Elective subject Economic Sustainability - MACHINE | Climate-Friendly and Resource-Efficient Architecture and Design | Winter semester 2023/24

Participating students: Nicole Blender, Nina Diehl, Tim Ganssleben, David Gschwind, Anna Herbert, Jonas Hille, Alparslan Karavas, Sabrina Keller, Johanna Klug, Julian Kopp, Luise Lonnemann, Tanja Marlewski, Miriam Marx, Lorenz Mueller, Pia Mueller, Lea Piesch, Carolina Resner, Katharina Schaff, Masri Shehata, Carlotta Stuible, Fabiano Tavano, Annabelle Thees, Aslihan Utku, Henning Vogel, Jule Woellhaf, Beguem Yilmaz and Jonas Zyder

How can we design, plan and build in the future and already today with a given limited catalog of materials, breaking with visual habits and possibly finding a new understanding of a new aesthetic?

27 students from the architecture, interior design and urban planning degree courses took part in the elective course Ökonomische Nachhaltigkeit – MASCHINE ("Economic Sustainability - MACHINE"), which dealt intensively with current issues relating to the urgent need for a turnaround in construction. The elective course, led by professors Fabian Hörmann and Frank Stasi from the Faculty of Climate-Friendly and Resource-Efficient Architecture and Design of Faculty A, took place from 12.2.2024-16.2.2024 in the workshops at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences.

Due to the limitation of the available time to one week and the budget to €0, resilient and flexible strategies and processes had to be developed quickly, which were directly applied and tested as Experienced Based Learning in the special elective. In the first step, the students independently formed five groups: The materials group scouted, measured and cataloged materials (e.g. deposit-free pallets, etc.) on campus and in the living environment starting in November. The planning group used this (limited) catalog of components and materials to design and plan, which requires a reversal process in thinking and planning. Finally, the construction group adopted the plan status and adapted it to the circumstances at certain points. The documentation and communication group documented the various activities, events and processes and communicated them on social media. The catering group proved to be a central element for the carefree and stress-free success of the challenging task for the group: We understand the social dimension of sustainability not only in the benefits and effectiveness of a created work, but also in the comprehensive understanding of the social dimension as early as the creation process.

Thanks to the energetic and extremely committed support of the employees of the workshops and the VoKuHiLab of Faculty A, new ideas, which are in the nature of things, could also be implemented at short notice.

"As newcomers to the HFT Stuttgart from a distance and with the corresponding view from the outside, the outdoor space qualities of the campus are striking," the two deputy professors outline their impression. "On the one hand, this concerns the usability in terms of enabling activities that are conducive to the community as part of course events or even just breaks in the outdoor space." They note: "In particular, there is no recognizable, warm and intentional gesture of arrival and welcome for first-semester students or guests. At the entrances to the respective buildings, everyone falls through a hole in the wall."

The task was therefore clear: to develop a construction that is transportable and can therefore be set up at different building entrances. As an experiment, a tent-like figure was created using rammed earth cubes, which serve as both a bench and a weight, with open wedge-like supports and a double-curved weather level made of three-layered, snuggle-like connections, which offers both a symbolic gesture and a usable, rainproof and shaded outdoor area.

As part of the campus-wide HFT.Lab/EFRE project, the structure is to be installed at other locations at the interface between the university and urban space. We hope that this will provide insights for campus planning and for further design-build activities in exchange with other universities and degree programs that offer project work.

There was food for thought during the joint lunch breaks: several invited guests gave keynote speeches on research and experiments in robotization, for example in clay and bamboo constructions at ETH Zurich, on realized basements and large-scale structures made of wood by two start-ups from Switzerland and on straw wall modules as an industrialized and scalable construction technology that is used asCO2 storage in over 400 projects worldwide. The direct contact with new, tried and tested materials and constructions such as clay, wood, straw and new, old principles such as re-use and utilisation of "what is already in the world" and current developments can be described as extremely instructive and inspiring for all participants.

The student research project was supervised by the professorship replacements Fabian Hörmann and Frank Stasi.