Page 1





The research activities of the School of Ar-


Danish Architectural Research

chitecture are based on a dynamic structure

- An Outside View

which in 2013 consisted of 16 platforms


New PhD Fellows

each focusing on specific professional is-


New researchers

sues. Each year the relevance of each plat-


Digital Design and Fabrication Optimization

form and proposals for new platforms are


PhD Dissertations of the year

evaluated making it possible to reflect new


Conferences and Seminars

demands for architectural research.


Combining Interaction Design and Atmosphere

All of the academic staff of the School is



attached to the individual platforms and


Research Centres and Networks

PhD Fellows are also enrolled at a joint PhD


Research Publications

school which both plans and implements PhD courses and functions as a unifying environment for the PhD programme. In 2013, the School had 52 academics with research obligations of which 20 were PhD Fellows. In addition, there was 1 industrial PhD as well as 8 PhD students affiliated to the Kolding School of Design. The research activities of the School are managed by the Research Administration in cooperation with the Head of Research and the Research Committee.

Published by Aarhus School of Architecture 2014

Contact information:

Edition: Hanne Foged Gjelstrup

Aarhus School of Architecture, Research Administration

Translations: Thomas Falkenberg Svendsen

Noerreport 20, DK – 8000 Aarhus

Layout: Halfdan Trolle


Print: Rosendahls a/s

Front page: Resilient Landscapes of Energy in West Greenland Photographer: Susan Carruth


Introduction By Claus Peder Pedersen

In 2013 the Aarhus School of Architecture focused on improving its academic level through recruitment. The School needs new talents who can contribute to developing the School’s focus areas. Recruitment was carried out at several levels. The most striking initiative was our ambitious recruitment at professorial level. The first two professors, Walter Unterrainer (sustainability) and Johan Verbeke (research by design), were employed this summer. Two new professorships in cultural heritage and transformation were advertised in the autumn, to be followed by four additional professorships in 2014. Over the year the results of these efforts gradually began to show. They have, among other things, resulted in a reorganisation of the PhD School. Johan Verbeke has, as professor in research by design, been given responsibility for the School’s researcher training programme. Verbeke comes from a position as professor at Campus Sint-Lucas, KU Leuven. Where he has been responsible for building a research programme anchored in design and practice-based research methodologies. His international experience has challenged established habits and tightened up the procedures of the PhD School. Teaching aimed at PhD students has also been restructured with a stronger emphasis on approaches related to research by design and a focus on PhD students’ mutual exchange of knowledge and experience. Over the year, the Aarhus School of Architecture has recruited seven new PhD Fellows. They contribute innovative approaches to the School’s focus areas, ranging from studies of the principles of sustainability in archi-

mate adaptation can become a resource for urban and landscape development to explorations of how processes of digital design fabrication can involve material properties in design processes in new ways. A wide range of other activities have left their mark on research in 2013. Research into atmospheres has been a longstanding area of interest for many of the School’s researchers; this interest resulted in the conference ‘Researching Atmospheres’. A PhD course entitled ‘The Role of Experiments in Constructive Design Research’ was held with great success in collaboration with The Kolding School of Design. The cold war network ‘Closed Cities and Sites’ held a number of seminars in the Baltic countries. The School’s workshop facilities were developed further so that the School now disposes of a wide range of digital production tools: an industrial robot - sponsored by The Danish Industry Foundation (Industriens Fond) and The Dreyer Foundation (Dreyers Fond), a water jet cutter, a laser cutter, and a fiveaxled CNC cutter. New channels of publication were created and research dissemination requirements were raised. Yet, new challenges await in 2014. With the new professors in place, the School will increase its focus on fundraising, network building and internationalisation. We also need to develop the field of ‘artistic development work’ to give it a more pronounced position in the School’s research profile. Finally, I hope we will also be able to recruit new researchers in the coming year. More on this in Research 2014...

tectural heritage over questions on how cli-


Danish Architectural Research - An Outside View By Leif Leer Sørensen

In October 2013 Johan Verbeke was

important a way of achieving knowledge as

appointed professor MSO (with specific

traditional research methods,” says Johan

responsibilities) at the Aarhus School


of Architecture with Research by Design and the PhD School as his remit.

Architectural Research

He comes from Sint-Lucas School of

His surprise is in part due to a report pub-

Architecture in Gent, to which school

lished in 2012 by The Ministry of Culture on

he has been associated for more than

”kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed” (artistic

20 years - as Dean from 2003 to 2009.

development work) at Danish higher artistic

He was awarded a professorship at the

educations, which was produced by a group

school in 2004 and has been in charge

of people with knowledge of the area. They

of developing and managing the Sint-

recommended “a conceptual separation of

Lucas researcher training programme.

artistic development work from (scienti-

But what are Johan Verbeke’s thoughts

fic) research as well as from ‘pure’ artistic

on Danish architectural research?

practice”, as they are of the opinion that it will help “make visible artistic development

“I am somewhat puzzled by the Danish

work as an independent activity that gene-

distinction between scientific research and

rates knowledge and cognition”.

artistic development work. It would seem that a lot of effort is put into defining the

According to Johan Verbeke this view is

two concepts as different and separate con-

quite the opposite of the common European

cepts. This was quite a surprise to me and

view. He refers to a charter drawn up by the

has never been part of any international de-

European Association for Architectural Edu-

bate where artistic processes are seen as

cation (EAAE) on “Architectural Research”

research methods to create knowledge.

as late as September 2012. This document states that:

In my opinion the aim of architectural re-


search is to create new insight, under-

”Architectural research is original investiga-

standing and knowledge within the dis-

tion undertaken in order to generate know-

cipline using methods which are specific

ledge, insights and understanding based on

to the discipline. Whether this is obtained

competencies, methods and tools proper to

through activities which are called scientific

the discipline of architecture. It has its own

research or artistic development work is, in

particular knowledge base, mode, scope,

my opinion, of less importance. The objec-

tactics and strategies.” and further “In ar-

tive is simply to explicitate the knowledge

chitecture, design is the essential feature.

