The three Research topics for the next five years have been defined in a collegial manner during the development of the last scientific project and will be transversely led by the two directors of the team. Moreover, the responsibility for each topic will be entrusted to pairs of researchers.

Various profiles have been collectively identified through these three research topics : 
-Climate change, energy and territories. 
Compared metropolisation, innovative mobilities. 
Art and public spaces production/New approaches, new devices, new practices - History and epistemology of architectural and urban design. 


1st theme | Architectural design and engineering : atmospheres, innovative devices and sustainable city 

At the crossroads of various fields of interest and investigation (perception of atmospheres, semiotics, construction techniques, knowledge democratization etc.), the work undertaken within this thematic area tends to map the transformations that represent, nowadays, the architectural and urban design. The researches, both applied and fundamental that are led in this theme aim at understanding and theorizing the ongoing processes in the architectural and urban design, in order to define their nature within the world of general knowledge. The work of the researchers is built around key points such as the evaluation of concepts and protocols relating to project modelling technologies linked to what determines the qualities of an environment that has been built, perceived and designed. Understanding design strategies, the processes of formalization and genesis of spatial languages, the optimization of constructive mechanisms and their capacity to create “atmospheres” are part of the issues this research focus aims at developing in order to understand better the changes of conceptual, perceptual and contextual conditions of the actual architectural and urban design. Moreover, the research relevant to procedural aspects and relating to the issues of conceptual and technical knowledges, enable to create a new field of observation to evaluate the “quality” of architecture and urban planning projects, especially in education. One of the challenges in this topic is the further development of the mastery of the architectural expression, and its learning as a “vehicle” for our lifestyles, perceptions and representations. In synergy with the competences of the private and public parners, the team wants to speed up the process of researching and developing innovative and economically viable technological and/or organisational solutions.



2nd theme | Metropolisation, urbanity and culture of living

A panel of AMUP researchers is interested in a transdisciplinary approach that helps understand the tools and processes involved in the current metropolitan project. Relating to this theme, the AMUP Team explores the major strategies et sectoral projects that have affected the most recent metropolitan development, with specific regard to the peculiarity of the Upper Rhine transnational planning compared to the development of the western metropolitan centers on the one hand, and on the other hand to the major issues regarding the Asian metropolises planning. Regarding these territories, the Team examines the role of infrastructures related to mobility and their capacity to create local scale urbanity. The analysis of the researchers also focuses on the innovative processes in terms of dialogue between stakeholders that has enabled the creation of “hybrid stages” of exchanges and discussions, especially with the population. They also explore artistic, or more broadly “creative” approaches and their interactions with existing or projected physical spaces (town, landscape) and social spaces. It deals with analysing artistic projects (urban and rural landscaping) based on visual arts and new technologies (digital projects, creative city, smart city...) and linked to architectural and urban projects (new neighbourhoods, urban renewals etc.). These projects are treated like ways of making, or ways of considering the city. The considered stakeholders are groups or single artists who use art as a building tool or action tool linked to institutions and structures that have various interests (artistic organizations, municipal body, multidisciplinary organizations, groups of citizens etc.) but that all join the “creative city”, the patrimonialization through art and/or the urban transformation through culture. They also explore the participatory way, which is often at the heart of these approaches, and the interactions and conflicts between institutional projects and alternative ones. This focus implies taking into account the hybridization effects and the mix between different fields of knowledge and urban practices.


3rd Theme | History of spatial and social forms : origins, theories and configurations

The researchers who are interested in this theme explore the spatial and social forms on a long-term scale and from various fields : history, geography, archaeology, architecture, sociology, philosophy. They intend to understand the influence of theories related to architecture in its relation to the town, and to define new methodologies to apprehend the urban fabric and historically inherited architectural objects. They adopt “morphological”, “archaeological” and “politico-philosophical” approaches. The first ones focus on the development of a specific and rarely studied knowledge : reusing the existing condition of the town for urban projects. The second ones explore the transformation of urban fabric through the re-reading of works from geographers and urban planners of the XIXe and XXe centuries (especially germans, french and italians), along with urban planning projects that form the theoretical and practical tools to arrange the metropolises of the XXe century. Finally, the third group adopts a “politico-philosophical” approach and focuses its research on the concepts and processes linked to “urban art laboratories” of the XXe and the XXIe centuries. The researchers intend to highlight these approaches, theories and processes that have allowed the city to be transformed while adapting and reusing old strata, through juxtaposition or destruction.