Denmark, Aarhus, Aarhus School of Architecture, REform (DESIS Lab)

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Starts: 22 March, 2016
Duration :
Instructors: Denmark, Aarhus, Aarhus School of Architecture, REform (DESIS Lab)
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REform – DESIS lab Aarhus

Aarhus School of Architecture, REform (DESIS Lab)

Nørreport 20
8000 Aarhus C
+45 89 36 00 00

Hosting Institution:
Aarhus School of Architecture
Nørreport 20
8000 Aarhus C
+45 89 36 00 00

Peter Gall Krogh
Nørreport 20
8000 Aarhus C
+45 89 36 02 41

Aarhus School of Architecture was established in 1965 and is an educational institution under The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, and has approximately 750 students and employs a staff of about 175.
The vision of the school is: ”Engaging through Architecture” – i.e. to educate students who are aware of the challenges and responsibilities they have as designers of our future material and immaterial surroundings and who engage actively and critically with society. This requires the school to also engage actively with life outside the institution.
The school covers in research and education the full version of architecture ranging in scale from services, products, interactions, buildings landscapes to urban, regional and country planning. The scientific personal at the school is organized in a number of platforms (research groups). These groups often operates across scale of physical size. Hence the hosting platform of the DESIS lab in Aarhus, REform, includes a wide variety of competences including among others Landscape and Urban design, Interaction design, Product design, Strategic Design, Robotics, HCI and Service design. I both research and education we promote to fluidly traverse scales of solution domains, make the world contagious for engagement, encourage the capacity to make things aesthetically appealing, and fertilize collaboration to happen on any ground.

Primary research areas and activities:
Pivoted around Social Innovation (learning from people) we design for a sustainable future merging nature and technology through the re-marriage of design, architecture, landscape and urban planning. We believe that escaping and avoiding pain is not enough to encourage change – a sustainable future needs to be attractively diverse and multifaceted if people are to pursue it.
Members of the platform participate in numerous international communities, projects, conferences, and workshops and serve a number of visiting professorships. Locally we provide our teaching services both at AAA and at Aarhus University IT education.

Below follows a few examples of activities and projects. For a full list please visit

Completed projects:
As part of our work around distributed and open production we work together with Aarhus main library, Open Space Aarhus and other relevant partners to realize a series of design explorations looking at how to support the establishment and growth of new local communities.
For further information, please contact Peter Gall Krogh.

Running projects:
DESIS Cluster with Massimo Bianchini and Stefano Maffei
In recent years, the DIY movement has grown radically in number of believers, followers and practitioners. Today, it is a movement, which inspires numerous businesses and community based activities in crisis-ridden neighborhoods. Accordingly, it is no longer simply a Do It Yourself, but a Do It With Others (DIWO) movement. This DIWO approach encourages not just individual activities but the collaborative innovative endeavors of several people, also known as Social Innovation in the academic and design research community.
Recent years’ development of computer controlled manufacturing techniques such as laser cutters and low-cost 3D printers has provided a potential change in conditions for the production of goods. Rational and sophisticated production is no longer only in the ownership of experts and placed in large closed facilities but can be local, open and community governed, responding to local needs and aspirations rather than results of market research. We denote such possibilities as Distributed and Open Production – DOP.
DOP contributes to increased life quality in several ways. First, it helps bring production back to the local communities. Second, it builds on close loops of development based on local desires, interests, capacities, needs and division of labor. Third, it facilitates the establishment and growth of strong local communities, which – in line with the long Scandinavian practice of organizing ownership and work in co-operations – helps the development of trustful and engaged citizens. This is not a trivial contribution since the strong sense of trust among strangers within the Scandinavian countries, traditionally is credited for being a key factor for the successful running of these peaceful, effective and wealthy communities.
Locally the cluster facilitates and builds knowledge on the use of advanced workshop facilities (mega-sized laser-cutters, water jet, programmable industrial robots, 3D printing, large scale CNC-milling) and the fact the school will be co-housed with the city workshops in three years time comprising into the largest Open production facility in northern Europe. It is the ambition to build an international network/ consortium that will explore the design of such facilities. Resulting in among other things:
STS Italia track co-convenor for together with Massimo Bianchini, Stefano Maffei and Fabian Mieyeville: The Return of “Production – The emerging fabrication models as generators of new socio-technical paradigms. From the 12th to 14th June 2014 at Politecnico di Milano

For further information please contact Peter Gall Krogh

In a collaborative effort Aarhus School of Architecture (AAA) and Aarhus City works as an Urban Living Lab (ULL) entitled “DemokraCity” – developing new models for citizen involvement in solving urban issues. AAA is the key partner in the DemokraCity project extending a strong record of research based competences in Co-Design processes, Interaction Design, Service Design, Strategic Design and Strategic Urban Planning for the ULL.
For further information contact Jes Vagnby

Resilient Energy Landscapes
Energy – its production, distribution, consumption – is a key issue with high social sustainability stakes. One of our projects, anchored by a PhD research explores potential future landscapes of renewable energy in west Greenland with an eye on territorial capital and emerging peripheral regions. The project hopes to counter-balance the buzz around oil, gas and REEs in Greenland with alternative, parallel approaches.
For further information please contact Susan Carruth

Planed projects and expectations for being a DESIS lab
The reasons for taking part in the DESIS network and activities are connected to current projects and the these planed projects and activities: Together with a number of partners we have submitted an EU proposal: COPING, COproducing resilient Public servIces through eNabling diGital commons. If accepted we expect the project resilts to be shared and futher qualified in the DESIS community.

Furthermore we’d like to take advantage of the tightly woven DESIS network to explore advanced Open Production facilities, that will continue to grow in the following years and will also be a central focus point in the realization of the new Aarhus School of Architecture. Through the DESIS network and the Cluster of DoP we hope to identify collaborators and potential co-applicants for major grants sharing the ambition of establishing, designing and running large citizen-inviting open production facilities.

Furthermore we are planning a new master level education together with the Kaospilots ( entitled Resilient solutions in extreme environments. To us the DESIS network is central in qualifying and promoting these ideas and contributing to the international basis for such an education.

Please follow link for a full list of publications