you acquire, document and communicate it

Any kind of inquiry in which design is the

in such a way that it can be understood by

substantial constituent of the research pro-

others (the peers in the field) and can be

cess is referred to as research by design.

discussed and criticised. And when it comes

In Research by Design, the architectural

to architecture, what is in Denmark called

design process forms the pathway through

artistic development work can be at least as

which new insights, knowledge, practices or

“I am somewhat puzzled by the Danish distinction between scientific research and artistic development work.� - Johan Verbeke


products come into being. It generates criti-

volve artistic development work rather than

cal inquiry through design work. Therefore

traditional scientific research methods. Ar-

research results are obtained by, and con-

chitects and designers explore the motives,

sistent with experience in practice.�

processes, and intentions that are characteristic of their own practice and discuss this

Reflective Practice

with colleagues.

Based on precisely such a view of what architectural research is, Johan Verbeke, eight

“My experience is that the systematic re-

years ago, introduced a PhD programme at

flections that practitioners make during the

Sint-Lucas School of Architecture in Gent;

process help strengthen their practice. They

a programme which gives practising archi-

can use it to strengthen their own activities.

tects and designers the necessary time and

It also gives the school of architecture a

scope to reflect on their practice - to relate

better knowledge and understanding of how

to why they do as they do and to deepen

architecture and design-related practice is

their understanding through more project,

developing. The programme consequently

artistic or design work. These initiatives in-

helps strengthen both the involved edu-

Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen: The Iterative representation


cational institution and industry,� explains

cas School of Architecture, received a grant

Johan Verbeke. The research project is

from the EU for a total of DKK 30m, over

gradually developed in close dialogue with

four years, to further this scheme.1

supervisors and colleagues, and the final PhD dissertation is not only text-based, but

The Industrial PhD programme

also to a greater extent based on the more

Johan Verbeke also sees a great potential

commonplace architectural means of com-

in the Danish industrial PhD programme, in

munication, such as drawings, models, films

which PhD students are employed in a pri-

and exhibitions.

vate company or a public institution/administration which receives financial contribu-

Johan Verbeke emphasises that PhD by De-

tions for wages and expenses for materials,

sign will also be offered and further devel-

travels, study visits, etc.

oped at the Aarhus School of Architecture. Last year, the School, together with six ot-

While being employed in this manner the

her international universities and schools of

employee, i.e. the PhD student, is also en-

architecture and design, including Sint-Lu-

rolled in the PhD programme in an institution

Peter Gall Krogh: The experiment Illustration demonstrating the principle of repetition and knowledge creation in Research by Design from the PhD course on “Constructive Design Research�. 7

of higher education which is responsible for

That is why I am also pleased that we now

the actual researcher training programme

have a reasonably large group of PhD stu-

and contributes supervisor(s), courses and

dents at The Aarhus School of Architecture

final assessment. The course does not dif-

who may benefit from each other in their re-

fer significantly from a ‘normal’ three-year

search. We meet once a month to exchange

PhD course, but industrial PhD students

experience and ideas, and on a more gen-

must divide their studies equally between

eral level we discuss different research

the company (e.g. an architectural office)

methodologies and issues. I think this will

and the educational institution, and the pro-

be very rewarding.

ject must be relevant to the company. Accordingly, I would like to try to contribute The industrial PhD programme falls under

to a more shared research environment for

the Danish Agency for Science, Technology

the School’s other researchers; environ-

and Innovation which, if the student and the

ments which PhD students will be able to

project in question is approved, provides

participate in, and which will enable us to

wage subsidies to the company employing

exchange knowledge and experience and

the student.

learn from each other on all levels,” says Johan Verbeke.

So far, the Aarhus School of Architecture has produced two industrial PhD students, but

He emphasises that for this reason he has

Johan Verbeke would welcome more indus-

applied for funds to set up a system to facili-

trial PhDs. Precisely in order to strengthen

tate research cooperation between various

cooperation and the development of knowl-

Nordic schools of architecture and art. He

edge between architectural practice and the

envisions it to be a forum for the exchange


of knowledge, but also for developing future joint research projects.

Cooperation All in all, cooperation is the keyword of Johan

Over his years of affiliation with Sint-Lucas,

Verbeke’s approach to research. Not only

Johan Verbeke has coordinated many inter-

between school and practice, but equal-

national research projects and conferences

ly between the researchers of the Aarhus

and has consequently built up a large pro-

School of Architecture, between the School’s

fessional network, which will now also be-

research and teaching, and between re-

nefit the Aarhus School of Architecture. In

searchers and knowledge institutions, na-

September 2013 he was elected President

tionally as well as internationally.

of eCAADe2, a non-profit association of institutions and individuals who research and


“It is essential that research should not be

teaching in all aspects of the digital and ar-

carried out on isolated islands; research is

chitecture and related professions. Comput-

a collective process of knowledge creation

er Aided Architectural Design is one academ-

and learning, and as such requires a certain

ic field which Johan Verbeke has engaged

critical mass.

with intensively.

Research by Design Today, Research by Design is a widely used concept; but it is also a rather vague concept. You have been given the responsibility of developing Research by Design at the Aarhus School of Architecture. How do you define the concept? “Now we are back where we started. When we talk about research in the field of architecture and design, it is all about taking our subject area as the starting point: the design of the physical environment across all levels of scale. We most often associate the exact sciences with written dissertations; however, new understanding and knowledge can also be achieved through designing and be based on experiential activities. As I said at the beginning, it only requires that the knowledge which is generated is explicitated, documented and disseminated, so that others can test it, discuss it and benefit from it. This allows us to use it for developing our shared understanding and consequently the discipline. We should not try to imitate the traditional sciences, but rather attempt to find ways and methods that are specific to our subject area. Research by Design is one way of obtaining new knowledge.”


