Summary of approved PhD theses

Visual communication design in the municipality development program
Mgr. art. Barbora Kopnická, ArtD.

This PhD thesis analyses the role of design of visual communication within the processes that support and retain sustainable development in municipalities. The initial data for research are defined by analyzing the utilization of design manual in structure of private and nonprofit sector and in municipalities of the state. The acquired information completed with key terms definitions from design of visual communications and sustainable development program. Interconnection of this knowledge defines the development program for structural and spatial integrations of families into the private sector in order to enhance the products or to offer services in municipality. Respecting the logic of sustainable development, all of the activities that enhance the products are managed by product lifecycle management processes, which can by visualized in design manual. The thesis therefore concerns the design manual as key tool for life long educational processes for sustainable development processes in municipality. This is verified during realization of design manual for small family business. In the same time, the possibilities to implement the design manual into activities of partners involving higher territorial unit, local action group, cultural institution, research — scientific center, non- profit organization and craftsman are being analyzed. The total sum of gained information forms the model schematics for suitable and proper design manual and in the same time to integrate the family together with collaborating partners within the program of municipality sustainable development program. The goal is to suggest the addition, which can graphic designers bring into the processes of municipality development and to motivate the new strategies of cooperation between designers and local private sector.

Production of uniqueness: expressive means of design, advertisement and media typical for the language of contemporary sculpture
Mgr. art. Katarína Galovič Gáspár, ArtD.

Artistic practises, which the thesis deals with, are formally very diversified, though, they share a common feature: using forms, procedures, technologies of production – designs, advertisements and media in contemporary sculpture production, which have been created before. It focuses on artists who create their work using all the forms that are present in every-day environment of selling products. So-called “artists of postproduction”, who work with objects that already circulate on the cultural market – they interpret them, reproduce them, and exhibit products or works of other artists anew. The thesis deals with recycling of forms, with cultural appropriation, eliminating boundaries between production and consumption, between creating and copying, between ready-made and original piece of art. The scope of the thesis is focused on the actual process of appropriating from its first conceptualised manifestation regarding the history of arts, i.e. ready-made, generational and style development of this phenomenon, ending with its contemporary distribution in sculpture.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Universal design and the car
Mgr. art. Martin Baláž, ArtD.

In the dissertation work Universal design and the car addresses the issue of universal design in relation to automotive design, and my aim is to find the optimal intersection of design, Ergonomics and design of a Car with the principles and philosophy of universal design. To introduce and evaluate a car with universal design perspective and without any physical, financial and technical constraints to outline its vision for a car designed with the philosophy of universal design. Universal design ensures the integration of physical, sensory, mental, or otherwise limited peoples in everyday normal life. Universal design has evolved from the concept of barrier-free design, which deals with solving problems in architecture, urban planning, transport structures, but also talk about a barrier-free design of products and information systems. It is the design of human habitat. The car is a space for life, as his surroundings, but the barrier design it does not directly. And so is my area of research and application of the principles of universal design. Difficult conditions in the environment leads to discrimination against certain groups, thus to their handicap. Convert categorization of disability I eat very difficult because of its diversity, peace, and often the possibility of their combination. The gradual, slow in life is the aging process. Hervig Oliver in his book, Universal Design universal design combines with seniors than with physical handicaps. Universal design improves the quality of life, not only from the perspective of disabled users, but all. The future is in the simplicity and comfort for all. The car is a combination of scientific, technical, artistic and aesthetic talents of man, stimulating our natural desire for beauty and dynamism. It is one of public spaces and also the material and tangible manifestation of the movement, as one of the fundamental aspects of life on earth. Through its utility and symbolic properties is a matter of public interest in everyday life. In my work I looked at the possibility of satisfying human needs in the field of universal design and comparing car deals in Slovakia and abroad. When evaluating the performance of their needs and satisfaction I have, respecting the Maslow pyramid of human needs, their hierarchy, that is. My goal is the synthesis of these findings of my personal intuitive of pre-scientific reasoning of universal and automotive design and result in the appearance of mi own vision of design according to the principles of universal design product for personal transport, for all the comfort and beauty. According to my analysis of the current stage of knowledge, I decided to focus on the elderly as a group faced with limited natural aging process. Universal design improves the quality of life. The future of the car is therefore in its simplicity and comfort, accessibility and clarity. And so I confront it with the seven principles of universal design. Car properly designed in the spirit of Universal design helps the user to integrate into their environment without losing the private sector. Design is the bridge between man and object. The mission design is its compatibility with the human environment in the biosphere and its goal is to maintain a basic quality of life. In my styling design Unicrossoveru want to interact according to the scheme, matter, energy / movement, intelligence / information in Autobiosfére least partially fulfil the principles of universal design.

