Laurent Stalder: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Name Prof. Dr. Laurent Stalder
FieldTheory of Architecture
Address
I. f. Geschichte/Theorie der Arch.
ETH Zürich, HIL E 64.3
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Award: The Golden Owl
Telephone+41 44 633 76 63
E-maillaurent.stalder@gta.arch.ethz.ch
DepartmentArchitecture
RelationshipFull Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
051-0116-00LTheory of Architecture II
Only for Architecture BSc, Programme Regulations 2011.
1 credit2VL. Stalder
AbstractThe lecture course offers an introduction to key themes and questions of modern architectural theory over two semesters. Part one addresses formative "figures of thought" and their materialization in built and spatial structures. Part two critically examines different forms of architectural practice through the work of exemplary protagonists.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of the historic development of architectural theory during modernity and critical discussion of its key terms and concepts from a transdisciplinary perspective.
ContentIn the second part of the lecture course our focus will be on factors of production in architecture as well as various approaches and forms of architectural practice from the twentieth century to the present. Different "work models" will be introduced and critically discussed through a series of exemplary case studies with a focus on actors and their agency. By doing so, we seek to highlight architects' varying fields of activity within their specific local and changing historical contexts. We encounter architects, who not only shaped environments that were increasingly characterized by an abundance of new industrially manufactured materials and products, but who also organized labour and production processes. In addition to that, we will study attempts to restructure the capitalist building sector through cooperation, and we will look at the work of salaried architects in municipal and state planning offices. Finally, we will turn to such strategies as field work, analysis of the everyday, and activism.
Lecture notesHandouts summarizing the content of weekly lectures will be available for download from the website of the Visiting Lectureship for the Theory of Architecture.
LiteratureAll required readings for the lectures will be available for download from the website of the Visiting Lectureship for the Theory of Architecture.

In addition to those key readings, the following monographs and anthologies are useful complementary sources for the lecture course:

- Adrian Forty, Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture, London: Thames & Hudson, 2000.

- Susanne Hauser, Christa Kamleithner, Roland Meyer, eds., Architekturwissen. Grundlagentexte aus den Kulturwissenschaften, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013, 2 Vols.

- K. Michael Hays, ed., Architecture Theory since 1968, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1998.

- Harry Francis Mallgrave, ed., Architectural Theory, Oxford: Blackwell, 2006–2008, 2 Vols.

- Ákos Moravánszky, ed., Architekturtheorie im 20. Jahrhundert. Eine kritische Anthologie, Wien, New York: Springer, 2003.

- Joan Ockman, Architecture Culture, 1943–1968: A Documentary Anthology, New York: Rizzoli, 1993.
051-1214-21LIntegrated Discipline Theory of Architecture Information Restricted registration - show details 3 credits2UL. Stalder
AbstractThis course is offered by the Chair of Architectural Theory as an integrated discipline in the Design Studio "Tourism Behaviorology in Switzerland" and can only be booked as a joint bundle. The general aim of the course is to trace possible genealogies of a building / neighborhood / place in the Bernese Oberland and its larger network, through a picture-essay.
ObjectiveThe task of the first part of the course will be a small research project on a specific building / neighborhood / place in Grindelwald or Interlaken. The work will consist of an analysis of its architectural, technological or cultural characteristics, in their historical and current forms, and situated in its larger environment. The research will be carried out using two different approaches: firstly, site visit, and secondly, a collection of visual documents compiled from historical sources, stories, films, paintings, historical texts, images from the advertising industry, etc. The research is composed of the phases "collecting", "constellating" and "representing", the intermediate products of which will be presented during the desk critiques and handed in as a picture essay.
In the foreground of the assignment in architectural theory, the picture essay fulfils two experimental functions at once: On the one hand, the picture essay as an intermediate product of this process is an experimental arrangement and thus testimony to critical thinking with and in images, or with and in the combination of image and text. On the other hand, the collected images and arguments are part of a preliminary study for the design of an actor network drawing. Thus, they are a means in the decision-making process for a product and part of an experimental praxis.
ContentIn the literary tradition, the essay refers to an experimental text form, not least due to the fact that 'essay' can be translated into German as 'Versuch'. In addition to the practice of writing, it is primarily a critical experiment in thought that finds its form in the written essay.

