Campus as Vision
and Practice of Local Educational Landscapes
Campus Efeuweg
2019 – 2021


In the municipal practice in Germany institutions of education and childcare increasingly form networks. These so called Local Educational Landscapes (“Bildungslandschaften”) develop common visions and implement strategic concepts. Often they are supported by politics and local authorities. Some of these Local Educational Landscapes are not only concentrating on pedagogy but are also understood as projects of urban development, urban design and architecture. Similar projects can be found in a number of countries, especially in Europe and North America. The previous DFG-project Local Educational Landscapes and Urban Development had analysed such socio-spatial Educational Landscapes in Germany in eight case studies. An important result of this research is that the campus as urban figure is central in the visions of local stakeholders. Furthermore, campuses can be understood as a highly condensed form of a Local Educational Landscape. The project Campus as Vision and Practice of Local Educational Landscapes builds up on these findings.

In a first project module we will analyse the conception and implementation of such campuses. The focus will be mutual development of networks and their visions. Methods for the data collection will be group discussions with relevant stakeholders and observations of committee meetings. In the second project module we will analyse everyday practices of users (primarily adolescents) on the campuses, especially processes of appropriation and spatial perceptions. Methods for the data collection will be spatial analyses, observations, standardised interviews and narrative maps.



Three perspectives characterise the research:

  • The inner view, which is realised by capturing opinions and practices.
  • The focus on collective activities, which is ascertained in form of verbal and spatial actions of social groups.
  • The process perspective, which is realised in a two-year long-term study.

The actor-network theory is used as theoretical framework. Applied as heuristic concept it allows to overcome the dichotomisation of human and nonhuman actors. Therefore the nexus between materiality and the social can be analysed. This allows us to focus on the socio-material reality of accesses/accessibility and transition on campuses since they are given particular attention in the pedagogical and spatial concepts.



The key research questions are:

  • In which way do networks and their visions of campus develop and which meanings and significance are attributed to the campus as urban form in view of pedagogical and spatial aims?
  • In which way do the perception, usage, appropriation and design of space of the local actors show on the respective campus and what socio-material reality of accesses/accessibility and transition develops on campuses?