Tom Avermaete: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021
|Name||Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete|
|Field||History and Theory of Urban Design|
Geschichte u.Theorie d. Städtebaus
ETH Zürich, HIL D 70.7
|051-1206-21L||Integrated Discipline History of Urban Design||3 credits||2U||T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||This part of the curriculum addresses design work in different areas of architecture and urbanism and integrates the knowledge acquired in previous years. It involves the active participation of specialists from related disciplines (e.g. building structures, landscape architecture, history of art and architecture, monuments conservation etc.).|
|Objective||Aim of this subject is to explain bacis principles of scientific methods to the students. This aim shall be obtained through the analysis of plans and texts of urban case stuies.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Before the registration to Integrated Discipline History of Urban Design the students have to make an appointment with one of the assistants of the chair.|
|052-0802-00L||Global History of Urban Design II||2 credits||2V||T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||This course focuses on the history of the city, as well as on the ideas, processes and actors that propel their development and transformation. This course approaches the history of urban design as a cross-cultural field of knowledge that integrates scientific, economic and technical innovation as well as social and cultural change.|
|Objective||The lectures in this course deal with the definition of urban design as an independent discipline that nevertheless maintains strong connections with other disciplines and fields that affect the transformation of the city (e.g. politics, sociology, geography, etc). The aim is to introduce students to the multiple theories, concepts and approaches of urban design that have been articulated from the turn of the 20th century to today, in a variety of cultural contexts. The course thus offers a historical and theoretical framework for students’ future design work.|
|Content||25.02.2021 / lecture 1: Course introduction|
04.03.2021 / lecture 2: Housing and the Industrial City: From Speculative to Cooperative
11.03.2021 / lecture 3: Cities and Ideologies: Building for Healthy Minds in Healthy Bodies
18.03.2021 / lecture 4: Envisioning Urban Utopias
25.03.2021: no class (Seminar Woche)
01.04.2021 / lecture 5: Reconstructing the City, Constructing New Towns
08.04.2021: no class (Easter)
15.04.2021 / lecture 6: New Capitals for New Democracies; New Institutions for Old Democracies
22.04.2021 / lecture 7: Rethinking Masterplanning
29.04.2020 / lecture 8: The Countercultural City
06.05.2020 / lecture 9: The Postmodern City: From Neo-rationalism to Neo-liberalism
20.05.2020 / lecture 10: Urban Implosion
|Lecture notes||Prior to each lecture a chapter of the reader (Skript) will be made available through the webpage of the Chair. These Skripts will introduce the lecture, as well as the basic visual references of each lecture, key dates and events, and references to further/additional readings.|
|Literature||There are three books that will function as main reference literature throughout the course:|
Eric Mumford, Designing the Modern City: Urban Design Since 1850 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018)
Francis D. K. Ching, Mark Jarzombek and Vikramditya Prakash, A Global History of Architecture (Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2017)
David Grahame Shane, Urban Design Since 1945: A Global Perspective (Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2011)
These books will be reserved for consultation in the ETH Baubibliothek, and will not be available for individual loans. A list of further recommended literature will be found within each chapter of the reader (Skript).
|Prerequisites / Notice||Hybrid teaching: 33/66 (face-to-face/online, changing). 1/3 in auditorium, 2/3 Streaming from home, changing every week.|
The groups are formed on the first day of lecture.
|052-0804-00L||History and Theory in Architecture II||2 credits||2V + 2U||M. Delbeke, T. Avermaete, L. Stalder, P. Ursprung|
|Abstract||Introduction 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)
|Objective||Acquiring 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.
|Content||The 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)
|Literature||Literature and handouts will be provided over the course of the term.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||For 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.|
|052-0828-21L||Seminar History and Theory of Urban Design: The City Represented - The View from the Car |
Number of participants limited to 18.
