Summary of approved PhD theses

Meaning of pure architecture: Ordinary – everyday – banal in thinking architecture
Ing. arch. Martina Nováková, MSc., PhD.

This thesis investigates architecture which is inspired by the everyday, ordinary and the banal and examines how this inspiration is then used and transformed within contemporary architecture. The thesis focuses on the German speaking parts of Europe and is confined to the last two decades of the twentieth century, the period within which this tendency was most commonly evidenced. No common name could be assigned to the heterogeneity of approaches and attitudes however the referenced works still achieve an associative identity. The architecture explored in this thesis demonstrates a strong recognition for local conditions as well as a confident and critical approach to the modern avant-garde. It responds to the desire for purity, honesty and often reinstates a repressed social and cultural reality. It most commonly manifested itself in the ordinary commissions received from local clients which included storage houses, social housing developments and family houses located in anonymous suburban settings. Often the buildings that resulted from these commissions were populated with references to their everydayness. The first section explores the theoretical background of the notion of the ordinary, the everyday and the banal in architectural thinking, history and aesthetics. Long before the mentioned group of architects, there existed artists, architects and theoreticians who were interested in the ordinary. This forms a theoretical foundation for the later examined case studies. The following section is comprised of five case studies which illustrate different ways in which the ordinary is transformed within the architectural process. The thesis does not intend to list differences and thereby compare the work of European architects. It aims instead to examine the method by which these architects utilise and transfigure the everyday, the ordinary and the commonplace in their work. Consequently, it tries to identify what specific motivations drove this tendency. In order to understand this architectural approach, a hermeneutic method of interpretation is used. Rather than trying to make conclusions about examined buildings, this section focuses on their background and their orientation towards the ordinary. At the end the common aspects of this architecture are treated as thematic independents and explored separately as individual topics. The final section is an interpretative essay which explains the way the ordinary, the everyday and the banal was transformed in the work of the examined architects. It focuses primarily on the topic of images and reality and how these can be utilised to achieve architecture which is generally comprehendible and contextually appropriate.

Housing for the marginalised Roma families in Slovakia
Mgr. art. Michal Sládek, PhD.

The dissertation thesis approaches a complex problem of substandard housing in an excluded Roma settlement in Slovakia from the point of view of architectural practice. The social exclusion of a part of the Roma population and related substandard housing are long-term burdens of the Slovak society. In the recent history of Slovakia, social differences have increased, housing situation has worsened and and both social tension and extremism have risen. This thesis examines the possibilities to react to this situation from the position of an architect. It sets two main aims, on the one hand to provide an overview of the issue of Roma settlements for architects and on the other hand, to verify possibilities of implementing a participatory approach in a new design of housing in excluded areas. In the first place, the thesis shortly introduces the current discourse of social sciences in the field of Roma studies, explains the context of the culture of poverty and human rights. It covers the history of formation of housing structures of in Roma settlements, it depicts the current situation of all Roma housing structures in Slovakia, and explains the state-offered solutions. It maps relevant architectural projects in the field and studies the Roma participation in selected localities. Thus, this research demythologises some of demythologising of some of the inherent notions of the Roma issue and provides any relevant data for their further use in architecture. The second aim of the thesis is based on an experiment. A housing project in the settlement of Kojatice was developed in a close cooperation with the local municipality, non-governmental organisation People in Need Slovakia and the Faculty of architecture of Slovak University of Technology. The project was realised from 2012 to 2014 and included ground research, a workshop of participatory architecture, and two seasons of self-help construction when six housing units were built. Also, six construction workshops were held being open for volunteering architects. The outcomes of the experimental project prove the potential of the marginalised Roma families taking an active part in improving their housing needs and their capacity to participate both on design and realisation level. The thesis results in a model housing solution for revitalising existing settlements. The topic of the dissertation thesis is urgent. The situation in Slovakia of this date reveals that the neglect of problems of the poorest part of the society is leading to the rise of social tension and extremism. Such a tension affects the society in a negative manner and raises the menace of violence. To reverse this trend, it is therefore necessary to engage all the potential forces. The conclusion of the dis-sertation states that the vacant potential is in engaging architects and mainly Roma families in the process of solving their housing needs.

Type in architecture
Ing. arch. Karol Trnovský, PhD.

