kmt / n-o-m-a-d    office for architecture, landscape & urbanism member of n-o-m-a-d
3rd Laboratory for Responsive Urbansim
(Radstadt, Austria), lecture & workshop, 2008

Program: Research, University Course Development, Workshop and Community Initiatives
Partner: Das Zentrum, Radstadt (AT)
University of Technology, Graz (AT)
Prof. Joost Meuwissen
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (US)
Prof. Christine Scott-Thomson
With: Karin Dobbler, Daniela Allmeier
KMT/n-o-m-a-d have initiated a research project entitled Transalpine Architecture Lab: Communities at a crossroads, to assist small communities around the world that face difficult decisions when it comes to future development. Whether trying to encourage economic growth, manage an already booming economy, or attract private investment interests, these small communities face real economic pressures and competition.

At the same time, decisions based on an economic growth model and influenced by planning tools often result in undesirable building forms and constructed landscapes. The consequences of these development decisions are, at times, unforeseen, others are calculable, but all have long ranging effects for the community and its citizens.
In the pilot case, UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning and the TU-Graz will work together to develop strategies for two communities facing development pressures. The village of Mukwonago located 30 miles to the southwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the village of Radstadt, located a similar distance from Salzburg, Austria will be the focus of the cross-cultural study.

More than 30 architecture and planning students will work with the communities of Mukwonago and Radstadt throughout the spring semester to understand the spatial implications of local development decisions. In addition, the two universities will compare how communities with different social and cultural histories respond to similar growth pressures.

Workshops, student exchange, a web platform, and exhibitions are all tools in use to encourage communication and collaboration amongst the students and communities. Each class will develop a strategy to capture the benefits of local development and promote sustainable environments.