Interdisciplinary Design

Werner Sobek
ILEK Universität Stuttgart

Today, when ever more complex buildings are being designed to satisfy ever more stringent demands, the question has to be asked, in which context and under which framework conditions is our built environment actually created. What role can and should architects – and engineers – play?

In the design phase of a building a number of iterative processes occur. Although sophisticated analytical methods can help in decision-making, geometric design, stability, joining of different materials or building energetics are not the only considerations. Design also involves lighting effects, colour and shade, surface finishes, micro and macro structures, temperature control and much more. Not infrequently, unquantifiable or intangible factors play a role. 

But how can all of these factors be integrated to form a complex whole that works? Knowledge of how art is created cannot be expressed in writing. However, learning and understanding can be fostered through constant practice. And it’s imperative that this practice begins in the universities. Only by learning the language of the “other” will interdisciplinary design become possible at all. 

Lecture in German.

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