The research area is the lettering in architecture. The subject of this dissertation thesis doesn’t include the corporate identity, advertising communication and systems with the sole purpose to navigate. The main focus are the typeface characters that gain another creative and expressive dimensions in the architectural environment. This letterings don’t fulfill the primary role only, but they have an important position in the final appearance of architectural works. The thesis describes the context between architecture and Latin script since its establishment through an important historical period. Detailed mapping the relationship between lettering and architecture in each direction of the 20th century and in the works of contemporary architects, architectural studios.

Design and the culture of the internal environment: The development of residential interior design with a focus on the design of industrially produced furniture during the end of the 50’s to early 70’s of the 20th century in Slovakia
Mgr. Katarína Trnovská, ArtD.

The aim of this dissertation thesis is to summarize residential interior and in particular furniture design during the end of the 50. to early 70. of the 20th century in Slovakia. This work further highlights the development of post-war housing in Czechoslovakia in the wider cultural and economic context and evaluates the quality of furniture produced by national furniture companies in Slovakia. This paper also analyzes the factors determining the functional shape and level of furnishings through the work of selected designers Viktor Holestak Holubar Frantisek Jirak Magda Sepova Jan Simo Svrcek and Jiri Petrivy.

Healthy designing of interiors: Modern materials for office interiors
Ing. arch. Ľubica Fábri, ArtD.

The dissertation thesis Healthy designing of interiors, Modern Materials for Office Interiors discusses the professional selection and usage of modern materials by designing the interior equipment and of contemporary office interiors. The main goal of the thesis was to research the main criteria that make a material suitable for using in offices and by the office equipment production from the complex health view, as well as to find, collect and described such concrete materials. In the analytic part it is defined, how important is the role of the competent choice of materials for the complex health of an office working place. Through eleven basic material families (classification by material library matériO Paris) are described the most important and most interesting modern materials for using in office interior design. In the practical part of the thesis was used observation that present offices interiors in Slovakia do not provide enough acoustic comfort. A sketch of simple noise absorbing interior component with using wool felt, a regrowing material, was designed. The possibilities of application of this material were further investigated. As the secondary product of the practical part of the thesis has been created a data base, a kind of a catalogue with text information, pictures of selected materials and 3D samples collection of this materials as well. The data base with complex, independent information of most recommended modern materials for using at the field of office furniture and office interior design from the view of actual knowledge can be used in the future by different users, like designers, architects, producers, students and lecturers as well. In the final part of the thesis are expressed ideas for crucial changes in focus of the design profession. These changes are needed in the near future due to pressing need of solution for healthy spaces, healthy environment and global problems such as wastage related to modern materials.

Copy as a method of restoration of the lost heritage values
Ing. arch. Barbora Vachová, PhD.

Copy as a method of restoration of the lost heritage is being used more in last years than it was usual. We can see that statements of the experts and professionals became some-what more liberal. The rehabilitation of the cultural and national identity that also suffered damage in the level of cultural heritage (in the case of the war, armed conflict, natural disaster, act of terrorism…) is the main contribution of the method. Within the current scientific knowledge, we analyzed the terminology used with the issue. Then we analyzed the approaches to the copy method mentioned through the history. It was developed from the methods of restoration of the antique work of arts in the 18. Century, partly it can be seen in the architectural renovations (purism, hypothetic restoration) of the 19/20 century. It was theoretically defined in the beginning of the 20th century, and practically is being used mostly after the World Wars. The losses of the heritage were huge and it was necessary to start the rehabilitation in the social, psychological and also cultural level. Therefore, the local laws concerning monument restoration were debated internationally and from these discussions emerged recom-mendations applicable in the international range. The research is aimed at the analysis of the realizations of the copy method. From the objective criterions, we define the way, how the material, surface and the way of destruction can be the decisive factor for choosing the method of restoration. From the subjective criterions we evaluated how the copy of the building is able to transfer the values of the original building and which are the strong and weak aspects of this method. We also evaluated the authenticity of the realization of copy because it is one of the main criterions of the process of inscription to the list of the World heritage sites – UNESCO. In the second part, we compared the copy method with selected more common and more accepted methods of restoration of architectural heritage. Then we touted the case studies of rehabilitation of the fallen church tower from Zacharovce village at the Faculty of architecture at the SUT in Bratislava. The choice of the method of rehabilitation was without restriction (clearly the decision of a student), so we got different views on the problem. At the end, we summarized the research results, the strong and weak aspects of the copy method, also the comparison with the other methods. Finally, we verified the hypotheses set out in the introduction. We also defined the conditions for the use of copy method in the reha-bilitation of the lost values in the monuments restoration.

