Research group “Designing Real-World Laboratory Research” (RFG)

As research settings of transdisciplinary sustainability research, real-world labs offer great potential to contribute to the solution of fundamental societal challenges in mutual learning processes between different disciplines and sectors of society and to generate innovative scientific knowledge at the same time. In recent years, real-world lab research has become increasingly important – not least due to research work at ITAS. However, the development of the real-world lab approach also raises important theoretical, methodological, and practical questions, which our research addresses: How do we further establish real-world labs and the embedded real-world experiments as an effective research approach and sharpen it conceptually? How can we (better) support societal planning and decision-making processes at different levels through real-world lab research? What does scientific excellence mean against the background of fundamental societal challenges and how can real-world labs live up to this claim?

We work in a transdisciplinary and solution-oriented manner and align our activities with the principle of sustainable development from a systemic perspective. In doing so, we focus in particular on the following areas:

  • Doing real-world lab research: Empirical real-world lab research, especially in the real-world lab “Autonomous Driving in the Mobility System of the Future” (ADMoS-Future) within the framework of the KIT Excellence Initiative.
  • Advancing real-world lab research: Research on real-world labs as effective transdisciplinary research settings, including the development and establishment of research structures for effective real-world lab work and its methodological advancement as well as comparative analysis and impact measurement.
  • Establishing transdisciplinary (TD) research: Further development and institutional embedding of transdisciplinary sustainability research.

Essential for our work is close networking and trustful cooperation with partners from

  • different sectors of society in the respective real-world labs,
  • various departments with interfaces to real-world lab research at KIT,
  • national and international partner institutions of transdisciplinary sustainability research.