ADAPT-r (Architecture, Design and Art Practice Training – Research) Funded by the Seventh Framework

Programme of the European Union. The Consortium Members of the project are: Kathlieke University of Leuven, Belgium; University of Ljubjana, Slovenia; Glasgow School of Arts, Scotland; The University of Westminster, London, England; RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; The Art Academy of Estonia; Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. 2

eCAADe (Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe)


New PhD Fellows By Hanne F. Gjelstrup

PhD Fellows in Materiality and PhD Fellows in Architectural Heritage

Digital Manufacturing Processes

Birgitte Eybye Tanderup

Maya Lahmy

Sustainability in Denmark’s Architectural


Heritage - building design and construction

fabrication processes in architectural design

practices / techniques

MA in Architecture from The Royal Danish

MA in Architecture from Aarhus School of

Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architec-

Architecture 2008

ture 2005

The PhD Project is part of the research pro-

In her PhD it is Maya Lahmy’s objective to

ject “Sustainability in Denmark’s Architec-

investigate the potential for architectural

tural Heritage”. The aim is to provide new

reflection in the field of tension between

knowledge about resource-saving and sus-

digital design tools and digital manufactu-

tainable principles in pre-industrial build-

ring processes, and through this approach



identify possibilities for developing new un-

techniques in order to increase our under-

derstandings of materials. She intends to

standing of our building heritage and up-

include process testing, material investiga-

grade the work with protected buildings.

tions and prototype development in her re-

Furthermore, Birgitte Eybye Tanderup will





examine how resource-saving principles from pre-industrial heritage can be used in a contemporary perspective on sustainabil-

Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen

ity in the design of new buildings.

The Iterative Implementation MA in Architecture from Aarhus School of Architecture 2012

Sustainability in Denmark’s Architectural

Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen will explore

Heritage is one of a number of projects

the potential of processing digital process-

under “Bygningskultur 2015 (Built Culture

es of manufacturing in concrete, wood and

2015) funded by the Danish Agency for

metal. His intention is to create a process

Culture and Realdania.

which establishes a connection between design and realization where the digital de-

velopment process, the actual production of artifacts and an ongoing evaluation inform the next iteration.


VERSATILE WEAVE is an experiment that investigates the material properties of standard 3 mm plywood sheets through digital tooling.

Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen: Experiment. Streching and bending steel.


Torsten Sack-Nielsen: Adaptability

Espen Lunde Nielsen: Sequence Odensegade 12

PhD Fellows in Habitation, Sustainability and Transformation Espen Lunde Nielsen

Stine Henckel Schulz

Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary:

Studies in the Special Plasticity of Dwelling

Coexistence through Everyday Spaces

MA in Architecture from the Royal Danish

MA in Architecture from Aarhus School of

Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architec-

Architecture 2012

ture in 2003.

Espen Lunde Nielsen’s research project

Stine Henckel Schulz’s PhD project will ex-

seeks through cognitive methods to explore

plore the possibilities for developing the de-

everyday spaces as a framework for coex-

sign and organization of dwellings in rela-

istence - and to explore how these spaces

tion to social changes and resulting changes

affect and are being affected by their inha-

in lifestyles and living conditions. She will

bitants through a constant dialogue.

use a production of drawings, models, text,

The research is conducted through a con-

photo, collages and film as an architectonic

stant dialectical approach between acquired

research method for developing reflection

theory and independent practice-based de-

and knowledge.

velopment. Torsten Sack-Nielsen

Katrina Wiberg

Adaptive Facades

Climate Change Adaptation as Resource

MSc in Architecture from Delft University of

MA in Architecture from Aarhus School of

Architecture 2003,

Architecture 2003

From a sustainable perspective, Torsten

The subtitle is “Water Management as a

Sack-Nielsen will carry out research in fa-

Basis for Added Value in Our (Urban)Land-

cades capable of adapting to climate chang-

scapes – crosscale and transsectorial”.

es – more specifically in their technical,

Katrina sees an operational approach across

functional and architectural potential.

sectors and administrative and professional

In the project process new façade concepts

boundaries as an indispensable precondi-

that incorporate new combinations of em-

tion for the creation of holistic solutions and

bedded smart materials and new technolo-

added value. She will explore added value

gies will be developed, built and analysed.

as a concept in relation to landscape architecture.


New Researchers

Professors MSO - (with special responsibilities) Walter Unterrainer

Johan Verbeke

– Professor MSO in Sustainable Architecture

- Professor MSO in Research by Design with responsibility for the PhD School.

He graduated in architecture from Innsbruck, and has, since 1980, been running

He has been associated with Sint-Lucas

his own practice in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg,

School of Architecture in Ghent since 1991.

emphasizing sustainable and energy-ef-

He was head of the school from 2003 to

ficient architecture. This has resulted in a

2009, and was given a professorship in

wide range of recognized building projects


in different scales, and since the mid-1990s he has been associated with several Europe-

Johan Verbeke has a special interest in

an universities and schools of architecture.

Computer Aided Architectural Design and

Since 2007 he has been Visiting Professor

Research by Design and has been in charge

at the Aarhus School of Architecture’s post-

of setting up and managing the researcher

graduate master: MEGA, International Mas-

training programme at Sint-Lucas. This pro-

ter in Energy and Green Architecture, and

gramme includes a PhD programme which

from 2010 Professor at Umeå Arkitektskolan

gives practicing architects and designers

in Sweden.

time and space to reflect on their own practice. A scheme which the Aarhus School of Architecture is also about to introduce. Verbeke has also coordinated a great number of international research projects and conferences.


