Summary of approved PhD theses

Application of micro-algae in the context of industrial design – holistic approach in the design process
By Mgr. art. Tibor Antony, ArtD.

Dissertation work “Application of micro-algae in the context of industrial design – holistic approach in the process of design work“ seeks possible strategies for implementation of micro-algae bio-technology in the area of tangible objects as well as services. Micro-algaeʼs most relevant properties, multi-functionality and environmentally effective growth, are parameters that predefine its exploitation in Design for Sustainable Development that represents a holistic approach in the design process. The practical part of the thesis is methodologically based on experimentation and interdisciplinary engagement of various disciplines for subsequent application of accumulated knowledge in the area of new objects and services. The outcome therefore resonates with key questions related to sustainable development – effective food production with its environmental impact and profitability. The core of described design research is a a new type of material culture as to the concept: a combination of a synthetic industrially-manufactured protective shell and the living micro-algae contained inside.

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

Aluminium plants and surrounding settlements in Žiar valley
By Ing. arch. Tereza Bartošíková, PhD.

Aluminium production is a specific kind of metallurgical production. Aluminium is one of the youngest discovered elements of daily consumption. Its industrial manufacturing began in 1886, when the electrochemical production process was invented. Nowadays, aluminium is commonplace in households – it can be found in machine parts, transport equipment, as well as kitchen tools and packaging materials, building components, etc. At the beginning of the 20th century, a system of cartel agreements existed in aluminium production, , which limited the number and locations of manufacturing plants. After World War I, aluminium began a strategic raw material, because it was an essential part of the design of aircraft and airships for the military. Its production exponentially increased with plenty of sales opportunities. Aluminium plants were usually built close to sources of raw materials (bauxite and coal), cheap electricity and labour. They were situated  at locations with a good connection to transport infrastructure, such as a rail and maritime transport. Private waterworks with power plants, surface mines, ports, railways and worker colonies, including civic amenities, were often built within the aluminium facilities. The size of the factories increase and the layout and architectural appearance of the individual production units changed. However, the technological continuity of production was maintained  as the production process has not changed since the end of the 19th century. The most important buildings in the aluminium production facilities were bauxite warehouses, silos, sludge fields, heating plants, power plants, mixing plants, calcining furnaces, dore settlement tanks, autoclaves, electrolysis halls and carbon plant. From the landscape perspective, surface mining and sludge fields were the most problematic. Chimneys of the heating plants were the dominants of the aluminium plants. Environmental problems and the need to employ a large number of workers have resulted in the development of residential buildings close to plants. Workers’ colonies were built in two ways – with utilitarian design for workers during construction, and colonies designed in the style of garden cities for plant employees. Employee  housing often had the form of detached houses, semi-detached houses or low-rise apartment buildings. The urban settlement concept was created for the site, taking into account the well-being of employees. In exceptional cases, the  housing that was too close to the electrolysis halls  was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions and production fumes. The architectural design of the production buildings underwent a process of development from a historicizing decorative style, through utilitarian buildings to modern architecture. Construction materials have gradually changed from gray masonry in combination with cast iron to lightweight prefabricated metal structures. The dissertation thesis compares the only Slovak aluminium plant in Žiar nad Hronom with aluminium plants in Europe. Basic urban and technological parallels have been identified using the example of urban development in contact with the factory and its structure. Furthermore, it was possible to identify chronological typological changes in aluminium construction. In conclusion, the thesis  accesses the future potential of this type of premises and objects, their use, environmental limits and conservation.

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

SPA architecture in Slovakia. Case study Sliač
By Ing. arch. Michal Pasiar, PhD.

