for experimental architecture


The experiment as a universal behavioral pattern of the modernity is being consistently addressed within the Bauhaus institute for experimental architecture (bauhaus.ifex) in the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Bauhaus University of Weimar. The bauhaus.ifex is dedicated to the current challenges in architecture with the help of experimental research strategies and prototypical realizations on a 1:1 scale as well as their assessment. 

Due to the Bauhaus, founded in Weimar, the experiment of Modernity found an early explication in a high school of design with a global reach. Because of this historical responsibility Bauhaus University understands itself as a driving force and a site for experiments at the same time. 

The goal of bauhaus.ifex is to discuss and implement on all scales current demands on architecture, environmental design and planning through global and regional treansformation in projects. The energetic and demographic change are determinants in this discourse; the experiment and its evaluation provide the methodological backbone. 

Claim and contribution to the future research focus on the city

Energetic change and architecture 

Thinking in terms of material and energy cycles plays a key role in the design process of versatile architectures. Energy and life cycle optimized architecture is a continuous experiment of the applied architectural research. The experimental construction on the campus of the Bauhaus University understands itself as a workshop, laboratory and innovation pool of overcrossing technical disciplines. Thus at the Bauhaus University Weimar the possibility of a cross-faculty research on an academic level is created. To meet the challenge of climate change and resource constraints all the possible scenarios in all architecture-relevant spheres are being examined. Climate-friendly design and resource-efficient usage are fastened as a maxim in the current legislation, but not automatically sanctioned by corresponding models in the design of sustainable architecture. The current research focus of energy runs on all scales, from the city climate to the buildings climate, from the urban energetics to intelligent, energy winning facade. 

Demographic change and Architectur

Hardly a building keeps its original functional dedication during its life cycle. All of the buildings are nowadays facing the challenges of transformation and are often becoming a subject of an inevitable rebuilding or demolishing. The matching capability concerning expected usage cycles, as well as embedment of material and energy life cycles are the deciding parameters of sustainability. 

The experimental buildings on the Campus of the Bauhaus University of Weimar stand as examples for growing and learning structures, which building parts and appropriate constructions, newly designed in context of further research projects, as well as assembly technologies should be evaluated experimentally after a certain period of time. 

Modular construction serves as a synonym for modular design and construction offside conventional building elements in favor of more flexible, user-oriented space parameters. Modular construction designs generative building forms, which take into account the life cycles of implemented materials as well as their exchangeability according to changed requirements. In case of damage modular construction guarantees a low losses exchange.

Interactive architecture or „interaction design“ are keywords for an architecture as an interface on the basis of user-oriented application. This emphasizes the comprehensive dialogue between users und architects as a materialized utility model initiated by the designer. Identified fields of research are within the architectural relevance of media spaces, research partnerships arise in the development of systems and products with interface character. 

Structure and working methods

The bauhaus.ifex represents a key aspect of application-oriented research in the field of core competencies for trainees in the consecutive Bachelor´s and Master´s architectural degrees program. In addition to the institute for European urbanistic, the Bauhaus institute for the theory and history of architecture and planning it mainly combines the project-oriented professorships with their independent teaching and research culture in architecture. 

An institute of experimental research is being established in Addis Abeba in cooperation with the EiABC as a second address and partner institute in the context of dynamic conversion progresses on the African continent. 

Target and claim of the project-oriented working method is the realisation of current research results as prototypical exhibits and their scientific reflection in appropriate communication formats (exhibitions, symposia, publications etc.). Thus it regularly contributes to the professional discourse on current issues and projects.