Theory and practice of the Department for Spatial Arts and Lighting Design are aligned and tuned to one classical theme: the empty room, which is structured and animated using the two magic tools of architecture – walls and light. Our teaching and research work defines its responsibilities, its prestige and its expertise in terms of the polarity, the tension, the correlation between cubic capacity (permitted for the physical structure) and enclosed void, between inside and outside, light and shade.
The calculable and verifiable parameters of construction work (in other words everything that can be measured, weighed, examined and reproduced anywhere and at any time) are consequently just the factual baselines for our program. What this program primarily strives for is: to teach the arts of perception and awareness, to analyze the numerous means of expression and configuration in our subject area and to decipher both the objective and the subjective implications - accordingly to describe an architecture that always demands personal, affective assessments and decisions as well. It is a dynamic concept, not a static one, and the contents covered by the course interact on an interdisciplinary level with History of Art, Philosophy and other humanities.
Like the teaching curriculum, research will also concentrate on analyzing exemplary edifices, their construction, their reception and their architectural peculiarities. To quote Paul Valery, "The world acquires value only through its extremes and endures only through moderation" - architecture seems to combine the two: only that which is unusual or exceptional can stand the test of time – only those visions and projects that transcend the commonplace and the familiar, which not only stand for their creators but also for the epoch and the culture that made them possible, can survive. The aim is to investigate and document the personal, social, economical and intellectual/historical conditions under which these structures were built, how they were planned, developed and completed, from the very first step (including the "horror vacui" phobia, the fear of embarking on something new that seizes an architect when confronted with an empty sheet of paper) through to their final integration in the surroundings, and to allow these issues to flow into one's own thoughts and productive work as the baseline, the "road map" and the theoretical superstructure. All this should be viewed against the backdrop, and in due consideration of that dialectic tension between the wall and the room, inside and outside, light and shade.