Editorial 4/2023

Christian Hanus

Cite this article
Hanus, C. (2023) ‘Editorial’, Architecture Papers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU, 28(4), pp. 1-2. https://www.doi.org/10.2478/alfa-2023-0019


This issue of Architecture Papers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU once again deals with a remarkable and diverse collection of current research topics in the building industry, from urban planning scale with the question of the development of the river banks after the Danube River regulation in Bratislava, through visual art in public spaces, the application of artificial intelligence in architecture and methods of analysis in historical buildings, to the question of the colour scheme in the built environment for the ageing population. The apparent heterogeneity of researched topics is united by the fact that they are all particularly topical in their own way and bear particular relevance for competent and responsible planners today. The different contents embody thematic “mosaic stones”, which are of decisive relevance in the processing of complex planning tasks. This statement will be clarified below.

Architectural alchemy: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for inspired design – a comprehensive study of creativity, control, and collaboration by Lenka Petráková and Vladimír Šimkovič

The tools available to planners also have a central influence on the planning and realisation of architectural projects. The use of artificial intelligence represents at least as significant a change as the switch from fabric drawings to CAD in architecture. The influence of these tools is not limited only to the design work process, but also has a significant impact on the planning results, i.e. not just the visualisation, but also the influence on the creative thought and development process. This technology is still in its infancy; however, it is already necessary to learn how to use it responsibly at this stage.

Colour in the environment for older adults by Monika Hencová and Veronika Kotradyová

Responsible planners are aware that their activities must take into account the needs of the society. In an ageing society, the need for an age-appropriate design of architectural spaces is also becoming increasingly relevant. Colours and textures of materials and surfaces play a central role here. These not only have aesthetic, visual, acoustic, and haptic qualities, but their texture is also pertinent to orientation and accessibility. The built environment is characterised by an age-appropriate living space design. Direct interactions—be it synergies, conflicting objectives, or tensions—with the aforementioned “mosaic pieces” of urban planning, artistic design, and analytical methodology of historic buildings are obvious.

Fine art as an integral part of architecture: Political and social aspects of the formation of this synthesis in the 20th century by Peter Mazalán and Katarína Morávková

It is particularly important for planners to analyse the role of visual arts in architecture. Not only in public discourse but also in professional debates in planning circles, the intentions behind the use of art in public space are rarely addressed. All too often, the discussion of the topic is limited solely to formal and aesthetic aspects. However, the influence exerted by clients, architects or even the public, the intentions and needs being pursued, the content being conveyed or the aesthetic requirements being satisfied are central questions in planning. The enclosed article impressively demonstrates the changes in this interplay and thus provides a critical illustration of this question for the current approach to art in public spaces and its reception.

Rise of container structures along the Danube River in Bratislava: Transformation of the embankment after the river regulation by Monika Bočková

The changing times with their economic, political, and social structures and values have a significant influence on how public urban spaces are dealt with and on ideas for its design. The planner’s room for design and his role in carrying out his work are subject to different framework conditions over time. This change is impressively demonstrated by the example of the banks of the Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia, a city with a very special historical dynamic. The spectrum ranges from free-standing individual palaces in the interwar period to utopias with container-like building structures and the neoliberal, property market-driven project developments of today. These are exciting reflections on the analytical positioning of today’s world.

Presentation of older layers and findings on historical architecture using the method of analytical presentation: Example of the Old Town Hall in Bratislava, Slovakia by Andrej Botek

The design of urban and rural spaces always interacts with existing buildings. These are often of historical, aesthetic, and urban planning significance. Treatment of these identity-forming testimonies is also subject to change over time. An important prerequisite for dealing with these buildings appropriately is to analyse their condition, their historical layers, and the abundance of traces they contain or leave. This forms an essential basis for decisions on their preservation, use, and urban contextualisation. New methods may provide important assistance here. This is another important “piece in the mosaic” of planning expertise.

These exemplary “mosaic stones” illustrate the ever-expanding and increasingly complex picture of the competences of responsible planners. Therefore, may they be invited to constantly engage with the content of all these different topics and incorporate all of this into their work. Researchers and teachers have the responsibility of constantly creating new milestones and communicating these to planners, thereby contributing to the high-quality design of our living spaces. In this way, may this issue of Architecture Papers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU make a further contribution.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, river regulation, historical architecture, editorial, colour, analytical presentation, urban planning, container structures, fine art, Danube, older adults