Research and teaching rest on a triple hypothesis. Architecture may be regarded at first as a technological system expressed in parameters such as construction, material or functional contexts. Accordingly the history of architecture may be understood as a history of technological development in the form of constructive innovations and functional improvements. Architecture is not simply technology, however; it also belongs to the realm of practical objects. Developments in architecture thus lead not only to a redesign of the built environment but also alter how the latter is experienced and perceived. It is therefore a matter of understanding what impact technological developments such as the mechanisation, automation or digitalisation of architecture have, also in relation to changes in the human body and its experience of the environment. Finally, such changes can be understood only in the light of their socio-political context, as an expression and perception of new – real or imagined – needs.
The challenge of teaching architectural theory lies in these contradictory preconditions. Neither a purely speculative approach, which superimposes a normative system on different cultural, social or technical developments, nor a model all too closely deducted from the professional practice and contradicting every systematic, can do justice to the task of this academic discipline.