Profile of Miss Clarissa Rhomberg Institute of Architecture and Planning University Liechtenstein

Clarissa Rhomberg

I am a Research Fellow and PhD Candidate at the Institute of Architecture and Planning at the University of Liechtenstein. I have studied Architecture and Sinology at Vienna University of Technology (2004-2011) and the University of Vienna and graduated in 2011 with a thesis on „Urban Nomads. Building Shanghai: Migrant Workers and the Construction Process“ with distinction at the SKUOR Institute at Vienna University of Technology (with honours). In 2010, I was Visiting Researcher at the Tongji University Shanghai for fieldwork for the thesis.

General research interests

My general research interests lie in sustainability issues in architecture and planning, social organisation, dependencies of collaborations and the personal circumstances of the people living in cities.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Fair Building A Discourse and Action Analysis of Social Responsibility in the Construction Process and Its Challenges for Internationally Practising Architects and Their Firms

PhD Abstract

This study seeks to investigate the impact and meaning of socially responsible behaviour for architects and firms in international construction practice. It assesses and evaluates how these issues are reflected and implemented by (1) the individual architect, (2) the organizational structure of architectural firms, and (3) the architectural business. This study brings together various theoretical streams from (1) sustainability research applied in building processes, (2) the role of ethics in globalized professional design services, (3) corporate governance and business ethics as well as stakeholder theory in a globalized construction business, and (4) the concept of shared value creation. Empirically, it uses the instrument of argumentative discourse analysis (expert interviews, stakeholder analysis, and content analysis of reports). It examines the role and capabilities of Austrian, German, and Swiss architects and architectural firms to act in a socially responsible way in a globalized and multicultural context. This study uncovers a rapid intensification of ethical challenges in the contemporary global architectural practice. The findings shed light on the changing ethical role and social responsibilities of individual architects and firms. Finally, this study builds a robust framework for architectural firms to enhance their ability to work and act in a socially responsible manner. From a practical perspective, this study establishes a new “Fair Building” concept and offers concrete proposals for a new approach to education in order to prepare architects for these challenges and to build capacities for firms to act in a socially responsible manner in a globalized context.