If the focus is on thought experimentation, this should also be able to take place via other media. 'Picture essay' can therefore refer to critical thinking with and in images, or with and in the combination of image and text. If the literary practice of the 'essay' is transferred to the visual realm as a 'picture essay', firstly a medial change from text to image takes place and secondly an intermedial structure of text and image emerges, whose units stand in relation to each other. The medialisation of thought in text or image, however, is subject to a different medial logic. This makes it clear that experimenting with thinking in language or in images cannot mean the same thing. While the reception of images allows for the simultaneous recognition of several objects, the reading of a text follows a temporally linear sequence along the syntax.

To create an image essay, the first step is to collect image material – images of sources, artworks, sketches and objects – make a selection and arrange them in a constellation. Constellated, the images show their subject as well as their relation to the image collection. The images thus fulfil a function of showing, whereby a meaningful overall picture can emerge from their constellation.

The constellation is followed in a second step by the text. If we look at picture essays from architectural history and architectural journals, it becomes clear that the text can take on different functions: As a commentary, it can highlight both the content of the picture and the connecting element between the pictures in a descriptive way. If there are references between the image and the text, an argument is usually developed on the basis of image and text modules. Furthermore, the essayistic text can also run parallel to the picture section as a separate narrative thread.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe integrated design is organized and operated by both chairs engaged in close cooperation.

https://ethz.zoom.us/j/7392997400
052-0804-00LHistory and Theory in Architecture II Information 2 credits2V + 2UM. Delbeke, T. Avermaete, L. Stalder, P. Ursprung
AbstractIntroduction and overview of the history and theory of architecture from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. (Prof. Dr. M. Delbeke)
Introduction in the methods and instruments of the history of art and architecture. (Prof. Dr. M. Delbeke, Prof. Dr. L. Stalder, Prof. Dr. P. Ursprung, Prof. Dr. T. Avermaete)
ObjectiveAcquiring basic knowledge of the history of architecture and architectural theory, resp. of the methods and instruments of research into architecture.
Being able to identify the main architectural issues and debates of the period and geography covered in the course.
Acquiring the attitudes and tools to develop a historically informed reading of the built environment.
Acquiring the tools to be able to draw on historical, theoretical and critical research to nourish one's architectural culture.
ContentThe course History and Theory of Architecture II offers a chronological and thematic overview of the architecture and architectural theory produced in Europe from the 15th up to 19th century. Thematic lectures about key questions at play during the period will be combined with the in-depth analysis of historical buildings. 
Themes will cover the emergence and development of Vitruvian design theory and practice up to the 19th century, and related issues such as the emergence of the architect; the media of architectural design and practice (drawings, models, building materials); patterns and media of dissemination and influence (micro-architecture, imagery); building types (the palazzo and the villa); questions of beauty and ornament; questions of patronage (e.g. the Roman papacy); the relation of buildings to the city (e.g. the development of European capitals); attitudes towards history (origin myths, historicism); the question of the monument.

