tools, or social development, today most of the world is accommodating a “technically civilized life” to some extent.

“It is the moral, economic, and political choices we make, not the machines we use”, Lewis Mumford argues, “that have produced a capitalist industrialized machine-oriented economy, whose imperfect fruits serve the majority so imperfectly.” (Mumford: Technics and Civilisation, 1934)

Technological changes stand in a reciprocal relation to cultural traditions of a society. Deleuze describes the relation between technology and structures of power as following:

“One can of course see how each kind of society corresponds to a particular kind of machine: with simple mechanical machines corresponding to sovereign societies, thermodynamic machines to disciplinary societies, cybernetic machines and computers to control societies. But the machines don't explain anything, you have to analyze the collective arrangements of which the machines are just one component.” (Deleuze, 1995)

Technology as a popular cultural phenomenon began after the initiation of the space program in the 1950´s. The same program represents the advent of digital technologies and the rise of the information society. Since then, digital technologies in particular infiltrated into all of the domains of our contemporary life: agriculture, work, education, entertainment, leisure, sciences, communication, intelligent machines, domestic and urban environments.

This SLIVER lecture series is gathering professionals to present versatile notions of technology and its impact on the discipline of Art and Architecture. The invited lecturers will present their take on technology and reflect on the potentials which it bears or what conventions it questions and how to approach those creatively/artistically.

Sliver Team:
Curated by Maja Ozvaldic, Bence Pap, Indre Umbrasaite supported by Andrea Tenpenny, Minho Hong, Dima Isaiev, and Andrej Strieženec; Graphic Design: Atelier Dreibholz

Architecture or Revolution

“It is a question of building which is at the root of the social unrest of today: architecture or revolution” - Le Corbusier / Vers un Architecture 1923

This year’s SLIVER lecture series “Architecture or Revolution” depicts positions to the instantiated power structures inherent to the discipline of architecture and its potentials, or its inability to respond to the ongoing global oppositional ideological developments and resulting humanitarian crisis, shifting frontiers and crisis which expresses itself within our immediate built environments.

At the beginning of the 20th century with the rise of modernism, architects were led by the optimistic belief that it was their mandate to build a better life for all humankind. In 1922 Le Corbusier wrote in “Vers un Architecture” one must invent and build an environment to prevent social and global unrest: Architecture or Revolution. Today nearly a hundred years later we must ask if the discipline has failed to engage in its power structures, and has given way to becoming a mere cog in the service industry at large. Has architecture given up on its ideological potentials for change? At the tip of global unrests, opposing ideologies, humanitarian crises, shifting frontiers we must ask what the role of the architect can be, what positions in the future we must take - in relation to the unsettled terrain of social and political domains and within the multiplicity of today’s cultural contexts.

This term sliver lecture series seeks to explore the instrumental power structure of architecture in relation to the increasingly moribund myths of the modernist instrumentalist optimism that used to drive it. In the light of recent global “revolutions” and impending catastrophes, architecture has no choice but take a position, to intervene and to act. What instruments and modalities are available to the architect to seize the right to influence the social and political sphere? Is this even a desired or legitimate goal at all? What are the links, either existing or to be invented, between the architect’s instruments and her politics? Has architecture ever been, and can it now become revolutionary at all?

Sliver Team:
Curated by Robert Neumayr, Maja Ozvaldic, Bence Pap, Reiner Zettl supported by Andrea Tenpenny; Graphic Design: Atelier Dreibholz