Associate Professor Thomas Hilberth - Associate Professor in Habitation. PhD from Aarhus School of Architecture 2007 with the dissertation”Prolegomena zu einer Architektur der Sicherheit” He has a thorough knowledge of countries such as Russia, China and, not least India, where he has contributed to several reconstruction, research and study projects in dialogue with local stakeholders and partners. In his future research Thomas Hilberth intends to develop strategic tools for the development of habitation in an intercultural context. In Spring 2013 Thomas Hilbert has been working simultaneously as an associate professor at Umeå Arkitektskolan in Sweden and as assistant professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture.


Asbjørn Søndergaard: Aarhus School of Architecture’s robot fitted for hot-wire cutting.


Digital Design and Fabrication Optimization By Leif Leer Sørensen

PhD Fellow Asbjørn Søndergaard inves-

Asbjørn graduated from the Aarhus School

tigates the tectonic and methodologi-

of Architecture in 2009 and has since then

cal possibilities of topology-optimizing

been doing research into the inherent pos-

computer-generated design. His inten-

sibilities of digital design and fabrication. In

tion is to develop tools which can be

the project “Unikabeton”, he, together with

implemented in the construction indus-

civil engineer and former associate profes-

try to create statically optimized build-

sor Per Dombernovsky, examined the ar-

ing elements of high architectural qual-

chitectural potential of so-called ‘topology

ity at an affordable cost.

optimisation’. This resulted in a full-scale





topological optimization, and digitally

prototype produced using new robotics technology.

driven manufacturing processes the project seeks to establish new meth-

Inspiration from the Aviation and Mo-

ods of typology optimisation aimed at

tor Industry

architectural practice.”

In order to optimize a concrete structure, they used advanced IT software known

The above is a quote from Asbjørn Sønder-

from the aviation and motor industries.

gaard’s problem statement for his PhD pro-

They were consequently able to reduce con-

ject: “Computed Morphologies – a tectonic

crete use by 70 percent. In itself this is a

and methodological investigation of topol-

very important reduction as the production

ogy optimization in architectural design”.

of cement for the concrete industry is responsible for five percent of the total global

“You might thus say that in the digital de-

emissions of CO2, twice as much as emis-

sign process the architect relinquishes some

sions from global air traffic. The Optimiza-

degree of control. It is basically a kind of

tion process also created various advanced

self-organising process initiated on the ba-

geometrical shapes, which were determined

sis of various parameters defined by the ar-

by constructive forces.

chitect. However, computer programs take into consideration only constructive forces,

As a PhD Fellow Asbjørn Søndergaard con-

not visual appearances. This is where the

tinues his research into how, using computer

architect becomes relevant: his task is to

technology, it is possible to optimize topol-

adjust the parameters, so that a balance

ogy and create digital production methods

is struck between optimized designs and

which can be implemented in the construc-

forms which are practical as well as aesthe-

tion industry, and to produce large, stati-

tically pleasing. Which is why we talk about

cally optimized building elements of high

‘morphogenetic design’,” explains Asbjørn

architectural quality at an affordable cost.



Asbjørn Søndergaard: Photomontage of an optimised topological prototype produced by means of robot-driven hot-wire cutting


Advanced Architecture An increasing number of examples demonstrate that it is already possible to realise advanced computer-generated forms; including Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Herzog & De Meuron Olympic Stadium in Beijing, Bird’s Nest. A relatively recent Danish example is a project by 3xN, Den Blå Planet, a new national aquarium in Tårnby near Copenhagen. In this case the unique contribution from topology optimization is to create a new architectural expression resulting from computer-generated material savings; another result is that advanced forms are consequently based on statics. “The result is an advanced architecture; more advanced than anything the architect could have achieved on his own. Calculations and forms become so complex that the project can only be shaped and realised in full-scale using a computer. The gain in this respect is that you can raise the standards for how rational and efficient a building project can be in practical terms – while at the same time a new architectural language of form is created which is the result of digital processes. But this is still relatively expensive, and confined to large prestige projects. This is why there is a need to refine and reduce the costs of digital manufacturing processes, if they are to have a greater impact on architecture,” says Asbjørn Søndergaard. Architectural Experiments with Fabrication For his PhD project he has consequently planned seven major manufacturing experiments, several of which are carried out in cooperation with external partners.


Odico One experiment concerned with the robot-

That Asbjørn Søndergaard is serious when

driven production of optimized steel space

he talks about translating his experiments

frame structures is carried out in coopera-

into practical tools for the construction in-

tion with, among others, ETH Zürich. As

dustry, the latter company, Odico, is a good

an extension of this experiment, a study of

example of. This is, in fact, a company which

robot-mounted timber constructions will be

Asbjørn himself co-founded and is co-owner

carried out, since the price of wood is much

of. He is head of development of the com-

lower than the price of steel. Another rea-

pany for which reason he carries out his PhD

son is that, through optimization, material

studies at half-time, which means that the

consumption is expected to be further re-

project extends over a period of six years as

duced, which will, in turn, reduce the carbon

opposed to the norm, which is three years.