The course Fundamentals of the History and Theory of Architecture II consists of different parts, each dealing with a particular area of research into the history of art and architecture
(1) The historiography of architecture (M. Delbeke)
(2) Architectural media (L. Stalder).
(3) Architecture and art (P. Ursprung)
(4) Urbanism and the Commons (T. Avermaete)
LiteratureLiterature and handouts will be provided over the course of the term.
Prerequisites / NoticeFor the course History and Theory of Architecture II students will rely on assisted self study to acquire basic knowledge of the canonical history of architecture in Europe.
052-0806-00LHistory and Theory of Architecture IV Information 2 credits2VL. Stalder
AbstractThis two-semester course is an introduction to the history of architecture from the Second Industrial Revolution in the 1850s to the Oil Crisis in the 1970s in Europe. Students will be able to identify the “things”—technical objects and ensembles—that transformed architecture, and to relate them to the technical, scientific, and cultural concerns that introduced them as key features of modernity.
ObjectiveTo introduce students to the history and theory of architecture, the course has three objectives.
First, students will be able to identify the “things” that transformed architecture in modernity, and the crucial events, buildings, theories, and actors that characterize their history.
Second, students will be able to describe how these “things” operated at different scales, focusing less on the formal level, and naming instead the different forms of expertise that constituted them historically, as well as the processes within which they were embedded.
Third, students will be able to reflect on a series of apparatuses, devices, and building parts that are in fact micro-architectures which have often been neglected, despite their pivotal role in shaping the daily lives of modern societies.
ContentThe course proposes a new approach to the study of the history and theory of architecture in Europe during modernity. It focuses less on single architects or their buildings, and more on those “things” that have brought profound transformations in the built environment and daily life over the last 200 years, such as the revolving door, the clock, and the partition.
The notion of “thing” includes both the concrete building parts and the concerns associated with them, such as material performance, social synchronization, and individual expression. To understand buildings as assemblages of “things,” therefore, does not mean to diminish their significance, but on the contrary to add reality to them, to understand them in terms of the complex, historically situated, and diverse concerns within which they were designed.
Each lecture introduces one “thing” through a genealogy that shaped it, from patents and scientific discoveries and technological advancement, to cinema, the visual arts, and literature. A set of renowned projects as well as lesser-known buildings from all around Europe offer a variety of case studies to describe these “things,” to understand how they operated in relation with one another, and to identify the theories and tactics that architects mobilized to make sense of them.
Lecture noteshttps://stalder.arch.ethz.ch/lectures
Prerequisites / NoticeLocation:
1. hour: Lecture: https://ethz.zoom.us/j/97527521638
2./3. hour: Seminars in groups on Zoom
052-0814-21LHistory, Criticism and Theory in Architecture: Things of Modernity Information Restricted registration - show details 2 credits2SL. Stalder
AbstractThis course will unpack the agency of a wide range of devices, gadgets and apparatuses in the design of buildings, the experience of the city and the mediation of social relations in the modern era.
ObjectiveStudents successfully completing the course will be in a position to consider ways of applying these conceptual apparatuses to architectur
ContentArchitectural histories focussing on the discipline’s ‘heroes’, ‘styles’ and ‘canonical buildings’ miss the complexity of a practice embedded in, and actively contributing to, the global process of modernisation. For the factors that have transformed architecture worldwide in the last two hundred years have been less individual figures, formal accomplishments or singular buildings, than new technologies, organisational models and professional alignments. One way of grasping these processes, and by extension better understanding architecture’s central role in the continual unfolding of modernity, is to shift our attention from the discipline’s internal discourse to what buildings are actually made of. In other words, to think of architecture as an assemblage of technical objects (in the case of the HIL building, for instance, a concrete frame, metal cladding panels, glass panes, neon lights, elevators, air-conditioning machines, ventilation ducts, radiators, partitions, studded rubber tiles, and so on). From this standpoint, modern buildings appear as ensembles of things. But what is a ‘thing’? And how do such ‘things’ change the way we conceive of buildings, of ourselves and of others?

This course will unpack the agency of a wide range of devices, gadgets and apparatuses in the design of buildings, the experience of the city and the mediation of social relations in the modern era. Throughout the course, we will do so by tracing the positioning and function of discrete artefacts within broader networks of human, material and legal stakeholders. Parallel to that, we will survey a broad literature on the ontological, epistemological and social politics of things and matter more in general. Readings will include key texts in architectural history, semiotics, material culture studies, actor-network theory, and the recent field of ‘new materialism’. Students successfully completing the course will be in a position to consider ways of applying these conceptual apparatuses to architecture and to read buildings from an object-oriented perspective.
Lecture noteshttps://stalder.arch.ethz.ch/seminars
Literaturehttps://stalder.arch.ethz.ch/seminars
Prerequisites / Noticehttps://ethz.zoom.us/j/93433556542
052-0818-21LTheory of Architecture Seminar
Does not take place this semester.
2 credits2GL. Stalder
AbstractThe elective course/seminar "Architectures of Gender: body_building" seeks to provide an interdisciplinary introduction to gender theory in its relation to architecture.
ObjectiveParticipating students will become familiar with contemporary gender-based approaches to architecture and spatial practice, and learn to apply this knowledge to critical discussion of historical and current examples.
ContentThe body as ontology, epistemology, and representation has long provided a model for architecture. Architecture, in turn, has contributed to the construction of the human body, especially in the modern era – for example, through techniques of measuring, norms and standards. How does this relationship change today, as the boundaries between human body and technology increasingly blur, and the presumed integrity of the body becomes subject to debate and alteration?

This seminar addresses the mutual co-construction of the body and its surrounding built environment historically as well as theoretically, in particular from the perspective of technofeminist (and more recent xenofeminist) thought. Since the 1960s, architectural theories have referred to the figure of the “cyborg.” In 1985, Donna Haraway famously subverted this initially technocratic concept into an emancipatory tool to counter gender bias, binary constructions, the “reproductive matrix” and essentialist ontologies of nature. Over the last three decades, feminist scholars have further deterritorialised and appropriated different technologies to their own ends.

