ResearchLab 2021
Call & Information


– managing hybridity at home and in the city​




In the framework of the International Building Exhibition (IBA_Vienna) on “New Social Housing”, which will take place in Vienna in 2022, the TU Wien and the University of Vienna established a research cluster (“ResearchLab”) to encourage interdisciplinary, critical and comparative research in the field of social housing and urban development. To accomplish this goal, the ResearchLab started in 2018 with a series of annual international Summer Schools on relevant aspects of social housing.

In 2021, the summer school will turn to the far-reaching functional changes and challenges that appeared or exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic and changed, at least temporarily, the character and meaning of “home”: from a simple domicile with specific functions (recreation, intimacy) to a space in which residents had to isolate themselves be it alone, or in family or other living arrangements. For many, their home has turned into a setting that abruptly had to meet various needs at once, including work-place and learning environment, child care and further care duties. Regardless of extremely different urban, social and cultural contexts, the experience of confinement, the need to stay at home and manage basically all aspects of the everyday at one place proved a massive stress test for individuals and households all over the world. It also raised questions for post pandemic architecture and urban design.

In this context, the summer school invites to discuss the housing problems and consequences of the pandemic. A main focus is on a reappraisal of the concepts of “home” and “household”: Is an appropriate response to strive for designs that manage to cater all these functions in one dwelling? Or is there rather a need to defend the home against these demands? What does it do to individuals and households when they have to balance work, school and care within their home? How can people best be supported and relieved from pressures and frictions that arise in tense and crowded spaces?

In a week of exchange and collaboration, we look for responses to these questions and invite contributions from all academic disciplines.


Potential themes could be:


– Multifunctionality and boundary blurring: Which practices emerged to integrate the multiple functions of home, work-space, learning environment, care, and to manage the fluidity between different forms of work and life at home? And how can architecture and urban design help mitigate stress and frictions?

– Adaptation strategies: How do people – individually and collectively – adapt the meaning and functionality of their home to the context of the pandemic, e.g. for schooling demands?

– Home Care vs Care Home: In many households, manifold care work has to be fulfilled at home, often including professional care workers. these constellations affect the experience of home?

– Housing and living in the (post)pandemic city: During the lockdowns, and with many services and facilities unavailable, the supportive potential of local communities gained re-appraisal. How can this trend be sustained to build and sustain caring communities? And how can it be supported by architecture and urban design?

During the summer school, we will discuss research findings on such issues. Building on these, we will also work conceptually by example of an urban area in Vienna.

Due to expectable travel limitations, the summer school will be organized in a hybrid way. Details about how online and offline formats will be arranged will be provided before summer and as soon as we can take an informed decision.

The ResearchLab invites

  • Studies on hybridity and boundary management in social housing

  • Studies on the (historic) relation between (social) housing and (paid and unpaid) work

  • Studies on home and community care arrangements

  • Studies on architecture and design related to hybridity in (social) housing

The ResearchLab is open for early stage academics (predoc, postdoc) from all disciplinary contexts as well as for housing activists and representatives of housing and urban policy initiatives who want to contribute to the above-mentioned topics.



The documents to be submitted include:

+ Exposé with a description of the research approach (objective/research question/
methodology) or project that will be presented (max. 2 pages)

+ CV and letter of motivation of the applicant (max. 1 page each)

–> Submit to:

Participants (maximum 15) are selected by an international Advisory Board.



There is no fee for participating in the Summer School. Travel costs will be covered up to 500 Euros.
Free accommodation will be provided.

Deadline for applications: April 30 2021