“Our company employs architects and engineers and has international expertise in

A third experiment deals with hot-wire cut

architectural robot-driven production, pro-

EPS-moulds (EPS= expanded polystyrene,

gramming, design development, CAD/CAM

a hard and rigid plastics material, which,

workflows and geometry handling,” says

when heated, can be transformed into

Asbjørn Søndergaard:

amorphous forms), which have so far mainly been produced by CNC-milling, as in the

“Our vision is to provide architects with new

previously mentioned project: Unikabeton.

possibilities for designing and realizing con-

But this is a slow and costly manufactur-

crete structures. Over the past 150 years,

ing process, unsuited to large-scale produc-

concrete has played a crucial role in the

tion. Robot-controlled hot-wire cutting, by

building sector and in industry, and much

contrast, is much faster, but requires the

innovation has been focused on developing

desired geometry to be converted into rec-

the material itself. But the most decisive

tilinear surfaces. For this reason the aim of

factor - formwork – has remained largely

the experiment is to examine the potential

unchanged. We would like to change that.”

of reinterpreting rectilinear topologically optimized forms of construction into rectilinear

As the first company in the world, Odico

and double-rectilinear surfaces, precisely


with a view to hot-wire cutting.

which applies robotics to industrial hot-wire




cutting of advanced moulds in expanded “We are investigating the architectural po-

polystyrene. This has made it possible to

tential of optimizing continuum space struc-

produce complex designs, which it would

tures in concrete,” explains Asbjørn Søn-

otherwise be difficult to realise - technically


The experiment is carried out

as well as economically. The company has

in cooperation with Hyperbody Research

already landed many assignments to man-

Group , Hi-con A/S, Confac A/S and Odico

ufacture moulds for the concrete industry,

Formwork Robotics.

but also for other sectors, such as the wind and maritime industry.


“Moulds are produced in expanded polystyrene, which is an affordable and energyefficient material. We recycle excess EPS in our other production, thus ensuring minimal waste, to the benefit of the environment as well as the customer,” emphasises Asbjørn Søndergaard. At the Leading Edge in order to refine and lower the costs of digital manufacturing processes, further research is, however, needed. This is the reason behind the PhD project, which not only the building industry but also students of the Aarhus School of Architecture are involved in, through workshops and teaching courses. “I see a great potential in linking research and teaching in the digital field. I think that it is important to give students an insight into the possibilities, to allow students who can see themselves working in that direction to immerse themselves further in digital processes. It also allows students to be at the leading edge when they leave the School, and become exponents of most recent developments in the profession. In this way our graduates can offer architectural practices brand new competences, which it would not have been possible to generate through normal experience in practices,” concludes Asbjørn Søndergaard.


PhD Dissertations of the year By Hanne F. Gjelstrup

Carlo Volf: Light, Architecture and Health - a Method With references to the sanatoriums of the

Through light experiments and field stud-

20s and 30s that cultivated light, Carlo Volf

ies Carlo Volf, in his dissertation, presents a

has examined how daylight can be pro-

general architectural strategy for a healthi-

cessed architecturally in hospital building

er use of light that takes into account that

projects in such a way that it contributes

the amount and character of the sun’s light

to patients’ health. When penicillin came

varies in relation to a building’s geographi-

into use, attention to the health aspects of

cal orientation and the time of the year. He

daylight came to an end. Yet, studies have

proposes that daylight inlet should be dif-

shown that if the inlet of daylight is pro-

ferentiated asymmetrically in architecture

cessed in relation to circadian rhythms and

through, for instance, a building’s shape, fa-

the seasons of the year, instead of just al-

cade or the detailing of apertures that admit

lowing a high inlet of light that results in a

light. This has been implemented in prac-

need for light-reflecting glass, sunlight can

tice in the design of the hospital Ny Herlev

have positive health effects.

Sygehus; a process in which Carlo participated as a consultant.

Carlo Volf: Light, Architecture and Health 22

Ole Egholm Pedersen: The Tectonic Potentials of Concrete In his PhD dissertation Ole Egholm Pedersen

ponents. Ole raises the question of how the

investigates whether ‘the ultimate pouring

tectonic possibilities of concrete can be sup-

technique’ which can meet today’s demands

ported and used in the best possible way.

for a simple production process, for supporting complex forms, for high surface-quality

He has experimented with and tested a se-

and precision, is at all achievable.

ries of pouring techniques and forms. These experiments have shown that it is necessary

The spread of new technologies and produc-

to incorporate manufacturing techniques in

tion technologies in recent years has made

the entire design process in order to achieve

it possible to break with the standardisation

a result that requires the least possible pro-

of building components, which has char-

cessing and has the desired surface and

acterised previous decades, and achieve a

form. This is the only way to reduce pro-

greater degree of individualisation. Such

duction costs and time while ensuring that

techniques are, however, not very wide-

quality meets the imposed criteria.

spread in the production of concrete com-

Ole Egholm Pedersen: Photomontage of a pavillion at Sydney Opera House for the symposium ”what would Utzon do now?” The research project ”Complex Gridshell” is developing a method for the construction of complex concrete grid shells in building scale using parametric design.


Sonja Marie Overgaard: Value Interrelationships in Architectural Cultural Heritage - Altering and preserving manor farm buildings and architectural cultural heritage values. Taking architectural heritage as her starting point, Sonja Marie Overgaard in her PhD dissertation develops and tests an analytical model that makes it possible to illustrate the required weight and distribution of four essential values for altering and re-using old buildings. This is crucial in determining which architectural interventions can be made when a building is adapted to new functions. The testing of the analytical model was carried out by means of case studies of three converted farm buildings at Danish manor houses, which have turned out very differently as a result of different emphases on architectural,



mental and use-related values. The model can, however, be applied to any type of conversion. Sonja’s intention is that the model for Value Interrelationship could be used in the

Sonja Marie Overgaard: The northern barn of Nørre Vosborg, after conversion

dialogue between authorities, builders and consultants, giving all parties a shared understanding of what values are being given priority and how these values influence each other in a given transformation process.

All dissertations are available from the School’s Library. However, we do not have any copies for sale. If you wish to purchase a copy, please contact the individual authors.


