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For the third time, BLOXHUB has hosted a symposium for the DARE network. A network that connects the leading research and educational institutions in the country to collaborate and share knowledge on architecture and urbanism.

On April 8, BLOXHUB hosted a symposium for the DARE network – the Danish Network for Architecture and Urbanism Research. This network brings together seven of the biggest research- and educational institutions in Denmark on the subject of architecture, urbanism, and landscape planning.

The institutions represented are University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Aalborg University, Aarhus School of Architecture, The Royal Danish Academy, DTU – Technical University of Denmark, and Roskilde University.

At the symposium, the different institutions presented some of their work in the field and their approaches to methodologies, challenges, and themes of interest. From circular construction, the use of data, digitalization, and the threat of climate change, to how architecture and urbanism interlink with questions of justice, representation, and health.

Through these presentations, many of the speakers also highlighted the interdisciplinarity of their work and the importance of holistic approaches. The DARE network only increases the possibility of knowledge sharing and inspiring one another.

Funding for the Future

In 2020 BLOXHUB co-initiated the DARE network, and this symposium was the third of its kind. But this is just the beginning – the network recently received further funding from Grundejernes Investeringsfond to continue throughout the coming years.

This means that the network can continue to have symposiums, and conferences, create exhibitions and engage students on the research projects characterizing the DARE network. Furthermore, the new funding will make it possible to increase the frequency of activities, and thus help strengthen the bonds between the different institutions.

One of the aims of the network is to help qualify and accelerate the development of new sustainable solutions for the urban environment through research and education, and it is also the ambition that DARE will inspire and influence practitioners and policymakers to practice architecture and urban planning with greater care.

Until recently, the research and educational institutions that work with architecture and urbanism didn’t have a forum or a tradition for sharing their knowledge, experiences, and research. The continuation of DARE is therefore an important contribution and will help ensure future collaboration and development of both research and education within the field.

Finding Common Ground

At the symposium, the representatives of the different institutions also had their eyes on the future. One of the aims of the recent symposium was to find a series of themes and questions of mutual interest between the different institutions. A common horizon to share.

Through group discussions on this topic, the various researchers from the seven institutions highlighted different topics and themes, including questions about representation, diversity, and methodologies. Other themes involved rethinking the use of materials and high and low tech.

But the recurrent overall theme of the visions and ideas was sustainability: How to go from talking to practice, how to think on a bigger scale and include issues of biodiversity and blue and green infrastructure, and what climate adaptation and aesthetics will look like in the future.

Another question hinged on regulation and interaction between academia and government. What are the researchers and their institution’s role when it comes to regulations and policy? Should researchers go into discussions on the subject, which regulations should be addressed, and how should research bear upon questions of power and decision making?

Finally, many participants emphasized how important collaboration and interdisciplinarity are for finding innovative solutions for the challenges ahead. All in all, there were plenty of interesting subjects to continue to work on within DARE in the future. The next meetup for the network will be in the fall.

If you want to know more about the DARE network or our Science Forum in general, please reach out to BLOXHUB Science Director, Pernille Berg.