[Applied] Foreign Affairs is a transdisciplinary lab at the Institute of Architecture of the University of Applied Arts Vienna, established by Baerbel Mueller, in 2011. [A]FA investigates spatial, infrastructural, environmental and cultural phenomena in rural and urban Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. Each lab project centers on a distinct question or clear mission and culminates in field trips and residencies through which (applied) research, mappings, rural and urban growth patterns, urban prototypes, imaginary (art) spaces, and relational physical interventions are produced. A series of talks introduces students to the spatial diversity and cultural vibrancy of the contemporary condition of the respective project context, followed by intensives that focus on the status and potential of a specific region and interest. The process of relating and making is conceptualized in a reactive and slowed-down manner. Conditions of uncertainty and fragility are embraced. The outcome of each lab is shared and presented in different formats and contexts.
[A]FA is performed in (experimental) collaboration with international guests, partners, and partner universities. [A]FA is commissioned by cultural institutions, artist collectives, communities and individuals.