Conferences and Seminars Collage | Method |Process Seminar at Aarhus School of Architecture 8 Jan 2013 Research Methods Based on Art, Design and Intervention Seminar at Aalborg University 18 Jan 2013 Restauration Seminar 2013 “Hverdagens Arkitektoniske Kulturarv (The Architectural Heritage of Every Day life) 31 Jan 2013 at Aarhus School of Architecture Installation | Method | Process Seminar at Aarhus School of Architecture 27 Feb 2013 New Materials - New Architecture? Seminar at Aarhus School of Architecture, 19 Mar 2013 OpenRoom PUF activity at Kunsthal Aarhus, 9 April 2013 Researching Atmospheres PhD Seminar at Aarhus School of Architecture 16 – 18 April 2013 Urban Agriculture: Edible Estates and The Mega Cities of Tomorrow at Aarhus School of Architecture, 17 May 2013 The Role of Experiments in Constructive Design Research PhD Course, Aarhus School of Architecture, 27 – 30 May 2013 Comfort in Living Design Camp at KADK, School of Design under the Innonet Lifestyle – Interior & Clothing, 1 - 5 Jun 2013 Doctoral Colloquium at the DPPI 2013 Conference in Newcastle, Great Britain 3 Sep 2013 Energy Renovation Seminar Godsbanen Aarhus, 23 Sep 2013 Construct | Method | Process Seminar at Aarhus School of Architecture 4 Dec 2013 Learning from the Past Conference and workshop at Aarhus School of Architecture, 10 - 11 dec 2013 Seminars in relation to the Closed Cities and Sites Research Network; • Seminar on Dissonant heritage at Lund Tekniska Högskola, Sweden, 20 - 22 Feb 2013 • Seminar on Mapping and Documentation in Tartu, Estland, 26 - 28 Aug 2013 • seminar on Urban and Regional Development in the Baltic Sea Region, in Bagenkop, Langeland, 9 -10 Dec 2013


Combining Interaction Design and Atmosphere By Leif Leer Sørensen

How does interactive furniture affect

into account the atmosphere in the space

human sensing and the atmosphere

in which the digital artifact is located. How

of a space? Architect Sofie Kinch pro-

does it affect people’s sensing and behav-

vides some answers to this question

iour? This is the question I have tried to an-

in her soon to be completed industrial

swer through a series of case studies that

PhD project Designing for Atmospheric

involved designing interactive furniture,”

Experiences - How interactive artifacts

Sofie Kinch explains.

impact architectural atmospheres. The project was developed in close coop-

Atmospheric Elements

eration with researchers from the Alex-

‘Atmosphere’ is a very vague concept. How

andra Institute and a number of small

do you define atmosphere?

and medium-sized enterprises - and is

“Atmosphere is the emotional experience

one of several research projects at the

connected with a specific place. Yet atmos-

Aarhus School of Architecture to have

phere is, of course, not purely subjective,

‘atmosphere’ as a theme in these years.

it is not just an inner emotional state, but rather something you can agree on defi-

“I think much technology was designed fo-

ning, and that you approach with, at least

cusing narrowly on individual digital devices.

partial objectivity. What creates the mood in

This applies to, for instance, the computer,

a space, is the interaction between objects

the iPad and the smartphone - technical de-

and subjects, and the border between them

vices which enable us to stay in touch over

is fluid.

distance, for instance, through social media. They, however, tend to separate us in the

The thing that makes atmosphere interest-

physical space, where we would ordinar-

ing from an architectural perspective is that,

ily interact,” says Sofie Kinch, who has just

regardless of whether we are aware of it or

submitted her PhD dissertation for assess-

not, it affects the way people are present

ment at the Aarhus School of Architecture.

in a given space, and, consequently, their behaviour. In this way atmosphere opens up

As the title of her paper indicates, Designing

some ethical aspects, which we have to take

for Atmospheric Experiences - How interac-

into consideration in the design process.

tive artifacts impact architectural atmospheres”, she has, in her research, tried to

The French sociologist Jean-Paul Thibaud,

incorporate interaction design into the spa-

who worked on defining the elements that

tial and social contexts in which it is used.

contribute to creating atmosphere, ope-

“In short, it is about studying and taking

rated with objective qualities, subjective experiences as well as social aspects.


Sofie Kinch: KidKat on the hospital ward

Sofie Kinch: KidKat in the waiting room


On the basis of my empirical case studies,

“The neurointensive care unit has three in-

I have tried to further develop Thibaud’s

patient beds in each ward. This means that

theoretical model. Among other things, by

people who are very seriously ill, such as,

including elements, which specifically relate

for instance, road accident victims, are pre-

to interactive design.”

sent within a few meters distance. Alarms are continually causing a racket. The prob-


lem is that visiting children are incapable

Sofie Kinch’s empirical experiments in-

of ignoring these sounds. They think the

clude an interactive piece of play furniture

alarms are connected with pain and death,

designed for Aarhus University Hospital’s

and are consequently constantly in a state

neurointensive care unit. In this case the

of alert when an alarm goes off”, Sofie Kinch

assignment was to create a relaxed atmos-


phere around small children when they are visiting seriously ill relatives at the hospital.

When the child has become familiar with

The neurointensive care unit had expressed

KidKit and its built-in sounds, the piece

that small children visiting patients was a

of furniture is moved into the ward where

challenge for them. These children felt in-

the patient is located. The furniture is then

secure or even panicked when they entered

transformed into a small flight of stairs which

the ward. This was my motivation for develo-

the children can use to reach the patient’s

ping KidKit, which must be seen as a tool

bed. When it has been transformed it is no

that can be used to accustom children to

longer the strong colours that dominate;

the atmosphere of a ward, before they are

the surface becomes grey and the furniture

allowed to enter and meet the patient,” says

becomes a secondary tool that helps facili-

Sofie Kinch.

tate the contact between child and patient.

