The Interdisciplinary Clusters (ICs)

Interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning are among the many outstanding qualities of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). For more than ten years, the HSLU has embraced and promoted interdisciplinary collaboration across its Schools and in all areas.

Strategic grounding of interdisciplinarity

Since 2009, the HSLU has established, in two stages, a total of six “Interdisciplinary Focus Areas” (IFAs) and carried out a broad range of research projects. Moreover, the HSLU developed an interdisciplinary strategy in 2013 which outlined the conditions and principles of its interdisciplinary collaboration. In mid-2018, the university pooled its existing skills in the field in two interdisciplinary clusters (ICs) dedicated to the topics of “Spatial Development and Social Cohesion” and “Digital Transformation of the Working World”. The ICs were active from 2018 to 2023 before the transition into the Interdisciplinary Networks (IDN).

“In light of present and future societal challenges, the need for interdisciplinary and – even more importantly – transdisciplinary collaboration at universities will continue to grow. The way the IC are promoting these topics at the HSLU is exemplary.”

Theres Paulsen, Director, td-net – Network for Transdisciplinary Research

Varied expertise and cooperations

The two clusters combined the expertise of each of the HSLU’s six Schools – from Engineering and Architecture to Business, Information Technology, Social Work, Art, Film and Design and Music. The aim was to use interdisciplinary collaboration to develop solution approaches to address the practical problems of the future. To this end, the HSLU worked closely with its partner institutions in various fields and in national and international research projects. Through its interdisciplinary education and continuing and executive education programmes, it promoted knowledge transfer between academia and professional practice.

Key goals  

The ICs “Spatial Development and Social Cohesion” and “Digital Transformation of the Working World” were

  • characterised by their topicality and relevance and by their significant research contribution at the highest academic level.
  • designed to contribute to the HSLU’s international appeal by fostering partnerships with universities in Switzerland and abroad and by creating opportunities to connect in various areas (conferences, publications, dual degrees, etc.).
  • rooted in the region and promote dialogue with partners from industry, business, culture and society.
  • strengthening the focus on superordinate areas of research and development and bundle their potential across the HSLU’s Schools.
  • developing and creating new programmes in teaching and research in alignment with the HSLU’s varied areas of mandated activity.


Prof. Simone Gretler Heusser
Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
+41 41 367 48 73
Lukas Müller
Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
+41 41 349 38 89
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
Franziska Städler
Assistant «Spatial Development and Social Cohesion»
+41 41 367 49 40