From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
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051-0723-16L  Information Architecture and Future Cities: Smart Cities

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersG. Schmitt
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractWhat are SMART CITIES and how do they emerge? What is the role of architects and urban designers in this process? How do data turn into information as a building material for the future city? The course covers concepts, methods and techniques in design, simulation and communication of cities. The goal is to learn principles and preconditions for the design of sustainable and smart cities.
ObjectiveStudents gain insight into the next generation of design processes for architects and urban designers, and into concepts of the Information Architecture of SMART CITIES, including the influence of Big Data. They learn about the expanded roles of information and of architecture: information and simulation in architecture as means to make the invisible visible, and architecture as a metaphor and ordering system to structure the immense amounts of data of the Information Society. The seminar is highly interactive and discusses visionary case studies in Europe and Asia and new techniques in Big Data informed smart urban design. Apart from learning about and experiencing Information Architecture and SMART CITIES, the course also introduces research and management skills that will distinguish the future ETH architect. An iBook and the edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Future Cities support the course.
ContentSMART CITIES - What will happen when cities change from static configurations into responsive and dynamic structures? What does it mean for buildings that undergo the same changes? What is the impact on architectural and urban design education? How can citizens influence this development? The SMART CITIES course will answer these questions and supply you with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and design such dynamic structures. The intelligent use of data and information are at the core of this course. Data and information are new building materials of future cities. Citizens produce increasing amounts of data in their daily life, with stationary sensors and mobile smartphones. Using those data, citizens begin to influence the design of future cities and the re-design of existing ones. The course will be a first step towards the emerging citizen design science and cognitive design computing. Those will be the next generation of participatory design and design computing.
LiteratureThe necessary texts will be found on the Chair's website at: We specifically recommend the consultation of the Future Cities Website at: during the entire course. The iBook INFORMATION CITIES is available in the iBooks Store for free.
Prerequisites / NoticeInteractive seminar including 3 exercises