The [applied] Foreign Affairs Lab of the Institute of Architecture of the University of Applied Arts Vienna investigates spatial, infrastructural, environmental and cultural phenomena in rural and urban Sub-Saharan Africa. Each [a]FA lab centers on a distinct question and clear mission and culminates in a field trip through which rural growth patterns, environmental concepts, urban prototypes, imaginary art spaces, and relational physical interventions are produced. [a]FA is performed in collaboration with international guests and with partner universities. [a]FA is commissioned by NGOs, cultural institutions, artist collectives and individuals.
Invited by WochenKlausur as “agent of change” [a]FA jumps off the African Continent to Alaska: [a]FA re-locate: kivalina is conceptualized as a collaborative investigation on the water-, waste- and sanitation situation of Kivalina by an [a]FA experts team and the community itself. Via social media – such as facebook – facts and ideas are exchanged to come up with visionary low-budget solutions for infrastructural, spatial and environmental challenges which Kivalina is currently facing.
Baerbel Mueller is a practicing architect and an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Architecture (IoA) at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. From 2002 to 2011, she has been directing student realization projects and transdisciplinary courses at the studio of Wolf D. Prix. In October 2011, she established the IoA lab [applied] Foreign Affairs. In 2008, she founded nav_s baerbel mueller [navigations in the field of architecture and urban research within diverse cultural contexts].
Anna Pleimer holds a Bachelor degree in Water Management and Environmental Engineering from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, where she is currently doing her Master program. In her study she mainly focuses on sanitary and hydraulic engineering. Additionally she deals with certain aspects of aquatic ecology.
Sebastian Stanzl is a master student of Applied Limnology – Aquatic Ecosystem Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. He holds a bachelors degree in environmental engineering. He is currently writing his master thesis about sustainable fish and water use in Burkina Faso within the framework of SUSFISH. In his research he mainly deals with water health, aquatic ecosystem modeling, fish based assessment of human impacts and development research.
Theresa Theuretzbacher studies “Water Management and Environmental Engineering” at the University of Life Sciences, Vienna. Within this master program she is focusing on cultural water and groundwater management, settlement water management, waste management and constructive hydraulic engineering. Theresa attended an [applied] Foreign Affairs Lab in Ghana, where she worked together with villagers to improve the water supply.