From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

Laurent Stalder: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019

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
051-0312-00LHistory of Art and Architecture IV Information
Only for Architecture BSc, Programme Regulations 2011.
3 credits2VL. Stalder
AbstractThe two-semester course offers an introduction to the history and theory of architecture from the industrial revolution up to now. Based on current questions a variety of case studies will be discussed.
ObjectiveThe aim is to give an overview on crucial events, works of art, buildings and theories since the beginning of the 19th century up to now. The course should enhance the comprehension of historical and theoretical issues, and allow the students to localize their own practice within a broader historical context.
ContentThe subject of this lecture course is the history and theory of architecture since the beginning of the 19th century up to now. It examines the architectural answers to the changing technical inventions and social practices. Consequently, the focus will be less on individual architects or buildings than on various themes that determined the architecture of the period.
Lecture noteshttp://www.stalder.arch.ethz.ch/courses
051-1214-19LIntegrated Discipline Theory of Architecture Information Restricted registration - show details 3 credits2UL. Stalder
AbstractIn the bachelor program, the integration of architectural theory into the design process is only offered in cooperation with the chair of architectural design for the whole design studio. On the basis of a reading of theoretical texts the conventions of architectural practice are critically debated. The theoretical perspective will be discussed in the midterm and/or final design studio criticism.
ObjectiveThe goal is a critical debate on the conventions of architectural practice, the insights of which shall inform the design process.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe integrated design is organized and operated by both chairs engaged in close cooperation.
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
AbstractThe two-semester course offers an introduction to the history and theory of architecture from the industrial revolution up to now. Based on current questions a variety of case studies will be discussed.
ObjectiveThe aim is to give an overview on crucial events, works of art, buildings and theories since the beginning of the 19th century up to now. The course should enhance the comprehension of historical and theoretical issues, and allow the students to localize their own practice within a broader historical context.
ContentThe subject of this lecture course is the history and theory of architecture since the beginning of the 19th century up to now. It examines the architectural answers to the changing technical inventions and social practices. Consequently, the focus will be less on individual architects or buildings than on various themes that determined the architecture of the period.
Lecture noteshttp://www.stalder.arch.ethz.ch/courses
052-0814-19LHistory, Criticism and Theory of Architecture: Information Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
2 credits2SL. Stalder
AbstractThis seminar studies the intersection of film, architecture and urbanism, focusing on the œuvre of the 1960s by Michelangelo Antonioni and Jean-Luc Godard. In their films of the booming postwar years, these ‘auteurs’ show us that the political, economic and social environment and their consequences for the inner ‘conditio humana’ can be analyzed through changes in architecture and urban planning.
ObjectiveThe seminar offers methods of analysis and insights in theories and historical contexts. Through the analysis and discussions of films, critical readings and historical contextualisations, we try to draw awareness to today's context. In addition to the regular attendance of the seminar sessions students present specific film examples/sequences that we will discuss together.
ContentThe directors Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) and Jean-Luc Godard (*1930) are not only very much appreciated 'auteurs' by film scholars. Many architects still share their interests in and sometimes even passion for these two filmmakers. In the booming postwar years Antonioni and Godard show us that changes in the political, economic and social environment and their consequences for the inner ‘conditio humana’ can be analyzed through changes in architecture and urban planning. These are at times contrasted with buildings of former years and their (forgotten?) values. The seminar intersects research in film, architecture and urbanism through analysis and discussions of selected films and readings.

Intended Antonioni films: La Notte (1961), L’Eclisse (1962), Il deserto rosso (1964)

Intended Godard films: Le Mépris (1963), Une femme mariée (1964), Alphaville (1965), Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle (1967)
Prerequisites / NoticeThe courses are held in German. Language skills in French and Italian are most welcome. It is compulsory to watch the films before the related sessions. Screenings take place in/after the sessions on THU night.
052-0816-19LSeminar Architectural Criticism: Information 2 credits2GL. Stalder
AbstractThe seminar investigates the potential and the limitations of architectural criticism. The course comprises theoretical reflection, discussions of architectural objects, as well as work on texts.
ObjectiveThe aim of the seminar is not only to identify together a section of the “gender status quo of architecture" in Switzerland, but also to prepare it for dissemination in the media. Therefore, the students are expected to develop a research task and make a short presentation of their research results to the group, as well as preparing journalistic contributions such as texts, interviews, videos, and infographics. Affinities to pop culture and postmodern refractions are expressly encouraged. A collaboration is planned with Arno Brandlhuber's (film) studio, among others.
ContentThe students should evaluate the current state of the field of research in Switzerland on the topic of "Women in Architecture", in order to be able to take a stand on this position in a second phase and further develop the discourse. Each of the presentation formats will be developed individually.
Lecture notesWill be handed out at the beginning of the semester.
LiteratureEssays and reviews from architectural journals, magazines and other media.
052-0834-19LPhD Teaching - Research in History and Theory of Architecture Information
Does not take place this semester.
This course is not offered in FS19.
2 credits2SL. Stalder, to be announced
AbstractSurvey course of post-war Italian architecture, 10 sessions, thematically organised
ObjectiveStudents can expect to:
1) acquire a rich understanding of post-war Italian architecture
2) further develop their critical thinking skills, which they can use to to analyse and discuss contemporary works of architecture
ContentIn the years spanning from the end of WW2 to the late 1980s, Italian architects produced highly influential design and written works. The present course will unpack the complexities of these seminal texts, buildings, and exhibitions in two ways: by highlighting their contextual meaning within Cold War politics and Fordist economics, and by foregrounding their significance to today’s architectural discourse and practice. Over the semester we will thus encounter a number of key figures of the post-war era (Luigi Moretti, Ernesto Nathan Rogers, Aldo Rossi, etc) whose work will be understood in relation with both the national situation during the so-called ‘First Republic’ (1948-92), and with international networks of people, ideas, and images of the same period. In so doing, the course will encourage the students to draw parallels between built works, theories, and material conditions, as well as introduce them to a large critical apparatus.