Free graphics, graphic design and their relationships
Ing. Peter Jakab, ArtD.

Each creative process delivers an emotional value as well as the feeling of satisfaction. Every creative person faces this fact in an individual way. The art as such, from both historical and expressive point of view, transforms the emotional variety and individual response into the piece of art with an aesthetic value. The emotions present in creative process can be viewed as the result of human’s perception of the transforming environment and space surrounding him. It can be stated that the art reacts to such impulses and evolves itself. Certain fields of art react flexibly to such changes, others remain the traditional techniques. The aim of this thesis is to view the issues of artistic graphics, graphic design and their connection. The aim of definition and analysis of this connection together with the reflection of the findings, based mainly on the empirical knowledge, is to create a piece of art. The authors believe this to be the only way to depict the creative process as well as to show the connection between artistic graphics and graphic design. The space itself was chosen as conjunction between these two expressive techniques. It is shown throughout the thesis, that the treatise on area issues within three-dimensional space has its significance. Firstly, it can function as a neutral area to treatise on these two forms and expressions of art on equal terms. The thesis seeks connections throughout the whole process of creation and reflects upon them in the conclusion. This aim is transformed into all the parts of the thesis thus enabling us to give a complex view on the issue. Both the process of creation and its result are the objective, paradoxically to the analytical disciplines. The creation is not only to give the pleasure of creation to its author, it is to enhance the percipient’s interaction thus providing him with imaginary graphic creative space. Every such interaction shows the intention and purpose of this thesis. The thesis also presents the ever-transforming process and direction of art and design as means of motivation, creativity and artistic expression of a human being.

Design in sculptural art versus sculptural art in design: Dematerialisation as a contemporary phenomenon – from the first use of the ready-made principle to the present
Mgr. art. Roman Hrčka, ArtD.

