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Working formats

The U-Lab – a curriculum reform project

To strengthen the cooperation work and to promote the ambitious learning and working goals, the Urban Research and Design Laboratory has developed a series of dialogue formats that determine its operation.

Field research: understanding space and choosing courses of action

The starting point of this project is the study of the project area from a spatial, functional and social perspective. The central question is how the existing situation needs to be assessed in terms of a sustainable development and how it can be used for further planning.

Learning Dialogue: understanding approaches and generating ideas

Cooperation partners, experts, stakeholders, teachers, students, and the general public discuss urban developments and project proposals on the basis of actual planning tasks and goals in the city. During the dialogue, common objectives will be identified and action strategies developed.

Roundtable: deepening knowledge and forming partnerships

As a ‘peer learning’ approach in groups with students and collaborators this Learning Dialogue based format serves for the exchange of knowledge on specific topics in a small study group. Research and planning strategies of the project work will be discussed, for instance with invited experts from the Technical University.

Local Laboratory: forming synergies and strengthening communities

In order to review approaches developed in the Urban Research and Design Laboratory, various actions are performed in-situ. Through workshops and spatial interventions, strategies and research findings can be tested directly in the planning area and a communication process with the local population can be initiated.

Use of new media: generating communication and developing knowledge

To encourage an effective communication with cooperation partners outside the university as well as with the wider public, the U-Lab increasingly fosters e-learning as an innovative teaching and learning format. The ‘U-Lab Weblog’ supports this objective and intensifies the exchange of information.

International network: exchange experiences and share knowledge

An extensive network enables the reflection of the laboratory concept. Experiences collected during the laboratory work in Berlin can be discussed at a national and international level. Previously this was done in the context of urban planning workshops in Chile (March 2011), Turkey (Istanbul, June 2011) and Germany (Bremerhaven, June 2011), to which the U-Lab was invited.