RCAT - Research Center for Architecture and Tectonics

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CSoP The Changing Shape of Practice


BACKGROUND

In 2010 Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel and Prof. Dr. Fredrik Nilsson initiated the Changing Shape of Practice [CSoP] project in the context of the OCEAN Design Research Association. The objective was to establish a research framework that analyses the growing element of research in architectural practice, to define objectives, modes and modalities of practice-based and practice-oriented research, as well as developing new collaborative research platforms with practice. Key questions include the following: Architectural practices worldwide have to deal with increasingly complex design requirements. How do practices acquire the ability to do so? What kinds and forms of knowledge are needed and produced in different types of practices? How are results, new knowledge and competences documented, shared and disseminated internally as well as externally? Is research itself now used as a strategic tool by architectural offices? How do research and practice in architecture mutually shape one another?

In 2011 Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel implemented the CSoP project in the context of the research project Architectural Inquiry Decoded [AID] at the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Fredrik Nilsson the project commenced in the format of a book and symposia series, scientific papers and a series of spin-off activities, which have in the meantime attracted a wide roster of collaborating partners including university, practice, and cultural and professional organizations.


CSoP BOOK SERIES

The book series takes a global outlook and maps the way in which practices of different sizes and in different contexts engage research in their activities and build their businesses around these activities. Volume 1 was published in 2016 and volume 2 will be launched in 2018.

 

Hensel, M. and Nilsson, F. eds. (2016). The Changing Shape of Practice - Integrating Research and Design in Architecture Volume 1. London: Routledge.


Practices included in Volume 1:

AECOM, Perkins + Will, White, Woods Bagot, UN Studio, SHoP Architects, PLP Architecture, Kieran Timberlake, 3xN/GxN, Thomas Herzog + Partners, Herreros Architectos, AZPML, ONL, Spacescape, OCEAN Design Research Association

Hensel, M. and Nilsson, F. eds. (2018). The Changing Shape of Practice – Further Cases of Integrating Research and Design in Architecture Volume 1. London: Routledge.



INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIA SERIES

 

 

CSoP 0 | 2013 | NO | SEMINAR ON KNOWLEDGE AND INQUIRY IN ARCHITECTURE

 

The symposia series was preceded by a preparatory seminar in Holmsbu, Norway, in Spring 2013. The seminar focused on the questions as to what constitutes knowledge in architecture and how such knowledge can arise from scope of targeted inquiries.

 

Participants: Prof. Mark Burry (RMIT), Prof. Dr. Peter Carl (LMU), Helen Castle (AD Wiley), Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel (RCAT, AHO), Prof. Dr. David Jolly Monge (e[ad]), Prof. Dr. David Leatherbarrow (UPenn), Prof. Dr. Birger Sevaldson (AHO), Defne Sunguroğlu Hensel (AHO), Prof. Dr. Inger-Lise Syversen (Chalmers), Jeffrey P. Turko (U Brighton)

 

Funding: Strategic funds of the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

 

 

CSOP 1 | 2013 | SE

 

The first symposium took place at Chalmers University of Technology in September 2013. It was co-organized by Chalmers University of Technology, RCAT at AHO, the Swedish Association of Architects, and OCEAN Design Research Association. The objective was to address the perceived need of the Swedish Association of Architects to generate more research capacity in Swedish practices to enhance their capacity to address increasingly complex design problems, as well as their international competitiveness.

 

Participating practices: Foster + Partners (UK), Helen & Hard (NO), Kieran Timberlake (USA), 3xN GxN (DK), White (SE)

 

Funding: Swedish Association of Architects, Chalmers University of Technology, Oslo School of Architecture and Design Strategic Funds, OCEAN Design Research Association

 

 

CSOP 2 | 2016 | NO

 

The second symposium took place in September 2016 at AHO as part of the Oslo Architectural Triennial 2016 and was co-organized by RCAT at AHO, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DogA), Chalmers University of Technology, and OCEAN Design Research Association. The objective was to generate and strengthen collaborative interfaces between practice and universities in research activities. The event consisted of a one-day symposium, a thematically related one-day PhD seminar, an exhibition and a book launch, as well as a seminar at DogA that involved all participants in preparation of a spin-off in the form of a series of round-table discussions in 2017 that are co-organized by DogA and RCAT at AHO.

 

Participating practices: Helen & Hard (NO), Kieran Timberlake (USA), SHoP Architects (USA), Snøhetta (NO), Void (NO, White (SE)

 

Funding: Oslo School of Architecture and Design Strategic Funds, Chalmers University of Technology


 

CSOP 3 | 2017 | DK


The third symposium will take place in September 2017 in Aarhus as part of the Aarhus Cultural Capital 2017 and Rising Architecture Week. For this event the scope of collaborators is expanded to include partners from three Scandinavian countries including Aarhus School of Architecture, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and Chalmers University of Technology. The symposium will examine two themes: research in practice and emergent practices / self-generated projects.

 

Participating practices:

Emerging practices - Self-generated Projects: Architects without Borders, Eske Bruun (DK), Helen & Hard (NO), Nonconform (At), Raumlabor (D),

Research in Practice: Barkow Leibinger (D), GxN (DK), Kieran Timberlake (USA), Snøhetta (NO),

 

Funding: Dreyer Fond, Aarhus School of Architecture, Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design


 

CSOP 4 | 2018 | NO


The forth symposium is currently in the initial planning stage in collaboration with DogA – Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. The symposium is planned for Spring 2018.



SPIN-OFFs


CSoP – DogA & AHO ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS / PRACTICE HEARINGS

One marked impact of the CSoP 2 Symposium in Oslo was the positive response of practices in the Oslo region and the voiced interest in initiating and increasing research capacity in practice. The Noregian Centre for Design and Architecture and the Research Centre for Architecture and Tectonics have therefore partnered up in order to address this development in a systematic manner through round-table discussions with invited practices. The aim is to provide the opportunity to pursue and discuss these questions in a series of events that aim to engage practices of different sizes, structures and needs.