The architecture of technology influences the openness of socio-technical systems and is jointly responsible for their degrees of freedom. Because “architecture is politics” (Kapor, 1991, 2006; O’Reilly, 2004) and “code is law” (Lessig, 2006).
For teaching and research, this means thinking carefully about which architecture our digital future should be based on if transparency and participation are important to us as the cornerstones of our democracy. We have the choice between centralized solutions, which can bring with them many advantages, but also strong dependencies. Or we can continue the successful decentralized architecture of the Internet with modern technical concepts and open standards and assume responsibility for the digital commons - whereby both paths are not mutually exclusive.
Young scientists can and should imagine a world of open architectures in which individual and collective inventiveness becomes the driving force behind digitization. After all, universities will not be able to do so if they see themselves merely as partners and customers of major industrial players who are increasingly taking control of digital architecture in teaching and research.