When a child arrives in the unit, it is re-

“We have received many positive comments

ceived by a nurse in the waiting room and

from nurses who have used KidKit. They re-

introduced to KidKit: a brightly coloured and

ally feel that the piece of furniture makes

flexible piece of furniture, which immedi-

the visits of children to the ward easier. On

ately attracts a child’s attention. It consists

the other hand, we have also learnt that

of a total of five padded poufs which invite

nurses have a hectic working day, which

to play of all kinds. To give an example, a

means that they do not, to the extent that

series of squares on the upper pouf indi-

they could wish for, have the time to intro-

cates eight active areas, each representing

duce children to KidKit.”

different sounds from the hospital. By us-


ing these squares the nurse can invite the


child to listen to and demystify the charac-

coMotion is another of Sofie’s projects. In

teristic sounds of the ward - such as sounds

this case the assignment was not to solve

from life support machines and from various

a problem, but originated in Sofie Kinch’s


desire to create social interaction between

random people in the public space. coMotion

On research into atmosphere at

is a bench which through technology chang-

the Aarhus School of Architecture

es its shape depending on where people sit on it, forcing them to move closer together.

In recent years, several researchers

The bench was among other places tested in

at the Aarhus School of Architecture

Musikhuset Aarhus, a music venue; at Bil-

have focused on the moods and expe-

lund Airport and in Storcenter Nord, a local

riences that buildings, spaces and ob-

shopping mall.

jects impart to users and spectators:

“This experiment is a clear example of the

Professor Niels Albertsen and Associ-

fact that the atmosphere in a space affects

ate Professor, PhD Tom Nielsen has

people’s perception of the piece of furniture.

been doing work into “Urban Atmos-

In Billund Airport people generally thought

phere”; in her ongoing PhD project

that the bench was moving as a warning,

Dokumentation af arkitektonisk kul-

because it was not allowed to sit on it. Prob-


ably because people had just been through

Heritage) Nina Ventzel Riis examines

a safety check and were consequently on

how atmosphere can be registered

their guard. At Musikhuset it was, however,

and ‘Archived’ for the restoration of

seen as a fun element and attracted much

old buildings; and Assistant Professor

merriness, laughter and dialogue. Here peo-

Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen is work-

ple were out to have fun.

ing on identifying how atmosphere is



approached in museum building pro-

To me it says something about how impor-


tant it is to see the artifact you create in a wider context. That you create it on the ba-

In the spring of 2013, the Aarhus

sis of the surroundings and the atmosphere

School of Architecture consequently

that it is both a part of and contributes to

arranged an international PhD course


on precisely the topic: “Researching Atmospheres”




Based on her practical experiments Sofie

from recognised scholars such as

Kinch in her the dissertation has not only

Jürgen Hasse, Juhani Pallasmaa and

substantiated but also tried to operationalise

Jean-Paul Tribaud.

Jean-Paul Thibaud’s model for “atmospheric experiences” - in the hope that architects and designers who work with interactive artifacts will use it in their daily work.


Photo by Mads Hulsrøj Peterson, Kollision: Light Spots. Lighted interactive urban space furniture. The project is one of several projects under Danish Lighting Innovation Network. The urban space furniture was deployed in Aarhus for three weeks; the units are able to interact with each other and with citizens. They can provide us with experience on how light affects us in urban spaces.

Poul Bæk Pedersen: Architectone - A Student’s Work The research and innovation project: ”Compact and Hybrid Habitation”. 30

RESEARCHERS Architectural Experiments through Representations Anne Elisabeth Toft, Associate Professor: Representations of Architecture Stine Henckel Schultz, PhD Fellow: Dwelling - Studies in the Special Plasticity of the Dwelling Espen Lunde Nielsen, PhD Fellow: Architectural Probes of the Infraordinary Architectural Heritage Lars Nicolai Bock, Associate Professor: Immortality of Architecture Anne Grete Andersen, Associate Professor: Mapping and Architectural Planning of Valuable Cultural Environment Birgitte Tanderup Eybye, PhD Fellow: Sustainability in the Architectural Cultural Heritage of Denmark Louise Kjær Christoffersen, Post Doc Fellow: Costal Qualities Nina Ventzel Riis, PhD Fellow: Documenting Architectural Heritage Architectural Workshop Kätte Bønløkke Andersen, Associate Professor: Light and Light Design Jan Fugl, Associate Professor: Light and Light Design Carlo Volf, PhD Fellow: Light and Well-being (Completed 2013) Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen, PhD Fellow: The Iterative Realization The Theory and History of Architecture Hans Feldthusen, Associate Professor Erik W. Petersen, Professor: Immanence in Deleuzian and Chinese philosophy Sustainability Terri Peters. PhD Fellow: Strategies in Sustainable Building Transformation Torsten Sack-Nielsen, PhD Fellow: Climate-adaptive Facades Inge Vestergaard, Associate Professor: Sustainable Renovation and Responding Building Envelopes Urbanism and Landscape Niels Albertsen, Professor: Strategic Urban Research Stefan Darlan Boris, Assistant Professor: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Laboratories, Gardens and Transformation Susan Carruth, PhD Fellow: Resilient Landscapes of Renewable Energy in West Greenland Thomas Juel Clemmensen, Teaching Associate Professor: Urban Landscapes and Planning Boris Brorman Jensen, Associate Professor: Urbanism and Architectural Theory Marie Markman, PhD Fellow: The Limitless City – the Limitless Landscape Tom Nielsen; Associate Professor: Contemporary and Urban Development Martin Odgaard, PhD Fellow: Cities of Biodiversity Katrina Wiberg, PhD Fellow: Climate Change Adaption and Handling of Water as a Resource


Design Richard Herriott, PhD Fellow: Accessibility Through User-centered Design and Inclusive Design Processes (completed 2013) Birgitte Geert Jensen, Associate Professor: User-driven Innovation, Inclusive Design Jørgen Rasmussen, Associate Professor: Strategic Design Digital Tectonics Karl Christiansen, Professor: The Tectonics of Architecture Sebastian Gmelin, PhD Fellow: Complex Geometry (terminated 2013) Maya Lahmy, PhD Fellow: Drawing, Material and Building component Niels Martin Larsen, Assistant Professor: Generative Algorithmic Techniques for Architectural Design

Annette Svaneklink Jacobsen: Louvre-Lens The Research Project: Experience as a parameter of architectural design and creation. On affects and relations in current museum architecture.