|4 credits||2S||M. Charitonidou, T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||The automobile has reshaped our conceptions of space and our modes of accessing and penetrating the urban and non-urban territory, revolutionizing how architects perceive the city and contributing significantly to the transformation of the relationship between architecture and urban space. The seminar examines architects’ automobile vision.|
|Objective||The main objective of the seminar is to help students understand how the automobile influenced architects’ perception of the environment and how its generalized use provoked the emergence of new theoretical concepts and eventually led to new design perspectives. It aims to untie the specificity of car travel as a new episteme of the urban landscape. One of the main learning objectives will be to help students understand that the emergence of the generalised use of the car is related not only to a new epistemological regime, but also to a new representational regime. The latter, which relies upon photography, film, new modes of visual mapping and particular diagrams, serves to capture this new epistemological regime. The seminar will make students aware that there is an agency and an intentionality behind this new representational regime. The themes addressed will be grouped per means of visualization including three sections: “Drawing and the View from the Car”, “Photography and the View from the Car”, and “Film and the View from the Car”. The structure of the seminar is organized in clusters of architects that were interested in similar questions related to the emergence of the new perceptual regime due to the generalized use of the car.|
This seminar will help students understand the difference between capturing and interpreting reality when one films or photographs during a car trip. It will help students realize that each of these modes of representation is based on a different way of retrieving an experience later on. By the end of the course, the students will be able to argue why, when we decide to represent an experience of the city and more specifically a trajectory which is based on the sequential experience of landscape in a specific way, we make choices about what we extract from reality. These choices are based on what we consider to be the most important features of an urban landscape and depends on our own values and methods regarding not only the interpretation of architecture but also the strategies of intervention on a given site. By the end of the seminar, the students will acquire the skill of achieving the best possible alignment between what they consider to be the most important characteristics and the means for representing them.
In parallel, by the end of the teaching process, the students will be able to explain why the choice of specific fragments of reality and the ways in which we relate them goes hand in hand with the taxonomies we wish to build while narrating an experience of driving through a landscape. They will also be expected to understand that there is a tension between stimulation and documentation and that the quick change of views while driving though a landscape promotes a ‘snapshot aesthetics’ and connects to memory in a different way based on the superimposition and juxtaposition of visual impressions. The objective is to help students realise that even if we intend to focus on the same features of reality each mode of representation is characterised by a capacity to focus on certain aspects of reality. Focusing of the analysis of the different modes of representation, the seminar will help students become aware that when one chooses a means of representation over another, one is setting priorities.
|Content||An important component of the course will be the exploration of the interconnection between theory and architectural design practice. The analysis of the connections between epistemological regimes and representational regimes will help them become aware of the intentionality characterizing the use of specific modes of representation. The seminar will also aim to help students understand how to choose the mode of representation that most efficiently promotes their architectural and urban design objectives. Special attention will be paid to the improvement of their skills in elaborating concepts coming from the history and theory of architecture and urban design for self-analysing their design processes, and to the enhancement of interactive learning through the organisation of several sessions of peer feedback on the texts, drawings and photographs produced by the students.|
Telling regarding the understanding of car travel as a new episteme is Reyner Banham's following remark, in Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies: "like earlier generations of English intellectuals who taught themselves Italian in order to read Dante in the original, I had to learn to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the original". During the second half of the 20th century, architects became increasingly aware of the impact of the car. Particular emphasis will be placed on the fact that the new perceptual regime related to its generalised use became more apparent within the American context. Some seminal books in which this becomes evident are Donald Appleyard, Kevin Lynch, and John Myer's The View from the Road (1964), Reyner Banham's Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), and Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour's Learning from Las Vegas (1972). In the latter, it becomes evident that one cannot make sense of Las Vegas by walking. Special attention will be paid to the analysis of cases that demonstrate that the view from the car as a new perceptual regime, instead of functioning simply as a tool serving to document visual impressions during travel, plays an important role in shaping the architects' own architectural and urban design strategies.
Throughout the seminar the students will work collaboratively in order to contribute to the production of an exhibition entitled "The View from the Car: Autopia as a New Perceptual Regime", which will be displayed at the gta exhibitions foyer space. An ensemble of exercises that will be held every two sessions will help students get familiarized with the theoretical concepts and the modes of representation analysed in the seminar. A booklet published at the end of the seminar will bring together the outcomes of these different exercises. The final presentation of the seminar will take place within the exhibition space and will be accompanied by the feedback of a jury consisting of different professors from the school.
