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The arCsus Lab, chaired by prof.dr.arch. Marc Dujardin, aims to approach and explore the relationship between Architecture and Sustainability from the perspective of Culture and Society. The outspoken arCsus research comprises two intertwining and synergetic research themes from the perspective and skills of the designer:

‘Enabling Disability Studies’ & Designing for Multi-Sensoriality from the perspective of interculturality’

Wherever architecture is approached as a people-centered design paradigm Wherever architecture is approached as a people-centered design paradigm commonly referred to as ‘Universal Design’ or ‘Inclusive Design’. I do prefer ‘Multi-Sensorial’ design. Resorting under the umbrella of ‘Social Sustainability’, the research outputs may well open up to a more critical reading of the ‘meaning’ of architecture from the viewpoint of user-orientation in context. However, it is more of a ‘design attitude’ than leading to a distinct types of architecture. If it is taken care of in an integrated way, it should not even attract attention but is essential to any form of good architecture.

‘Architectural Anthropology’ & Designing for Spatio-Cultural Sustainability’

Whenever the ‘potential’ dimension of architecture as medium of (spatial) communication and mediation is at stake, the role and meaning of culture as key dimension of sustainable development is commonly referred to as ‘Cultural Sustainability’, the fourth pillar of the sustainability concept (social – economic – environmental it Architecture should be approached as a cultural praxis and is widely referred to as ‘Architectural Anthropology’.

But above all, arCsus aims at triggering, challenging and inspiring young designers to develop their micro-scale design strategies, interventions and statements from different entry points, conceptual frameworks, perspectives and modes of communication, representation and media. As such, the designer will develop her/his personalized skills to approach architecture in the broadest sense of the word and scale of intervention as a ‘cultural praxis’. However, to shape what is envisaged by the faculty of Architecture as ‘Academic Design Office’ , arCsus closely works together with the Amsterdam based architecture office RAAAF (Rietveld Architecture – Art – Affordances). The synergy and chemistry between the supervisor’s academic research from the perspective of Architectural Anthropology and RAAAF’s innovative research-geared design practice centres around the shared theme entitled:

Diversity, vacancy, affordances and hardcore heritage

One or a combination of international renown theory and practice-based design strategies, initiated by the academic supervisor in close co-operation with RAAAF, may well appeal to and inspire the student to upscale his/her design strategies, tools and frames of reference in relation to architecture, approached as a cultural practice. They will facilitate the supervisor to understand what kind of designer they are, or aim to be, and how they can develop their personal ‘design signature’, empowering them with more confidence to play their role as designers of the future.

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