Adaptive architecture as mediator between humans and earth


  • Marie Ulber HafenCity University Hamburg
  • Mona Mahall HafenCity University Hamburg



adaptive architecture, human-earth-relation, mediator, interaction, new design approach


This paper describes the potential of adaptive architecture to mediate not only technically but also socially and aesthetically between humans and the environment. Compensating global change through architecture does not change human behaviour; the challenge is to involve and activate each inhabitant. By implementing the principle of adaptation in all dimensions, a step towards a healthy and resilient relationship between humans and earth can be taken. In this holistic approach, historical and contemporary projects in Architecture and Art are discussed and systemic, explorative, social and aesthetic perspectives are taken. As a mediator adaptive architecture makes a global system experienceable in the local, supports its inhabitants to improve their relationship to the Earth and adapt.


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Author Biographies

Marie Ulber, HafenCity University Hamburg

PhD, she is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Collaborative Research Centre Adaptive Skins and Structures for the Built Environment of Tomorrow. She studied architecture, received her doctorate in Art and Design on landscape and atmosphere, and analysed architecture and atmosphere in a postdoctoral project. Her research focuses on various relationships and correlations between humans and the (built) environment.

Mona Mahall, HafenCity University Hamburg

Professor of Architecture and Art. Her work spans research, exhibitions, installations, as well as video-texts, concepts, and publications on the relation between art and architecture. Her projects and research are exhibited and published internationally, among others at Riverrun (Istanbul, 2018), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich, 2017), the Biennale di Venezia (2012, 2014). She is a Member on the Board of the CRC 1244 Adaptive Skins and Structures.


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How to Cite

Ulber, M. and Mahall, M. (2019) “Adaptive architecture as mediator between humans and earth”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 6(online), pp. 94–103. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/692019.



Architecture | Essays & Viewpoint