Structure of the seminar:
Drawing and the view from the car
Seminar 1: Kevin Lynch, Donald Appleyard and John Myer's Mapping Strategies: Cognitive Maps
Seminar 2: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour's Diagrams: The Specificity of the American Urban Landscape
Seminar 3: Ian Nairn and Gordon Cullen's "serial vision", Outrage and subtopia
Photography and the view from the car
Seminar 4: John Lautner's residences as equivalents of cameras: The 'autophotographic grasp'
Seminar 5: The "as found" and the act of capturing the materiality of artefacts through street photography
Seminar 6: Aldo Rossi's act of taking photographs from the car: Shaping mental maps of the cities
Film and the view from the car
Seminar 7: Kevin Lynch's movie "View from The Road" and Reyner Banham's movie "Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles"
Seminar 8: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's "Deadpan" film
Seminar 9: The cross-fertilization between the view from the car and the design strategies
Seminar 10: Final presentations of the students
|Lecture notes||A printed syllabus and a handout including the visual and textual material to be investigated during the seminar will be provided in the first seminar class.|
|Literature||Weekly assigned readings will be provided in digital form. Additional readings will be put on reserve in the library.|
Appleyard, Donald, Kevin Lynch, John Myer, The View from the Road (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1964).
Banham, Reyner, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), introduction by Anthony Vidler (Berkeley, California; London: University of California Press, c2000).
Brown, Denise Scott, Steven Izenour, Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1972).
Cullen, Gordon, The Concise Townscape (London: Architectural Press, 1961).
Hess, Alan. Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004).
Nairn, Ian, Outrage (London, Architectural Press, 1955); the book combined articles published in Architectural Review, 117, no. 702 (1955): 364-460.
Nairn, Ian, The American Landscape: A Critical View (New York, Random House, 1965).
Stadler, Hilar, Martino Stierli, Peter Fischli, Las Vegas Studio: Bilder aus dem Archiv von Robert Venturi und Denise Scott Brown (Zürich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2008).
Stierli, Martino, Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2013).
_ _ _ _. “In Sequence: Cinematic Perception in Learning from Las Vegas”, in Hunch 12 (2009): 76-85.
Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, "Significance for A&P Parking Lots, or Learning from Las Vegas", in Architectural Forum (1968): 37-43.
Yoder, Joh, “Vision and Crime: The Cinematic Architecture of John Lautner”, in D. Medina Lasansky, ed., Archi.Pop: Mediating Architecture in Popular Culture (London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), 45-58.
|Prerequisites / Notice||This course is offered mainly for master’s students and is limited to 18 participants. |
- Active participation in class discussions (10 % of final grade)
- Exercises during the semester (20% of final grade each, total 60% of final grade)
Students are invited to produce a triptych consisting of three A3 (portrait) panels. Each A3 panel will address one of the three means of representation analysed during the seminar: drawing, photography and film respectively.
Each A3 panel will include visual elements (selected and/or developed by the student) and a textual analysis that critically scrutinizes the relation of the visual analysis to the view from the car. (500-600 words for each A3/1500 words for the triptych).
All the triptychs will be part of the booklet that will be produced at the end of the seminar. They will also be displayed in the exhibition “The View from the Car: Autopia as a New Perceptual Regime”.
- Final presentation of the triptych (30% of final grade)
|052-0850-21L||The City in Theory: Urban Matter and Design||2 credits||2S||H. Teerds, T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||This elective seminar focusses on contemporary issues of urban theory. During the spring of 2021 the seminar will focus on (1) the ideal of public space and (2) the processes of gentrification. Students that participate in the course will read and critically engage in seminal readings that discuss these topics, which continue to influence and characterize the contemporary urban territory.|
|Objective||This course will: |
- Introduce students to several historical and contemporary contributions to actual debates on cities and urban design, in particular the discourses on gentrification and public space,
- Discuss the motivations, purposes and ideologies behind particular contributions to these discourses on cities and their future
- Emphasize the specificity of the 'designerly view' upon the deficiencies and potentialites of the urban territory
- Highlight the relationship between theoretical as well as design approaches to the contemporary city
- Equip students to reflect upon the contemporary situation in cities with the help of both theoretical as well as design perspectives
|Content||The City in Theory: Urban Matters and design is an elective seminar course that focusses on issues of urban theory, urban and architectural design, and urban analysis. Students that participate in the course will read and critically engage in seminal readings that discuss particular topics which continue to influence and characterize contemporary cities. |
During the spring of 2021, the seminar will focus on two critical topics of urban theory: (1) the ideal of public space and (2) the processes of gentrification.
The multiple interfaces between these two topics will be used to come to a better understanding of the concrete processes and ideologies that reshape and transform our cities.
The course will not only investigate the topics from a theoretical point of view but also questions how architectural and urban design (1) contribute to the vitality of public spaces and (2) influence pernicious processes of gentrification. Conversely, various material manifestations of public and urban space will be used to explore specific conceptions of the relationship between the city and the citizens, as well as between the built environment and notions of well-being.