The topical  issue of the spa architecture constantly requires new theoretical and practical solutions. Nowadays, we can encounter problems of unsatisfactory parameters of energetic, hygienic and functional model of building structure  in connection  to reconstructions and renovations of historical spas and protected monuments  of spa architecture that focus on solution  to the aforementioned problems,  which are also discussed on this paper.. We will concentrate our research mainly on Sliač Spa, although it will be possible to apply the research results to other spas in Slovakia, .,  as the historical building substance is a natural part of almost all of Slovak spas. One of the important findings of the research  is that balneological processes such as mineral water collection, accumulation, distribution, and  the need to maintain the chemical and physical properties of water from the source to the use of water for treatment are not visible to the eye, thus they do not directly affect the expressive means of architecture. The installation  of the current model in terms of technology, energy and hygiene does not necessarily mean  interference with the atmosphere evoked by  the primary design and  devaluation of the spa siteʼs historical value. However, the whole environment, whether natural or molded, is also heavily dependent on the technological model of  collection and distribution of spa water. Water and its properties are the determinants  with respect to disease indications, therapeutic focus  and the urban-architectural, spatial composition of the spas. In the theoretical information base ,we will define the key periods in the development of the spa architecture in our country, with a more detailed description of the architecture development in the spa of Sliač, and the definition of a theoretical model of its revitalization. In the practical part,  the benefits of BIM information modeling for the hygienic, technological and energy mode are summarized. For on-site inspection, landmark analysis, and then the restoration design, it is  both possible and appropriate use to use a modern simulation method using BIM – Building Information Modelling.

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

Franz Storno Sr. in Slovakia – Between romantic historicism and neogothic fiction
By Mgr. Anna Paulinyová, PhD.

The submitted dissertation thesis focuses on restoration projects created by Franz Storno Sr. (1821 – 1907)  in the territory of present-day Slovakia with subsequent evaluation of his work in terms of the development of preservation and restoration of  historical sights and monuments in the context of contemporary creative approaches. The author starts with a basic outline of the theoretical background, in which F. Storno  received his education, professional training, and the context in which he lived and worked. In the second half of the 19th century, the restoration of monuments in the Habsburg Monarchy and subsequently in Austria-Hungary fallowed, with a slight delay, the trends in Germany, France and England. The need for protection of architectural and cultural heritage stimulated, in addition to shaping the theoretical principles, the establishment of official institutions where the leading figures of the field, such as I. Henszlmann, I. Steindl, A. Ipolyi, and many others, could make use of their expertise. In the area of restoration of monuments, Romantic Historicism – one of several methodological approaches, serving also as a means of national and spiritual revival – resulted in Purism, with the greatest impact on monumental sacral buildings. The restorer F. Storno Sr. with  his  designs and realizations, contributed to the restoration of a significant number of medieval sacral buildings, not only in the territory of present-day Slovakia. In Hungary, his most important realizations include reconstructions of St. Michael’s Church in Sopron and the Benedictine Abbey Church in Pannonhalma. In Slovakia, most notice-worthy restorations include the the St. Martin´s Cathedral in Spišská Kapitula, Benedictine Abbey in Hronský Beňadik and the St. Catherine’s Church in Kremnica or St. Elisabeth´s Church in Bansaká Bystrica. This dissertation thesis concentrates on these projects in particular – their scope, artistic and architectural complexity, and preserved project documentation. The comparison of Storno’s projects in chronological order reveals a shift in his creative approach from a self-taught artist and , about medieval architecture enthusiastic  to the restorer-purist, who transformed buildings with his own moderate, mostly neo-Gothic interventions.

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

Four decades of development of sustainable architecture
By Ing. arch. Alžbeta Děcká, PhD.

European Union’s ambitions for a sustainable architecture for 2020 include building all new buildings in nearly zero-energy standard, increase buildings energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase in the share of renewable energy sources. In order to assess the real possibilities of achieving these set goals and to outline possible future development, it is necessary to be acquainted with the development of sustainable architecture up to now. This dissertation thesis  offers an overview of more than 40-year development of sustainable architecture in Slovakia, from the early beginnings in 1970s to the present state. However, the development in Slovakia cannot be assessed without a broader international context. The  first part of the thesis therefore briefly describes  the international context of sustainable architecture development, whereas the rest of the thesis focuses on development in the territory of Slovakia. Theoretical foundations of development of sustainable architecture are described and supported  with examples of actual buildings. The dissertation  concludes with examples of selected characteristic buildings representing particular monitored periods, which document the development of sustainable architecture in Slovakia. The results of the thesis contain research divided into two research parts. First, the theoretical part that offers a general overview of sustainable architecture development in Slovakia. The development was divided into four basic decades, the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century. The conclusions contain a characteristic of each monitored period based on broader socio-economic context and a description of possible options feasible; in the relevant period and the resulting state of architecture; an overview of basic legislative measures related  to sustainability in architecture, an examples of particular mapped buildings of each period. Based on the findings, the mapped buildings are categorized according to typical common features, approaches, materials, technologies, and principles in sustainable architecture formation. The second part of the results includes field research of a typical architectural research sample, selected for demonstrative documentation of development of sustainable architecture in Slovakia. By mapping of sustainable architecture in Slovakia and by evaluating the conclusions from field research, the dissertation thesis follows gradual changes and development of sustainable architecture in our territory. In conclusion, it confronts them with the formulated EU ambitions and with the prospective future development of sustainable architecture.

