ResArc - Swedish Research School in Architecture

The Swedish research school ResArc is a collaboration between the schools of Architecture at KTH, Chalmers, LTH, and Umeå University with the aim of strengthening architectural research, education and collaborative projects at national and international levels. ResArc was launched in February 2012 and is coordinated and administered by the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at Lund University. ResArc received funding from the Swedish Research council FORMAS 2011 in a total effort that also includes the two strong research environments Architecture in Effect and Architecture in the Making.

   Objectives, Policy and Themes

ResArc aims at establishing a solid, discipline-specific platform for research education in Architecture that is clearly related to other fields of research and to architectural practice. ResArc provides an educational programme with a mix of pedagogical formats such as courses, seminars, symposia and workshops, all in a learning culture that encourages theoretical investigations as well as experimental and practice-oriented research approaches; ResArc promotes inter- and transdisciplinary research of a high quality with the publication aims of international peer-reviewed journals, public debates, specialized thematic publishing, experimental publication forms and exhibitions.

A variety of issues are currently calling attention to architecture research. Migration and climate change causes new social conditions to appear and these global issues and urgencies pose challenges to urban environments that need to be dealt with in architecture research: new modes of communication, managerial changes in city planning, technical developments within building construction, demand new kinds of design processes and is radically changing architectural practice. Architecture research needs to take an active, creative and critical role in this ongoing transformation.

New disciplinary connections between the academic domains of architecture, geography, political sciences and environmental research make new types of knowledge production possible. Newly emerged practice-based approaches to architectural research will continue to challenge the traditional design of research approaches. Although rooted in traditional methods, architectural research is – compared to traditional research disciplines – in its youth, and its natural co-joined involvement with theory, professional practice and societal effect, has recently proved to be a good academic position when it comes to developing new research methods. This possibility is acknowledged and fully utilized within ResArc.


Doctoral students within the field of architecture are welcome to apply for admission to ResArc. PhD students apply with the consent of their departments. Applications are made on ResArc Application Form (can be found on the website) and need to include an individual study plan (containing a project description and time plan), motivation letter, CV + photo. Interested candidates submit their applications to the ResArc Directory, who decides on admission. Applications from PhD students at the schools of architecture in ResArc (KTH, LTH, UMU and CTH) are prioritized.

What’s in it?

ResArc PhD students have the unique opportunity to take part in a national wide re-search school in architecture. This means developing their own PhD projects in close collaboration and exchange with national and international actors in the area of architecture research. ResArc PhD students have priority for ResArc courses and other activities with limited numbers of participants. Admitted PhD students are presented on the ResArc website with project description, photo and publications. PhD students can apply for and take part in ResArc activities (courses, seminars etc) without being admitted to the research school.

What’s expected?

ResArc PhD students are expected to take active part in the activities and courses ar-ranged by ResArc. Enrolment in ResArc should be noted in the PhD student’s individual study plan. PhD students in ResArc are also expected to present their research project at part time seminars, to which all ResArc PhD Students and supervisors are invited, during their study period.

Applications are made on the ResArc Application Form () and sent to

resarc [at] arkitektur.lth.se. The application should also include:

• Individual study plan

• Description of research project (200-350 words)

• Letter of motivation

• CV

• Photo

Steering Committee

ResArc is guided by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from the Schools of Architecture at LTH, Chalmers, KTH and UMU as well as representatives for the two strong research environments Architecture in Effect and Architecture in the Making.


Chair of Steering Committee: Peter Ullmark (Designfakulteten)


Director: Lars-Henrik Ståhl (LTH)


Architecture School Representatives

KTH Meike Schalk

CTH Krystyna Pietrzyk, Monica Billger

LTH Gunnar Sandin, Mattias Kärrholm



Strong Research Environment Representatives

Architecture in Effect Meike Schalk, deputy Sten Gromark;

Architecture in the Making Fredrik Nilsson, deputy Daniel Koch


External Representative: Jacob Sahlqvist, Swedish Association of Architects


Coordinator: Catharina Sternudd (co-opted)

PhD Student Representatives

The doctoral students Anna Maria Orru (CTH), Ida Sandström (LTH), Hannes Frykholm (KTH) and Helena Westerlind (KTH) take shared responsibility for PhD student representation in the Steering Committee and the Programme Group.


Associate Partners

APULA (Architecture and Planning for the Urban Landscape, SLU)

Designfakulteten (Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education)

Bygguniversitetet (Swedish Construction Universities)

Architecture and Water (Luleå University of Technology)

Faculty of Fine Applied and Performing Arts (University of Gothenburg)


ResArc Advisory Group / Scientific Committee

Mark Jarzombek, Prof. Architecture, MIT;

Dana Cuff, Prof. Architecture, UCLA;

Hilde Heynen, Prof. Architectural Theory, Katholieke Univ. Leuven;

Ingrid Elam, Pro vice Chancellor of Malmö University;

Michael Biggs, Prof. Univ. of Hertfordshie UK

Sven-Olov Wallenstein, philosopher, Associate Professor, Södertörn University.

ResArc Programme Group

ResArc Programme Group makes sure that ResArc’s policy and pedagogical profile is applied in all ResArc’s course activities. The Programme Group consist of one ResArc representative from each school.



Architecture School Representatives

LTH: Gunnar Sandin, chair, ResArc Director of Research Studies;

KTH: Daniel Koch;

CTH: Marie Strid;

UMU: Ana Betancour



ResArc Direction and Coordination

ResArc is directed and coordinated by a team of researchers and administrators at the School of Architecture, Lund University.


Director: Professor Lars-Henrik Ståhl

Associate Director: Professor Peter Ullmark

Coordinator: Associate Senior Lecturer Catharina Sternudd

Director of Research Studies: Gunnar Sandin

Program Leader: Mattias Kärrholm

Administrator: Anna Wahlöö

Economist: Katarina Lans