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The Department Sociology of Architecture and Housing was established in 1997 with the intention of developing a close interdisciplinary collaboration with the Department of Housing and Design. Since September 2011 it is led by Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Christine Hannemann. Between 1997 and 2011 the department was led by Prof. Dr. rer.pol. habil. Tilman Harlander.

The central focus of the department lays on – in addition to the introduction to the social and cultural perspectives into the architecture and city planning studies – the interplay between aspects and dimensions of the social change and how the needs, and interests of the human being can affect the architectural and urban transformation within the built environment. Topics such as: history of housing development, sociology of architecture and city urban planning, politics of dwelling and the impact of the demographic and social change on architecture and urban planning in both the urban and rural contexts are integrated in the teaching and research activities.

Research interest and main topics of the department are i.a. transformation of housing structures, social and urban forms and structures, settlement development of non-metropolitan areas, perspectives of industrial cities as well as history of housing and settlement development. In addition, the research and teaching focus are dealing with participation processes: methods and tools, spatial expression of social inequality, and social changes and structures (lifestyles, environment, and stratification).

The department basically aims to gain more validity for the user perspective (or classic “Utilitas“) in architecture and urban contexts who very often gets neglected as well as to bring both theory and practice on the same levels but also to fill in the gap between both by integrating the research on real projects and topics for development.

Current research Topics are:

Long-term application-oriented research in the fields of suburbanization and re-urbanization, housing policy, urban residential, building communities, qualitative and quantitative empirical research.

Target groups:
Universities and research institutes, foundations, ministries, cities, and municipalities