During each meeting, seminal texts that address these topics from different domains (the perspective of the designer, the perspective of social research and political theory), and from different geographies (conceptions and experiences from the Global South and Global North) will be read and discussed.
In addition, students are asked to analyze a contemporary (re)development of a city, wherein they trace the topics discussed during the seminar.
|Prerequisites / Notice||Advanced bachelor students and master students can enrol in this course|
|063-0368-21L||History of Urban Design (Thesis Elective)||6 credits||13A||T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||Within 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.|
|Objective||Aim of this seminar work is to learn how to write a small thesis on a case study. This work should include a creative text, but also to obey certain rules, which turn a regular text into a scientific one.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Enrollment on agreement with the lecturer only.|
Specials: The thesis must be handed in before 31st May 2017.
|063-0370-21L||Theory of Urban Design (Thesis Elective)||6 credits||13A||T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||Following the seminar focusing on the urban history of Zurich a hypothesis and question should be posed. With the small academic writing this question should be answered.|
|Objective||The main aim of this seminar is learning the scientific handling of theoretical texts on the city. These texts range from pamphlets, to commentaries and literary products.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||Enrollment on agreement with the lecturer only.|
|063-0858-21L||Subject Semester (Fachsemester) FS21 in the Field of History and Theory in Architecture (Avermaete) |
Only for Architecture MSc, Programme Regulations 2017.
Enrolment only possible after consultation with the lecturer.
A student can only register once for a "Fachsemester" during the Master studies!
|14 credits||29A||T. Avermaete|
|Abstract||This Fachsemester focuses on the green commons of Zürich: the many forests, pastures, gardens, allotment gardens, parks, fields, lawns, … that characterize the city. We explore how they are manifested, produced, managed, used, maintained, and appropriated. Green commons offer new perspectives on contemporary challenges such as climate change, urban food provision and densification.|
|Objective||The subject semester or “Fachsemester” has two objectives. First, we will develop an ‘Archeology’ of Zürich’s eco-commons. In this part, the work of the urban historian or theoretician is understood as an archaeological venture: the city’s green elements will be regarded as the outcome of codes and practices of ‘commoning’ that will be systematically analyzed. The result will be a catalogue of city’s green infrastructures and networks, illustrating how these provide frameworks for ‘commoning’, and demonstrating how these common ecological resources mitigate environmental challenges such as pollution and urban heat islands, and how, as urban figures, they are integrated into the city fabric. |
Secondly, we will develop an ‘Assemblage’ of Zürich’s eco-commons by scrutinizing how they are experienced, practised, and developed in the city. To this end, we will analyze the character and role of urban forests, parks, gardens, and allotments as sites for the production of common-pool resources (health and leisure space, energy, food, clean air, etc.). We will explore the relations between ecological commons and commoning practices, and the negotiations they entail between experts and non-experts, formal and informal agencies, human and nonhuman actors.
The result of the Fachsemester will be A Retroactive Manifesto for the city of Zürich, in which the past, present and future roles of green commons in the city will be discussed, as a more comprehensive project for the city as we know it and as it might evolve.
|Content||Cities have always been based on common resources and common practices. While designing and constructing the architecture of the city, architects, urban designers, builders, and inhabitants have had to engage with common resources located in particular places and geographies: inherited common-pool resources (water, nature, air); material common-pool resources (clay, brick, stone, wood); and immaterial common-pool resources (craft, knowledge). This understanding of the city, as related to common resources and practices, has gained renewed attention, as neoliberalism replaces ever-shrinking welfare structures, and global urbanization is accompanied by rising inequality. It is not only architects and urban designers who are again becoming interested in alternative principles of governing common resources, but also political movements and society at large. Some of these issues – generally called ‘the commons’ – have also received growing academic attention in the last decades within the fields of critical urban studies, urban history, urban geography and the social sciences. This Fachsemester continues the studio’s investigations into the rich history of ‘the commons’ in the city of Zürich by focusing on its green infrastructures. The ‘eco-commons’ will be investigated from architectural, spatial, environmental and material perspectives. We will explore how ecological common practices and resources have affected the development of the city, and conversely how the built environment has structured common practices and facilitated access to green spaces as common resources. The research will unlock an alternative reading of the urban and architectural qualities of the built environment of the city.|
|Lecture notes||Methodology: Exploring the Tools and Knowledge of the Architect|
The main hypothesis of the Fachsemester is that historical and theoretical research can gain from a profound use of the tools and knowledge of an architect. During the Fachsemester students will employ specific architectural tools, such as drawing, writing, and model making to explore historical and theoretical realities. Students will be urged to explore various methods of composing analytical and interpretative drawings. They will reflect upon the capacity of drawing methods from the field of architecture, such as plan drawing, sectional drawings, mappings, serial visions, public drawings, diagramming and perspective representations to act as tools of historical and theoretical research. At the same time, they will be asked to investigate various analytical and interpretative modes of scale-model making. Students will look into such different types as structural models, mass models, counter form models, landscape and territorial models, as ways to historically or theoretically explore the reality of the city.