Revisiting feminist theorization and speculations, both past and present, we ask for the utopian potential of this un- and re-building of the body in its capacity to destabilize its associated understandings of nature, technology and culture. Weekly close-readings and discussions of key texts will familiarize the participants with provocative voices in the field, as well as provide the basis and methods for a research-oriented assignment in small groups.
Lecture notesAll required readings will be made available online.
Prerequisites / NoticeRegular class attendance is mandatory. Students are required to actively participate in weekly readings and discussions.
052-0834-21LPhD Teaching: Ways of Seeing - Working With the Visual Materials of Architecture Information 2 credits2SL. Stalder, M. Critchley, S. Hefti, M. Lähteenmäki, G. Verhaeghe
AbstractWhat do images do? How can you understand drawings, photographs and other visual material in architectural practice? This course will give you a critical toolkit for understanding, analysing and questioning the visual material of architecture.
Objective• Provide a toolbox for critical, cultural and visual analysis
• Study key texts in visual analysis in order to improve the critical reading of visual material.
• Understand the act of showing and displaying visual material.
• Achieve a better understanding of one’s own use and presentation of the visual material of architecture.
Content“It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world” – John Berger in "Ways of Seeing". Taking its title and que from John Berger's groundbreaking tv-series on art made in 1972, the course seeks to engage with visual materials and extend Berger's ambition towards architecture. We will discuss methods and questions from the fields of seeing and the visual. In addition to providing various methods of visual analysis, this seminar will also critically examine the powerful practices of seeing, interpreting, assembling and translating the visual material of architecture. We will look at how meanings change between production and reception, and how images circulate and mediate between media, between individual and collective views, between times, places and cultures.

This seminar will help you reflect upon and revisit the use of visual material within your own architectural work.

"Ways of Seeing" available (and recommended) on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk
Lecture noteshttps://www.gta.arch.ethz.ch/seminarien/ways-of-seeing--working-with-the-visual-materials-of-architecture
Literaturehttps://www.gta.arch.ethz.ch/seminarien/ways-of-seeing--working-with-the-visual-materials-of-architecture
Prerequisites / Noticehttps://ethz.zoom.us/j/96202509018
063-0170-21LSeminar Architectural Criticism (Thesis Elective) Information Restricted registration - show details 6 credits13AL. Stalder
AbstractIn the framework of three elective courses, students need prepare elective works (seminar works).
ObjectiveThe aim of these papers is to foster an independent engagement with the subjects of the seminar. A scientific familiarization with the respective themes is required. The extent of such a paper ranges from 20 to 30 pages.
Prerequisites / NoticeInterested students are kindly asked to contact us in order to discuss possible projects.
063-0172-21LHistory, Criticism and Theory of Architecture (Thesis Elective) Information Restricted registration - show details 6 credits13AL. Stalder
AbstractWithin three elective courses the students need to fulfill an elective work (seminar work). Elective works serve the independent way of dealing with the contents of the according elective course.
ObjectiveThe goal is to develop a framework of questions within the field of the history and theory of architecture as well as cultural history and to discuss it in a text that will form a scientific thesis. Personal viewpoints and arguments should be based on historical and theoretical sources and literature, and should be presented with reference to the source.
063-0802-00LHistory and Theory in Architecture VIII (M.Delbeke/L.Stalder) Information
This core course (ends with «00L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
2 credits2VM. Delbeke, L. Stalder
AbstractThe course offers an advanced introduction into the practices and debates of architectural history and theory.
ObjectiveBasic knowledge of the history and theory of the architecture.
ContentMaarten Delbeke, Rococo

This lecture series explores and interprets the rococo church architecture of what is now Southern Germany, by examining its religious and political context, by proposing a close reading of a number of case-studies, and by offering a thematic analysis of some of its key features. The course is intended at once as a thorough introduction and an open-ended process of discovery, where preliminary observations will be weighed and discussed collectively.


Laurent Stalder: What is new about New Brutalism?

