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Our focus is on what architecture and design do, rather than what they are or used to be. We try to teach and apply a dynamic system’s view, and believe that architecture and industrial design is likely to merge in the future, as buildings become more industrialized, and the industrial design of components thus creates space and architecture.
We see architecture and industrial design as tools for change. Change must be guided by a visionary approach. One assumption is that e.g. future environmental systems will mimic the pre-industrial. We find that this assumption is strongly supported by our studies in developing countries, and for habitation on the planet Mars.
We believe that quality in architecture and design is relative to a social construct or culture. Architecture and design communicate culture. We favor studies in situations that are perceived as alien or extreme by the student or researcher. Many of our future studies will concern confined habitats.
Currently Ark III conducts elective, one-semester courses each autumn and spring, for last-year students of Architecture, and of Industrial Design. The autumn courses, STAR Design and Design in unfamiliar Cultures, are given for students in the Industrial Design Programme and every second spring semester STAR Design and The Universal City are given for architect students. STAR design includes fieldwork at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Tx and the student projects within Design in unfamiliar Cultures and The Universal City are based on fieldstudies in the Lake Victoria Region, Kenya.
Our development studies are mainly conducted through and together with graduate and master students. The research is done through PhD candidates, many of which are at the Department on international scholarships. We favor explorative and applied R&D.
Ark III also conducts a course on "Urban Systems and the Environment", which concludes the Lund University International Master’s Program on Environmental Sciences.
Ark III maintains a high media profile.
The origin of Ark III goes back to the late sixties. Professor Torvald Åkesson changed the theme of his chair from architeture to "Internationalism, Solidarity and Education". In short, he brought his students to East Africa, Vietnam and Algeria for field studies. Torvald retired in 1976 and the Chair was left vacant for years.
During the early eighties, we created the Lund Centre for Habitat Studies. It developed research and mid-career training largely financed by Swedish aid money (Sida).
The Chair was eventually renamed "Architecture & Development Studies" (arkitektur, särskilt utlandsbyggande) and Lars Reuterswärd was named professor in 1986. After a number of rough years, when we tried to negotiate the combined legacy of Torvald’s solidarity theme and my Centre’s Sida-dependancy, things started to shape up by the mid ninties. Our graduate training became popular among the students, and our research became focused on environmental aspects of the built environment. The portifolio of the Centre was transferred to the Department of Building Economics.
Ark III became involved in the UN Habitat Conference, and in particular in the preparation process. We developed a series of international seminars, with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on the theme "the Sustainable City". At the end of that, it became clear that "sustainability" was generally understood as implementing the linear flow throughout the world’s cities.
Our conclusion was that this could not be the end of history. My senior lecturer, Dr. Maria Nyström, therefore established contact with NASA and its program for manned "housing" on the planet Mars.
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Page Manager: Birgitta Rönnberg
Last updated: 2013-05-16