Result: A Retroactive Manifesto
The final product of the Fachsemester is a ‘retroactive manifesto’, a profound historical or theoretical work which offers new insights into the driving logics of a particular urban condition of the distant or recent past. Such a project will reflect a clear hypothesis on the logics of that urban condition, offering not only a better understanding of the circumstances of emergence and development, but also of its future potential.
During the Fachsemester, students work simultaneously on a joint research as well as on individual research projects. The collaborative research will focus on Green Commons as a fragment Zürich’s urban structure, as it is related to the common resources, and will result in introductory texts, drawings and models. For their individual research, students will focus on a particular site, and investigate how this site has been developed, in time and in relation to the available common resources and practices, until today. Next to text, these individual projects will be presented through a defined set of maps, drawings, and models.
The collective and individual projects together will offer an alternative reading, which retro-actively traces the urban territory and architectural quality of the city of Zürich back to the local common resources and common practices. The different materials – texts, drawings, models – will be combined in an atlas, which presents this alternative reading to a broader audience, and unlocks aspects of the urban and architectural quality of the city that still influences our experiences today, but regularly has been overlooked. As such, this atlas also is a manifesto: facing the situation today, it urges such alternative readings as essential lessons from the past as well as alternative guidelines for future developments.
|Prerequisites / Notice||A student can only register once for a "Fachsemester" during the Master studies!|
|064-0004-21L||Advanced Topics in History and Theory of Architecture||3 credits||2K||M. Delbeke, T. Avermaete, L. Stalder|
|Abstract||Advanced Research Methods in the History and Theory of Art and Architecture|
|Objective||Acquiring insight in the different possible research methods available to PhD-researchers in the fields of the history and theory of art and architecture.|
|Content||Mannerism - 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.
|064-0018-21L||Research Methods in Landscape and Urban Studies||3 credits||2K||G. Vogt, T. Avermaete, T. Galí-Izard, C. Girot, H. Klumpner, F. Persyn, C. Schmid|
|Abstract||As part of the ‘Doctoral Programme in Landscape and Urban Studies’, the ‘Research Methods in Landscape and Urban Studies' seminar offers PhD students at the D-Arch an application-oriented introduction into the variety of methodologies and tools available to conduct research on the (built) environment at the urban and territorial scale.|
|Objective||The seminar's objective is to introduce PhD students to the multitude of research methodologies, tools, and techniques within the fields of urban studies, urban design, territorial planning and landscape architecture. Based on the conveyed knowledge, the seminar ultimately aims at enabling PhD candidates to critically assess existing methods and tools, and to refine and develop an academically sound research framework for their own studies.|
|Content||The seminar is organised along four modules that are arranged according to the PhD classes' particular needs:|
A: Methodology Module >>> Introduction of a research methodology/approach by an expert + exercise and discussion / moderated by doctoral programme coordinator. (3 per semester)
B: Framework Module >>> Sessions organised and conducted by doctoral programme coordinator and invited experts to develop a first overview of different theories on landscape and urban studies (with this semester a specific focus on the Anthropocene and living systems). (3 per semester).
C: Techniques Module >>> Introduction into research techniques and tools / organised by doctoral programme coordinator and respective experts. These modules will make students familiar with technical aspects such as academic writing, or the the use of GIS software and visual analysis (3 per semester)
D. Doctoral Reviews >>> Presentation and discussion of individual PhD projects organised by the doctoral program coordinator with external guests (2 per semester).
|Prerequisites / Notice||The online seminar is jointly organized by the coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Landscape and Urban Studies, and the I-LUS faculty. Although located at the D-Arch, the seminar is open to all doctoral students (at ETH) who are involved or interested in research at the urban and territorial scale.|
This seminar is complementing the gta doctoral colloquiums on Thursday afternoons.