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Oliver Schürer, Senior Scientist Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Author, curator, editor and Senior Scientist at the Department of Architecture Theory, Vienna University of Technology. Initially trained as a master carpenter, he received his architectural training at Vienna University of Technology and graduated with a thesis on the concepts of space and time in the work of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. His Phd was involved in a research project at TU Vienna’s Center of Excellence for Autonomous Systems focusing on artificial consciousness system, with an application for buildings. Here he developed a thesis on the evolution of building automation, from functionalist concepts to contemporary research on artificial consciousness systems. He did numerous research projects, guest lectures, events, and international publications mainly on the topics “architecture as creative industry and socio-cultural field” and “technology and media in architecture.”
Since 2004, he researches within the field of study “architecture as creative industry and socio-cultural field.” As the field is situated between day job and art form he conducts various projects pertaining to the relationship between the different meanings and aspects of architecture: as design discipline for the built environment, as scene, as economical trade, as lifestyle, and last but not least, as way to earn a living. The project architektur:consulting investigated issues of architectural expertise through case studies and qualitative comparisons. Berufsfeld Architektur 1.0 (The Architectural Profession 1.0) is an inventory and time diagnosis of Austrian architects’ and planners’ life and working conditions. Carrying out the first empirical investigation about the architecture domain in German-speaking countries to obtain detailed data, it resulted in a study done with experts on situation of professional conduct, perspectives for entry into professional life, social networks, market research, creative industry, work sociology, liberal professions and architecture, and the comparison between architecture and other creative industries as contributors to national and European economies. Current Berufsfeld Architektur 2.0 uses qualitative survey on individual motives in relations to personal and societal values’ of architectural protagonists between social engagement, artistic-cultural achievements, and life and working conditions.
Within the field of study “technology and media in architecture” since 2000, Oliver Schürer conducts various research projects focusing on commercial development, experimental installations of large-scale media surfaces, and the integration of alternative social media as well as on theory work in media and technology. As part of this research he curated a couple of larger events integrating many disciplines to a multi perspectival approach on media and urbanism. In 2007, he was co-curator of the Media Architecture Conference in Vienna at “Central Saint Martins Innovation,” University of the Arts, London. He was curator of the Media Facades Conference Berlin 2008 at Deutsches Architekturzentrum DAZ (German Center for Architecture) and co-curator of Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008 (exhibition, conference, commissioned artist works, city walk). In 2010, he co-curated the Media Architecture Biennale and curated the Media Architecture Conference in Vienna (exhibition, conference, commissioned artist works). As visiting researcher at the Department of CAAD at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) (2006-2009), he co-founded the “Theory of Technology in Architecture” research.
Recently he had a book published at Springer on theory in media and technology Automatisms and Architecture (Automatismen und Architektur). Currently he is curating a permanent exhibition for the general public in a EU funded project at the border of Austria and Czech Republic on the future of energy and humankind.