Failed Architecture Workshop


Thu, 10.11.16 - Sun, 13.11.16    
all day


USR Shopschule
Bahnhofstrasse 48, Witten

Event Type

Department: Intervention as a Strategy
Information on registration here.


In Failed Architecture’s ‘Cutting up the Campus’-workshop, participants will explore the historical development and possible futures of the ‘campus’ from a wide range of different perspectives. The on-site analysis of the large, brutalist Ruhr University Bochum, the private, postmodern Witte-Herdecke Universitat and of course Urban School Ruhr’s (con)temporary storefront space will provide a starting point for further research into the social, economical and political aspects this specific architectural typology. The workshop’s intense, collective research will provide a sound base for speculations on the future of these and other educational spaces.

Thu. 10.11 – Introduction to FA at USR storefront (N4)
Fri. 11.11 – Site visits to local universities and start of the workshop (raum café)
Sat. 12.11 –  Working session (raum café)
Sun. 13. 11 – Working session (morning) + Presentations (afternoon)

Preparation work:
Please check Failed Architecture website and pick some readings of your liking, to get an idea of our approach to architecture, the urban landscape and space in general.




Failed Architecture (FA) is a research studio based in Amsterdam, running a well-known website with the same name and a series of travelling workshops. FA aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – what’s actually happening on the ground, how it is being perceived and how it is represented to a wider public.

Observing and living in a time of crises, speculations, vacancy, mega developments and the inflation of the architectural profession, we are often astonished by what is happening to our built environment – both physically and ‘behind the scenes’. Simultaneously, the best visited online architectural media are preoccupied with the eye candy produced by architects, without being critical about current or future developments. We feel that there is a demand for more holistic, 360-degree observations that lay bare the downsides of urban development and architecture in order to learn from past and contemporary failures.

By using the maxim ‘failed architecture’ we aim to raise questions. What is failure? Which criteria do we/ can we use to define failure? According to whom has something failed? If perceived as failed, what caused this and what are its effects? We understand architecture as the outcome of larger urban dynamics, which are therefore at the core of our research. By exploring a wide range of viewpoints – e.g. residents, architects, planners, developers and artists – we aim to provide some possible answers to the aforementioned questions. This will provide us with broad insights into how the relationships between design, politics, economics, culture and human behavior can literally and representatively (re)shape our built environment.