Taking the English avant-garde as an example, the lecture examines the deep transformations in architecture during the postwar period. The focus lies on the question of performance in architecture, from constructive questions (e.g., prefabrication), structural challenges (e.g., theory of plasticity), physical properties (e.g., isolation), infrastructural changes (e.g., pipes and machines), to spatial challenges and their aesthetic consequences for people, architecture, and the environment. The goal of the lecture is to use the recent architectural history to shed light on different concepts still relevant for contemporary architecture.
LiteratureStalder: Brutalism https://stalder.arch.ethz.ch/lehrveranstaltungen/um-1950-new-brutalism-etc
Delbeke: Rococo = https://delbeke.arch.ethz.ch/lehrveranstaltungen/rococo-in-switzerland-and-southern-germany-fs-21
Prerequisites / NoticeStalder: Brutalism = https://ethz.zoom.us/j/91848526400
Delbeke: Rococo = https://ethz.zoom.us/j/94762667751?pwd=RVhjK2VGL05qRHE2OXk5RGZBaUdZZz09 (Passcode: 258453)
063-0804-01LHistory and Theory of Architecture VIII (L.Stalder) Information
This core course (ends with «01L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
2 credits2VR. Choi, L. Stalder
AbstractThis lecture course begins with the premise that architecture’s “color,” or its not-quite-so-whiteness, is difficult to see.
Objective
ContentThinking through Architecture’s Color Line, the course explores three arenas that have been central to the formation of what some historians call architecture as a discipline: the profession, the university and the museum. These institutional “nodes” will serve as loose framework to introduce how racial politics were embedded within each structure and will demonstrate how the architectural field was not as white as we might have previously thought: there were communities of color, Black architects and architects-in-training thinking against the architectural grain though the social organizing very much using architectural terms that have not always been at the forefront of the discipline. Organized thematically, the course will move through projects, concepts, and ideas that have seemingly ignored race and racism, followed by projects that offer anti-racist forms of architectural visions.
Lecture noteshttps://choi.arch.ethz.ch/courses/the-color-line
Literaturehttps://choi.arch.ethz.ch/courses/the-color-line
Prerequisites / Noticehttps://ethz.zoom.us/j/5777551284
063-0806-00LInputs From Outside In the Field of History and Theory of Architecture (Guest Professor's Lecture) Information
This core course (ends with «00L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
2 credits2VC. Brothers, M. Delbeke, L. Stalder
AbstractThis course will aim to explore the Mediterranean, a region of great importance to trade, culture and politics over many centuries that continues to defy conventional academic and geographic categories. The course will aim to expand the existing discussion towards the inclusion of the built environment and cultural artifacts, and contemporary reverberations of the region’s history.
ObjectiveThe course considers buildings and landscapes from across the Mediterranean world, encompassing Italy, Spain, the Ottoman Empire, North Africa and Egypt. Its chronological and geographical scope is meant to bring into question some the conventional categories by which art and architectural history are studied: “Medieval,” “Renaissance,” “Italian,” “Islamic,” “Western,” etc. These categories tend to impose a particular narrative on history, suggesting that the Renaissance was a break with the middle ages, that Florence was the cultural center of Europe, and that the relation between European and Islamic societies could be manifest only through conflict. This course will attempt to resist this narrative, and to propose an alternative one based on the ideas of cultural interchange, rivalry, and appropriation.
ContentNationalism has cast a long shadow in the humanities, dividing disciplines along lines that often do not correspond to the most important boundaries of earlier eras, or even of our own. This course will aim to explore the Mediterranean, a region of great importance to trade, culture and politics over many centuries that continues to defy conventional academic and geographic categories. While Mediterranean studies were established by Fernand Braudel (in La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II, 1949) and have seen a revival of interest in the last decades, the course will aim to expand the existing discussion towards the inclusion of the built environment and cultural artifacts, and towards a consideration of the contemporary reverberations of the region’s history.

The course considers a range of buildings and landscapes from across the Mediterranean world, encompassing Italy, Spain, the Ottoman Empire, North Africa and Egypt. Its chronological and geographical scope are meant to bring into question some the conventional categories by which art and architectural history are studied: “Medieval,” “Renaissance,” “Italian,” “Islamic,” “Western,” etc. These categories tend to impose a particular narrative on history, suggesting that the Renaissance was a break with the middle ages, that Florence was the cultural center of Europe, and that the relation between European and Islamic societies could be manifest only through conflict. This course will attempt to resist this narrative, and to propose an alternative one based on the ideas of cultural interchange, rivalry, and appropriation. In considering this range of subject matter, emphasis will be placed on sites, cities, and monuments that show the traces of a layered or contested history.
064-0004-21LAdvanced Topics in History and Theory of Architecture Information 3 credits2KM. Delbeke, T. Avermaete, L. Stalder
AbstractAdvanced Research Methods in the History and Theory of Art and Architecture
ObjectiveAcquiring insight in the different possible research methods available to PhD-researchers in the fields of the history and theory of art and architecture.
ContentMannerism - baroque - rococo
The seminar will treat the history and historiography of European architecture of the 16th up to 19th century, with a central focus on the uses and meaning of these three notions. The aim is to confront historiographic reflection with historical enquiry, in order to familiarise participants with key moments in architectural history, while provoking a critical reflection on how this history is written. The seminar will consist of collective readings of key texts as well as guest lectures by leading scholars.