Ole Egholm Pedersen, PhD Fellow: The Tectonic Potential of Concrete (completed 2013) Asbjørn Søndergaard, PhD Fellow: Computed Morphologies Anders Kruse Aagaard Nielsen, PhD Fellow: The Iterative Realization David Kjøller, PhD Fellow: The House as an Integrated Product Delivery System – based on user-contributed design Context Leif Høgfeldt Hansen, Associate Professor: Architectural History and Culture Thomas Hilberth, Associate Professor: Development of the Human Habitat in a CrossCultural Context The Art of Building Anders Gammelgaard Nielsen, Associate Professor: The Importance of Materials to the Architectural Creation of Form and Space Mo Michelsen Stochholm Krag, PhD Fellow: Recoding of the Building Mass of the Depopulation Nordic Perspectives Louise Grønlund, PhD Fellow: Light’s Space – the Spatial Potential of the Facade Reform Susan Carruth, PhD Fellow: Resilient Landscapes of Renewable Energy in West Greenland Sofie Kinch, PhD Fellow: Changing Atmospheres in Interaction Design Peter Gall Krogh, Professor: Designing Social Innovation for Sustainability – DESIS Tim Merritt, Assistant Professor: Responses to Technology/Agents Mie Nørgaard, Assistant Professor: Interactive Design Kirsten Bonde Sørensen, Scientific assistant: Strategic Sesign, Service Design Relational Architecture Annette Svaneklink Jakobsen, Assistant Professor: Architectural Creation and Design Tine Nørgaard, Associate Professor Izabela Wieczorek, Teaching Associate Professor: Active Materiality (PhD project affiliated with The Technical University of Madrid) Spatial Intelligence Karen Olesen, Associate Professor: Open Architecture, Habitation Poul Bæk Pedersen, Associate Professor: Compact Structures, Flow and Transformation Lena Kondrup Sørensen, Associate Professor: Storage – on Living with Things Mads Chr. Tholstrup, Associate Professor: Thinking Architecture Outside the Platforms Walter Unterrainer, MSO Professor: Sustainability Johan Verbeke, MSO Professor: Research by Design


Research Centres and Networks Center for Strategic Urban Research in cooperation with University of Copenhagen and Aalborg University. Funded by Realdania. Terminated 2013. ADAPT-r – Architecture, Design and Art Practice Training-research. A network of research institutions and private partners developing a new research training model. Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework. “Dansk Center for Herregårdsforskning” (a Danish centre for research in manor farm buildings) in Gl. Estrup. Funded by Realdania. “Nordes” a Scandinavian design research cooperation with participation of the Department of Design as well as schools of architecture and design. ”LysnET”. A professional network connecting researchers and research institutions in Denmark and Norway as well as a number of private companies. Funded by Velux and Velfac. ”Renord” – a Scandinavian research network focusing on sustainable modernisation of the housing stock built after 1945. Partnership agreement with SmartCity - a commercially operating foundation: Development of the building industry and related professions. Dansk Lys – Lys i byen (Danish Lighting / Light in the city). An innovative network under the Danish Lighting Centre. European Association for Architectural Education – a network of 140 Architectural Schools. Cost Action; Green Infrastructure approach - A EU funded European research network. eCAADe – Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe A Network of institutions and researchers. PUF – Practice, Education, Research – a trade network between the Architectural Studios and the School of Architecture in Aarhus.

PUF is run by the Aarhus School of Architecture in collaboration with a task group with members from the Studios and teachers/researchers from the School. Throughout the year a variety of meetings are organised to discuss the possibilities for collaborations and common professional challenges. In 2013 PUF conducted OpenRoom – a seminar on current challenges for the architectural profession and it opened for a dialogue about the relation between practice and the education and ways in which a new School can facilitate the relation between practice and research. Contact: Teaching Associate Professor Anne Mette Boye, email


Research Publications Arkipelaget – pamphlets on artistic development work The Aarhus School of Architecture plans to publish a series of eight pamphlets about artistic development work in collaboration with the Jutland Art Academy. These pamphlets will concern the intersection between architecture, art and literature, and it is the ambition that the publications should show products, creations and work processes as examples of an artistic approach and an artistic development work. In 2013 the first two were published: Arkitektoner (Architecton) by Jesper Rasmussen from the Jutland Art Academy and An Eatable Landscape by PhD Fellow Marie Markman from the Aarhus School of Architecture.

Charlotte Bundgaard: Montage Revisited – rethinking industrialised architecture This book challenges the way we think about industrially based architecture. New industrialisation is based on advanced IT technology and high-tech manufacturing processes. The production machinery is flexible and adaptable, and no longer requires the repetition of completely identical elements. This opens up new perspectives and demands that we rethink montage as an architectural strategy. In her book Associate Professor Charlotte Bundgaard formulates and discusses new approaches to montage architecture, presenting her proposals for what is needed to exploit the architectural potential of new industrialisation.

Publications from the Aarhus School of Architecture publishing house are distributed by Archi Tegn. Montage Revisted – rethinking industrialised architecture can also be ordered from For more information on the Aarhus School of Architecture publishing house, please contact, E:, T: +45 8936 0175.


NOERREPORT 20 • DK 8000 AARHUS C • +45 89 36 00 00 • AARCH.DK

Research 2013  

A Presentation of research at the Aarhus School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen Aarhus) including interviews and an overview of PhD projects...

Research 2013  

A Presentation of research at the Aarhus School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen Aarhus) including interviews and an overview of PhD projects...