About the Interdisciplinary Clusters

Interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning count among the many outstanding qualities of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Cross-departmental and interdisciplinary collaboration has been embraced and promoted in all areas for some ten years. In mid-2018, in its third stage of implementing interdisciplinary, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts launched its Interdisciplinary Clusters (ICs). 

Strategic significance of interdisciplinarity

The Lucerne UASA has taken an active interest in interdisciplinarity for a number of years now. Since 2009 and in two stages, it has established a total of six “Interdisciplinary Focus Areas” (IFAs) and carried out a broad variety of research projects. In 2013, the Lucerne UASA developed a strategic interdisciplinarity concept, which outlined the conditions and principles of interdisciplinary work, research and teaching.  

In order to further strengthen its leading role in this area and to establish a Swiss nationwide competence and experience centre with national and international appeal, the Lucerne UASA launched a university-wide call for proposals for two Interdisciplinary Clusters (ICs). The resulting “Spatial Development and Social Cohesion” and “Digital Transformation of the Working World” ICs have been used to bundle the university’s pre-existing areas of expertise since 2018. The development of the ICs had been a strategic focus of the university’s strategy for 2016 to 2019. 

Creating synergies and permeability

The two new clusters combine the expertise of each of the Lucerne UASA’s six Schools – from Engineering and Architecture to Business, Information Technology, Social Work, Art and Design, and Music. The objective of the clusters is to address future-related questions along practical issues by creating synergies and by combining the skills and knowledge of all disciplines taught at the Lucerne UASA, both in the framework of national and international research projects, and interdisciplinary education and continuing education modules. 

The two ICs will be funded with just under four million Swiss Francs each for the next four years. Additional funding will be sourced through co-operations with private sector practice partners, as well as from institutional and public authorities.

Joint focus on research and teaching

Whereas previous interdisciplinary focal points predominantly provided impetus for the development of specific research projects, the new interdisciplinary clusters will cover all of the Lucerne UASA’s areas of mandated activity and include education as well as continuing education. Already today, there are cross-departmental degree programmes available. Supporting the interdisciplinary clusters‘s activities enables the creation of additional autonomous modules or even degree programmes strongly committed to living, teaching and researching the methodology of interdisciplinary cooperation.

Key goals 

The goals of the “Spatial Development and Social Cohesion” and “Digital Transformation of the Working World” ICs are the following:

  • They are characterised by interdisciplinarity, topicality, relevance and a substantial research contribution on the highest academic level.
  • They are designed to contribute crucially to the Lucerne University UASA’s international appeal by fostering partnerships with universities in Switzerland and abroad and by creating connection opportunities in various areas (conferences, publications, doctorates, dual degrees, etc.).
  • They devise and develop innovative additions to the range of degree and continuing education programmes and research projects. 
  • They strengthen the focus on superordinate areas of research and development and bundle their potential across all of the Lucerne UASA’s Schools.
  • They are firmly rooted in the region and promote the dialogue with partners from industry, business, culture and society.


Stefan Kunz
Co-Head «Spatial Development and Social Cohesion»
+41 41 349 38 08
Prof. Dr. Marie-Louise Nigg
Co-Head «Spatial Development and Social Cohesion»
+41 41 248 61 63
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Stremlow
Co-Head «Spatial Development and Social Cohesion»
+41 41 367 48 41
Dr. Rolf Kamps
Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
+41 41 349 37 38
Prof. Simone Gretler Heusser
Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
+41 41 367 48 73