1st Edition

The Changing Shape of Architecture Further Cases of Integrating Research and Design in Practice

Edited By Michael U. Hensel, Fredrik Nilsson Copyright 2019
    206 Pages 250 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 250 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The discipline of architecture is currently undergoing a significant change as professional practice and academia seem to be transforming one another specifically through succinct research undertakings. This book continues the discussion started in The Changing Shape of Practice – Integrating Research and Design in Architecture on architectural offices’ modes of research and lines of inquiry in architecture and how it reshapes practice. The book aims to contribute to the mapping and discussion on research in architectural practice and its transformational impact and gives input to the discussions on where the architectural profession is heading.

    In this second volume, various research initiatives and modes in architectural practices are portrayed. The book also includes contributions that broaden the scope and put the developments into larger contexts, and present an overview of developments from different regional perspectives and of various social aspects of architecture. It also relates the developments in practice to educational efforts and to initiatives where the more traditional role of architects is challenged.

    The contributions include chapters by Walter Unterrainer, Anthony Burke, Renée Cheng and Andrea J. Johnson, and Michael U. Hensel, and on the practices atelier d’architecture autogérée, Helen & Hard, MVRDV and The Why Factory, NADAAA & Nader Tehrani, Nordic – Office of Architecture, Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Void, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, and Älvstranden Utveckling.


    List of Contributors

    Chapter 1:

    Current Changes in Conditions and Contexts for Architectural Research and Practice – A Brief Introduction

    Michael U. Hensel and Fredrik Nilsson

    Chapter 2:

    Emerging Exit Strategies

    Walter Unterrainer

    Chapter 3:

    Prototyping Practice

    Anthony Burke

    Chapter 4:

    Consortium for Research Practices: Closing the knowledge loop between education and practice through research

    Renée Cheng and Andrea J. Johnson

    Chapter 5:

    Evolving Contours in Rethinking – Reskilling – Retooling: Life-long learning, Research Capacities and Lateral Networking

    Michael U. Hensel

    Chapter 6:

    atelier d’architecture autogérée: Transgressive practices for resilient urban agency

    Doina Petrescu, Constantin Petcou and Fredrik Nilsson

    Chapter 7:

    The Relational Designs of Helen & Hard

    Siv Stangeland and Michael U. Hensel

    Chapter 8:

    MVRDV + The Why Factory: Factoring the why in design practice

    Winy Maas, Javier Arpa and Fredrik Nilsson

    Chapter 9:

    On the Necessity of Messy Research: Nader Tehrani

    Brandon Clifford

    Chapter 10:

    Nordic - Office of Architecture: An Account of Current Research Efforts

    John Arne Bjerknes, Kristine Andrule, Marcus Enskat, Christian Henriksen, Bridget White and John Christer Høiby

    Chapter 11:

    Schmidt Hammer Lassen: Giving and gaining – co-creating knowledge and exploring practice at SHL

    Trine Berthold and Fredrik Nilsson

    Chapter 12:

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: Building on the Legacy of Technological and Architectural Innovation

    Daniel Cashen and Neil Katz

    Chapter 13:

    Into < > Out of the Void

    Joakim Wiig Hoen and Michael U. Hensel

    Chapter 14:

    Ideal Pragmatists: Research work at Sarah Wigglesworth Architects

    Sarah Wigglesworth

    Chapter 15:

    Designing Fusion Points of Urban Design, Practice and Research – The Case of Älvstranden Utveckling and RiverCity Gothenburg

    Fredrik Nilsson, Lena Andersson and Åsa Swan





    Michael U. Hensel, Prof. Dr., is a practicing architect, researcher, educator and writer and chair of Digital Architecture and Planning at the Technical University in Vienna. In practice, research and education his work currently focuses on three main themes: [i] performance-oriented architectures, [ii] integrative information-based design, and [iii] interdisciplinary and practice-oriented integrated research and teaching in architecture. His architectural works are experimental and innovation-focused. He is founding and acting chairman of the OCEAN Design Research Association. Works undertaken by OCEAN are included in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress in the United States and the FRAC Centre (Fonds Regional d'Art Contemporain) in Orléans, France, and have been exhibited at various Venice Architectural Biennales. Hensel has co-pioneered the field of research-by-design in architecture and has an extensive track-record in research, research strategy development, implementation and assessment. He has authored, co-authored and edited numerous books and journals, including Performance-oriented Architecture – Rethinking Architectural Design and the Environment (2013), Grounds and Envelopes – Reshaping Architecture and the Built Environment together with Jeffrey P. Turko (2015), and The Changing Shape of Practice – Integrating Research and Design in Architecture with Fredrik Nilsson (2016).


    Fredrik Nilsson is an architect, Professor of Architectural Theory, and Head of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He was Head of Research in Practice at Älvstranden Utveckling AB 2017–2018, and has a background as Partner at White Arkitekter, where he worked 2000–2017 and was Head of Research and Development 2007–2014. His research is directed to developments in contemporary architecture, architectural theory, architectural methodology and practice, especially the epistemology of architecture and interaction between theory, conceptual thinking and design work, aiming to reinforce exchange between research and architectural practice. He was director of the strong research environment in architectural theories and methods 'Architecture in the Making: Architecture as a Making Discipline and Material Practice' funded by the Swedish research council Formas 2011–2017. He is author and editor of several books and frequently publishes in academic and professional contexts. Among his recent publications are The Changing Shape of Practice – Integrating Research and Design in Architecture with Michael Hensel (2016), and Perspectives on Research Assessment in Architecture, Music and the Arts – Discussing Doctorateness with Halina Dunin-Woyseth and Nel Janssens (2017).