I am often asked to sum up what the Department stands for – to produce a ‘mission statement’. In a nutshell the aim is to sustain a close-knit yet diverse intellectual and creative community that excels in design teaching and research. We have particular strengths, such as: a focus on urban and contextual design across the Department; a reputation for outstanding history and philosophy teaching; and an excellence in sustainable building and urban design research.
At a time when the national and international media regularly examine issues pertaining to the nature and habitability of our cities, and buildings which veer between sculptural extravagance and environmental responsibility, there is a great need for serious, committed and imaginative designers and thinkers in the discipline. The high quality research carried out at AIW (ARCHITEKTUR INSTITUT Verein für Bildung und Forschung) is the basis for which we maintain a leading position in these debates, always seeking to understand the diversity of possibilities with respect to the profundity and richness of the architectural tradition.
It is an honour to be the Head of Department at AIW, primarily because of the intelligent and entrepreneurial nature of our students, and the outstanding initiatives of our researchers, academic staff and Design Fellows.