Redundant churches and big chapels of Christian churches in Slovakia
Ing. arch. Róbert Erdélyi, PhD.

Abstract The situation across Europe and the continents demographic trends give us an idea of the future development of the existing problem of underutilization, abandonment and subsequent redundancy of major churches and chapels in Slovakia. Possible consequent losses will be irreversible and will have a direct impact on our tangible and intangible cultural heritage due to the fact that religious monuments are an integral part of local and regional identity and thus form the basis for insight into and understanding of our culture and history. It turns out that the problem of abandonment of sacral buildings in Slovakia has so far been “nonexistent” because it was not named and monitored. Within the definition of the issue we had first analysed practice from abroad and current state of scientific knowledge. Next we established and specified the terminology associated with the issue and then we set benchmarks for monitoring the state of utilization of the sacred buildings. We also focused on the analysis of the current state of the selected region and the causes of this state stemming from the historical development of approximately the last 150 years. We have chosen several practices that have the potential for successful use in our specific conditions. In order to define these practices we overviewed selected international approaches to the problem of disused churches and chapels and compared these practices and their application to our environment. Subsequently, we have established a methodology and identified relevant categories for the purpose of monitoring and inventorisation of liturgical objects with emphasis on their use. The research part of the work was the main focus on field research, concretely, selection of the objects falling into one of the monitored categories defined in the introduction and subsequent data collection for inventories of these objects. The collected data was quantitatively evaluated and conclusions for further procedures were drawn. In the next phase of our work, we focused on the definition of scope for saving of the defined objects and application of the scope to the conditions in the reference area based on the practical experience from saving other endangered historical buildings of this kind. The analysis of model examples and ideological and theoretical studies on the use of sacred buildings undergoing abandonment is focusing mainly on their physical rescue, acceptability and sustainability of the chosen solutions, which essentially require compromise approach by all stakeholders to make the saving of sacred buildings possible. After evaluating all partial inputs of the research work we have summarized findings into general recommendations for legislative changes, procedures of state- and local governments as well as recommendations for the churches (organizations) who are majority owners and managers of such facilities.

Communication design as a tool for presentation of region
Mgr. art. Martina Jánošdeáková, ArtD.

Dissertation thesis focuses on presentation of culture, particularly theater art in contemporary period with escalating lack of interest in this art and outlines possible solutions of this problem in conditions of Kosice State Theater and Festival of Central European Theaters, where author had been working for more than 9 years as external designer. Thesis first looks into communication design in chosen theater institutions in Slovakia and abroad, where it observers positive examples helping as inspiration for own solutions but also observers negative examples showing extent and depth of given problem. The next part deals with management of theater from the perspective of graphical designer, it brings overview of information from marketing area which helps to broaden the designer´s scope from classical theatrical poster to resolving promotion of the theater as overall problem. In the following part, practical research had been performed focused on theater goers as well as leading theater authors, their opinions on this topic (surveys, interviews). Based on the gathered information from chosen theatrical institutions, marketing and survey results taking to account local theater phenomena (state institution, difficulties with changes) and festival, I started to form club of theater addicts Theatre Addict and its individual tools such as printer products, web page, application, social media, shop Divadelna Shopa, as well as visual communication of Festival of Central European Theaters taken into account its project Theatre Addict. This project uniquely approaches the modern spectator, gives him interesting information from theater world, it leaves him space to express his opinion, encourages him in his personal growth and this way it is beneficial tool building better image of theater, emphasizing the necessity of this art in modern society full of violence and intolerance, but also a tool enabling the theater to know the opinion and attitude of the spectator. Thesis offers necessary impulse not only for education of this problematique at schools but for the improvement of the relationship between customer theater organizer and designer in praxis.

Keywords: doctoral study, PhD thesis, FA STU, architecture, PhD students, research, design, PhD study