The authors of various recent expert publications, concerned with either the theory or the history of design, scarcely found in the book market in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the whole Euro-Atlantic part of the world, criticise in their introductory texts the shortage of accessible scientific literature concerned with the problem of industrial design from the theoretical and methodological point of view. Although design as such must be understood in the whole of its wide range of activities, which now touch nearly all aspects of our lives, it is not the role of this dissertation to research all these aspects. However, since no expert literature, which scientifically analyses and evaluates the correlations, overlaps and inter-penetrations between design production (design of three dimensional objects — products) and free creative sculpture (sculptural artefacts, objects and installations), is known to me, it is the aim of the Ph.D. thesis to research and analyse their mutually positive and negative influences. By analysing various issues such as form and function, the process of design and of mass production — unique, doubled and multiplied objects, the concept of the work and the language of the product, and by searching for the justification of craft and material principles alongside the contemporary dematerialized tendencies in the arts of both design and sculpture, in the period from the first use of the ready-made principle to the present, it is the aim of this article to clarify the causes leading to the consistent loss of the need to strictly define the boundaries of these fields. The designer’s means of expression and morphological elements through the ready-made principle have widened the possibilities for statements by sculptural media. Therefore, it is necessary to trace the development of the sculptural view in the context of design from the use of this principle by Duchamp until the present. These connections between design and sculpture are usually only marginally mentioned in various academic texts about the theory of art or design, and in publications mapping their historical development. However, the medium of the sculpture is often conceived as one of many media integrated into the conglomerate of the visual arts. If somebody wants to name the concrete connection between at least two fields of human activity, he must also be able to describe the differences. What is actually the difference between sculpture and the design of three dimensional products? The modern British sculptor Henry Moore also referred to this questionable element of functionalism between sculpture and architecture. Therefore, if we evaluate the relationship between design and sculpture through the prism of the modernists, we must identify substantial differences. However, if we look at the given problem through the prism of present-day post-modern design practice, where the main criterion is the conceptual message, we must state that there are clear connections. In fact, free visual art has used the content of the work through the whole of history. The fact that the attention of designers is ever more concentrated on the content, rather than on the actual function of the product, that for the user it is a bearer of a message by means of use of the language of signs and symbols, raises design into a medium that is able to communicate. A further problem in the search for connections between sculpture and the design of three dimensional products could be the difference between the process of industrial production and artistic creation. Industry introduced the automated production line for mass production. Sculptural creation is generally regarded as an autonomous activity of the sculptor — artist and “producer” of the sculptural work in one person. However, on the contemporary artistic scene, many sculptors work in a similar way to their colleagues in the field of design. They no longer consider it necessary to make the works they “design” with their own hands. Pop artists such as Andy Warhol or Arman accepted the so-called series as a principle of their art, and created whole cycles of sculptural objects by replicating motifs. The trends in contemporary design are such that the attention of designers is beginning to concentrate not only on mass production, but also on limited series or even unique objects, which have added value. The problem of dematerialization of the work of art in contemporary visual art is already penetrating into the sphere of design. The conceptual artists of the mid-sixties already contributed to this loss of interest in the material aspect of the work. The traditional understanding of the work as a comprehensive whole composed of an idea, which is translated into material form by means of craft work, was divided into the idea and matter. It is a fact that these two branches of art — sculpture and design — lent each other morphological signs of expression, content elements of the artwork or material-technological procedures, whenever it was essential for their existence. Thus it explicitly follows from the facts mentioned above that in essence, these correlations between sculptural art and designer practice have a natural origin derived from their three-dimensional material existence.

Migration and its potentiality in architecture: Scenarios of subculture development
Ing. arch. Viktória Horečná, PhD.

The phenomenon of migration and the process of migrant inclusion into the host society is a very up-to-date topic in political and social debate in both scientific and public community. Despite the importance of the topic, theory of architecture and spatial planning has not made any contribution to this issue yet. Therefore, the objective of the dissertation in its theoretical part, is to clarify consequences of migration in the process of home constitution and its consequences in formation of a physical bond to the new place. Dissertation describes numerous forms and versions newly constituted architecture may adopt in line with various needs of the target groups involved. This work also addresses the important mission of migration policies, which directly influence the image of spatial ethnic concentrations in Slovakia and worldwide, throughout centuries. The analysis of international migration and its threats has approved that the question of urban structures, their identity and the identity of oneself in the process of re-territorialisation is much more alarm than the question of ethnicity, or group identity – standing in spot light till lately. Practical part of the dissertation targets the possible ways of eliminating the negative effects in urban grain which were brought about by migration. Research part also addresses the preservation of urban diversity and its architecture, which is considered to be the product of natural individuality of each citizen. The results of dissertation research part bring along the concept and the basic criteria of a regulating instrument, named The Scenarios of Subculture Development, which are intended to be used in the field of architecture and design. The purpose of the Scenarios from a long-term perspective is to transform the identity of architecture and urban grain into diverse thematic districts, so that each (of them) would correspond with differentiated needs and preferences of its inhabitants. The Scenarios have been basically evolved from and are intended to continue in line with the results of a EU grant project The Ecocity and the project of Historical Urban Structure Preservation in the Central Urban District of Bratislava. Thus, an important part of the dissertation is the ecological dimension, sustainability and the cultural continuity.

Non-invasive methods of presenting architectural ruins: Virtual presentation of expired architecture
Ing. arch. Viktoria Kyjovská, PhD.