Italian Modern will be structured around readings, weekly seminar meetings, and student presentations, and its organisation will be thematic - with sessions on topics as diverse as trauma and memory, neorealism, the problem of continuity in history, Americanisation, concrete and nation building processes, megastructures, pop/counterculture, architectural autonomy, and postmodernism.
LiteratureAll the readings will be available in PDF format on the course website, and a reader will be available for purchase
052-0840-19LParticular Questions in Architectural Theory: Information Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
2 credits2SL. Stalder, to be announced
AbstractThis seminar examines individual theoretical positions from modern and contemporary architecture. The corpus ranges from manifestos, books, exhibitions, and blogs, to the built work.
ObjectiveThe aim of the seminar is the critical examination of theoretical positions from the architecture of modernity and the present. Based on the historical analysis, the students should develop the tools and methods to develop their own theoretical position and to be able to respond to the challenges of the present.
ContentTopic of the seminar are discourses, debates, positional references, movements in their rich interrelation to the architectural practice in the modern and the present. The proposed topics should be examined from a dual, historical and systematic perspective. Each semester will be organized around a historically and theoretically limited research question.

Can we not commune with buildings, stones, views—
despite Wordsworth and all our Romantic poets/painters?
- Alison Smithson
‹The Arch Criminals of the Euston Arch› (1968)

Robin Hood Gardens, the social housing development built by the Smithsons in East London (1972), was demolished in August 2017. In an attempt to save it, the preservationist lobby mounted a decade-long campaign on an unprecedented scale, bolstered by the testimony of design leaders like Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid. The methods adopted in the campaign have a much longer-standing genealogy in British architectural culture, and the Smithsons themselves had their place as preservationist prophets. Following the equally calamitous campaign of 1961 to save the Euston Arch, the Greek Revival propylaeum fronting Euston station, the Smithsons wrote a book in protest, a spiralling book, for, they said, ‘a real catastrophe travels round and round in one’s bones’.
This seminar will examine the ways in which British architecture and heritage were mediated in the post-war period by various different protagonists, through diverse media.
Whether architects, grass-roots activists, journalists, or poets, they were enterprising campaigners. Their work, in writing, film, broadcast and verse, could be, perhaps needed to be, emotional, incautious, even bellicose. Foiling the melancholia and disillusionment, though, it often had a great sense of fun too. The seminar will explore the breadth and variety of that output, and consider different, often creative, models of critiquing buildings, aided by the deployment of certain tropes – not least polemic, persuasion and wit – whilst critically examining underlying ideological drivers, such as taste. The sessions will be arranged thematically, according to certain key epithets, like ‹Rape›, ‹Villainy›, ‹Destruction› and ‹Good Taste›. It will conclude with a discussion of the ways the UK is confronting its post-modern architectural heritage as buildings by James Stirling and Terry Farrell have recently been officially protected. Confrontation with these themes will open up a large reservoir of new knowledge about English architecture. Moreover, it will shake up conventional perspectives on architectural critique, whilst confronting afresh the roles history and heritage could or should play in contemporary practice.
063-0172-19LHistory, Criticism and Theory of Architecture (Thesis Elective) Information Restricted registration - show details 6 credits11AL. 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/B.Hub/L.Stalder)2 credits2VM. Delbeke, L. Stalder, B. Hub
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, Berthold Hub: The Column

The definition of the orders as the key element of ancient architecture from the 15th century took place as much in the design of buildings as in graphic media such as drawings, engravings and paintings. There, the column became a motif associated with particular iconographies – such as the Annunciation – in ways that fed back into the research of architects and builders. In this course, we explore the iconography of the column from the Renaissance up to the present in order to trace the meanings that became attached to it, but also to understand the different uses and appropriations of the columns as a motif in visual expression. The course will consist of lectures, student presentations and visits to collections of art works.

Laurent Stalder: What 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.
064-0004-19LDoctoral Seminar: Methods in History and Theory of Architecture Information 3 credits2KL. Stalder, M. Delbeke, I. Heinze-Greenberg, P. Ursprung
AbstractMethods in the History of Art and Architecture: Diagrams, Drawings, and Beyond. Architectural Medias and Medias in Architecture
ObjectiveKnowledge in the methods of the history of art and architecture
ContentArchitects do not build. They sketch, draw, photograph, program scripts or construct models to communicate their intentions. Each of the information and communication media used has its own history and properties. Together, they constitute a major component of the body of knowledge with which historians and theoreticians deal. Architectural media thereby constitute not so much an allegedly “objective” means of reproducing reality as representation techniques with their own inherent logic and rules. Media in architecture thus attest to specific discursive practices and specific conventions. As subordinate design tools or independent forms of representation they not only convey certain content matter; rather, in a much broader sense, they are themselves an expression of certain forms of knowledge.