Performance Oriented Design

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Performance-oriented Design

Updated 05/03/2014


>> Launched March 2013: Hensel, M. 2013. Performance-oriented Architecture - Rethinking Architecture and the Built Environment. London: AD Wiley.


If we are going to approach, as we must, a totality in the development of the environment, this will necessarily involve a re-examination and redefinition of all the components of the environment insofar as they are perceived and experienced by man.

Theodore Larson, Director and Founder of the Architecture Research Lab at University of Michigan



Dear friends and colleagues,

Performance-oriented Design is a research area of the OCEAN Design Research Association. This research area is dedicated to the formulation of an inclusive theoretical and mehodological framework for design based on the interaction between the different domains of agency that make up the human environment.

Performance-oriented Architecture, a subset of Performance-oriented Design, focuses on the formulation of an integrative theoretical and methodological framework for architectural design and sustainability. This involves key concepts such as non-discrete and non-anthropocentric architectures. The latter focuses on architecture and ecology relations and multiple species integration in architecture to help sustain ecosystems and biodiversity.

Stage one of the research has been completed with the publication of Performance-oriented Architecture - Rethinking Architecture and the Built Environment, which sets the scene by outlining a number of traits of non-discrete and performance-oriented architecture.

Stage two is currently under way and focuses on the definition of what we call intensely local architecture and local tectonics. This stage encompasses [i] the repositioning of the local in the context of current processes of globalisation, [ii] a redefinition of the notion of tectonics, and [iii] a detailed description of what may constitute intensely local architectures in todays context. Integral part of this stage is to show that the potential of so-called non-standard architecture with its associated design approach is not simply found in the fact that a wide range of architectural forms can be generated, but that architecture can be designed to relate and respond to the highly specific circumstances it meets in a particular location.

We welcome feedback and interest in collaboration.

Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel and Defne Sunguro─člu Hensel

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This website is maintained and edited by Prof. Dr. Michael U. Hensel.