In the context of increasing globalization, more and more nations and communities have perceived importance of their cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, as a part of the world’s cultural diversity. Cultural heritage plays a crucial role in recognizing our own identity and it is our responsibility to ensure its protection and so contribute to the maintenance of cultural continuity. If monument care attempts to remain in the minds of society, it must offer new, vivid and attractive way of accessing the cultural heritage, which can succeed in fighting globalization tendencies and bring back stability values stemming in traditions and practices of our parentage. Monuments of torso architecture, the target given PhD thesis, are increasingly perceived as exhibits preserved in their natural environment, which corresponds to the pious approach of their architectural completion. Actual implementations of monument care frequently suggest that today’s trend is becoming a virtual presentation on the background of conserved fragments. There is often mentioned concept of virtual heritage in economically developed countries. Virtual reality technologies have founded a progressive implementation in museum exposition, the presentation of archaeological sites in situ or the promotion of cultural heritage through the internet, helping a wide range public informal education. Numerous literature sources suggest that the current digital technology opens up new possibilities and effective documentation, archiving, publicity and protection of cultural heritage. On the other hand, there is still very little known about impact of their integration in the reconstruction and preservation process, especially in terms of meeting the needs of the public. We have therefore decided to open this issue and monitored the demands and requirements of a virtual visitor due to his/her education, age, computer experience or personal preferences, on applied research in selected archaeological site Kostolec — Ducové. In the theoretical part, PhD thesis explains issues of virtual heritage and related concepts, their definitions, benefits or risks and position in the form of specific realizations. The most important knowledge has been translated into a concept that constituted a starting point to create a virtual presentation of that archaeological monument available through the internet. The presentation is a priori based on three differentiated transfers of cultural information; through interactive maps, audio-visual animation or textual libretto. Research position of thesis examines the predictive value of these transfers with regard to different groups of respondents (whether and aims to verify the crucial hypothesis: the higher interaction mode /interactive maps/ and investigation leads to better perception, understanding and memorize of cultural information than the passive observation of presented fragments /audio-visual simulation with talking guide/. The results of the research which show interesting findings in relation to other hypothesis and respondent’s requirements are summarized in the PhD conclusions in the form of recommendations, which aim to regulate and control effect and impact of computer technology in the field of monument care, in the way to constitute an appropriate form for exploring cultural roots, history and tradition of our parentage.

Open public spaces
Ing. Zuzana Hudeková, PhD.

At present 75 % of Europeans live in urban settlements. This percentage is expected to increase up to 80 % by 2020. In this context the importance of urban public spaces is increasing. These spaces directly affect the way how local inhabitants perceive the environment in which they live and how this environment fulfils its social and societal functions. The urban public spaces can considerably affect the economic development and prosperity of cities. Their importance also growth in connection to some challenges which have to be addressed at present, though their impacts will be visible in the next decades. First of all, there are threatening adverse impacts of climate change which are more serious in cities than in surrounding landscape. The thesis deals with legislative and development documents, institutional framework, stakeholders and division of responsibilities at the national, regional and local levels in relation to public urban spaces. It specifically focuses on environmental functions of public urban spaces which directly affect the quality of the environment in cities. This includes the issue of climate change, possibilities to assess vulnerability of public urban spaces. Theoretical knowledge has been applied in the thesis in assessment of vulnerability of inhabitants in the city part Bratislava — Staré Mesto in relation to summer heats from the point of view of quantity and environmental quality of public urban spaces. Based on the results, there are adaptation measures proposed in the final part. The potential how to use the thesis in practice is great. The list of proposed environmental criteria to be applied to public urban spaces should set a framework for application of the thesis in practice. The proposed measures can be in practice implemented at the local level or at the level of the entire city. The thesis, knowledge and results achieved will be used in a number of important documents, e.g. in preparing a chapter on spatial planning in relation to climate change within the National Strategy on adaptation to climate change or in elaborating a chapter on functional component “green areas” in updated “Principles and rules of spatial planning”, currently under preparation. Urban planning, as a science area and also a practical activity, should be determined by progressive knowledge of social and nature sciences. In the thesis we have concentrated on some new challenges which will have to be addressed in this area of science in dealing with issues of environmental protection and management and in practical spatial planning activities. Especially, the issue of climate change should be included as a binding indicator for dimensioning all subsystems of a spatial plan, such as transport, energy, water, and in drafting functional regulation (permitted and restricted function) and in the spatial regulation.

Keywords: architecture, design, urban design, dissertation thesis, architectural heritage conservation, graphics