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

Subjective Determination of Architectural Space
By Ing. arch. Tatiana Malicová (nee Vozárová), PhD.

The research of subjective determinations of architectural space examines the relationship between personality and its spatial preferences. It seeks to capture and understand the diversity of individuals  with respect to their perception and creation of the space, also in understanding their sense of space and  imaginative ideas about their personal space. The main part of the research comprises an experiment, conducted in cooperation with students of architecture at FA STU in Bratislava, FA TU in Dresden, CITA KADK in Copenhagen, Politechnika Gdańska in Gdansk, Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and FU TU in Košice. The aim of the experiment was to find and confirm a statistically significant relationship between spatial preferences of personalities and their dominant psychological features in the European context. It is the relationship between human perception, creation of the space and human psychological traits. The experiment included a psychological part and a spatial part. In the psychological part we used the MBTI psychological typology that focuses on diversity of perception and it is based on the theory of C. G. Jung. The spatial test consisted of a set of spatial parameters and creative thinking processes. 386 architecture students have been collaborating on the research. The final statistical analyses showed the existence of statistically significant correlations between the dominant psychological characteristics of a human personality and the spatial preferences in the architectural creation and the perception of space. The thesis provides the theoretical basis for the exploration of this issue, a description of the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the experiment, as well as a description of the research stays at the foreign universities, together with an overview of their educational systems. The results of the research are presented with overall evaluation, possible development options, discussion and limitations.

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

Interaction of the Human Soles and Stimulative Wooden Surfaces
By Mgr. art. Eva Mazancová, ArtD. 

The contact of bare feet with the ground and floors has almost disappeared from todayʼs society thanks to the constant wearing of shoes. However,recently the barefoot movement (walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes) has started to grow fast. Although opinions of people on this practice vary,  experts agree that barefoot walking on stimulation surfaces is beneficial to humans. The urban environment offers a wide range of stimuli; nevertheless in public areas most people tend to wear shoes. The last place where people are willing to walk barefoot is the home interior. However, 98% of the floors in people´s homes are hard, flat and do not offer  any stimulation. When people use the learned shoe walking style while walking barefoot, it can cause more trouble than benefits. Switching to minimalist shoes or barefoot walking does not automatically change the gait patterns or make the feet more fit and flexible. Conscious and careful transition to barefoot style of walking requires gradual steps. One of them is to walk on stimulation surfaces. The research of this dissertation focuses on development of stimulation floor elements. Analyses of scientific articles and consultations with experts have provided  a basis for conclusions and general opinions on the benefits of walking barefoot on stimulation surfaces. The paper offers a categorization of stimulation floor elements according to the type of stimulation and the possibility of relocation. Mapping of interior  areas based on selected situations was determined as the most appropriate technique for selecting the location of stimulation elements. Two products have been developed during the research – feetOUCH stimulation rusks and feetOUCH stimulation box, both of which have undergone multi-level testing. During testing in 23 households, the impact of stimulation surfaces on increased barefoot walking was verified and confirmed by means of a questionnaire. The paper also offers an analysis of various existing external stimulation areas and trails and a design of an information system in an existing park. Information from the research has been processed into lectures on stimulation floors for future architects and designers. Brochures for users and interior designers contain summaries of important findings and the aim is to promote the topic among people.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava.
Keywords: architecture, design, urban design, PhD thesis, summary