Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Architecture Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2017)
Electives and Focus Works
History and Theory of Architecture
052-0822-00LArchitecture and Photography (FS) Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.
Students will be selected on the basis of a motivation letter until 15.2.21, 12:00 h to
This course (ends with «00L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
W2 credits2ST. Wootton
AbstractRepresentation of architecture is inextricably linked to photography since the mid 19th century. As buildings are commonly discussed on the basis of images, understanding their technical origin is key to reading and making them. By teaching students how to use a 4x5'' view camera, the artist and photographer Tobias Wootton will introduce different techniques of 'thinking through the lens'.
ObjectiveKnowledge of architectural photography
Prerequisites / NoticeThis be-weekly course is taught in English and German.
15 participants limit.

Course dates s. room reservations!

Students will be selected on the basis of a motivation letter until 15.2.21, 12:00 h to
052-0830-00LHistory of Art and Architecture: Hunting Shadows Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
Not eligible as a Compulsory GESS Elective for students of D-ARCH.

This course (ends with «00L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
W2 credits2GM. Delbeke
AbstractThis is a survey course that explores the history of architectural representation through a single motif—the shadow. The "illustration" of shadows is a feature of architectural drawing that is capable of revealing much precisely because it is perceived as incidental.
ObjectiveAs a minimal outcome of this course, you should be able to compare a contemporary architectural image with an early modern image, and discuss the appearance of convention, media and content in both. More capable students should also be able to trace a single motif across multiple case studies, and thereby identify anachronic elements that persist not only in contemporary architecture, but are embedded in the tools of contemporary architectural design. The best students should be able to relate this analysis to broader historical questions regarding the autonomy of architecture, and the relationship between technique and knowledge.
ContentThis is not a course that approaches architecture via media, nor by material, but rather by something that is between the two. The shadow is as inevitable a part of architecture as light, but it is rarely, if ever, a subject of sustained inquiry. The shadow silently slips through the net of almost all the serious discourses of architectural history. All the same, it is a motif through which the entire history of architectural representation can be retold, from the development of drawing techniques to the definitions of shelter. From Hugh Ferriss’ tenebrous charcoals of New York skyscrapers to contemporary overshadow laws (visible in the form of Zurich’s Prime Tower), shadows shape the legal limits of buildings just as they delimit them on paper. Akin to the latent image in photography, the heightened role of the shadow in architecture is the logical consequence of the constant pursuit of light.

What is a shadow? Contrary to the tale of the maid of Corinth, who was said to have traced the shadow of her departing lover, in order to possess at least an outline, natual shadows are neither still, nor do they present sharp silhouettes. All natural shadows move, because all natural light sources are mobile. Before the invention of electric light, the only shadows that were fixed in place were those that had been drawn or painted. Furthermore, shadows are never completely sharp, because of the wave-like behaviour of light. It is only now that computer graphics specialists are developing techniques to simulate penumbra, the soft edges of cast shadows.

The study of shadows has a prominent role in classical architecture, from the panoply of horizontal shadows—Σκοτία—in columns and entablatures, to the the metaphysical importance da Vinci attributed to sfumato. In other traditions, the shadow plays even more obscure roles, connecting to questions of nostalgia, the distant past, and to the dead. As architectural drafting evolved, the depiction of shadows was used to demonstrate technical skill, as much as to indicate three-dimensional depth. Today, the shadow is an active protagonist in architectural legislation, and by extension, architectural design. Shadow casting is a standard feature of CAAD design packages, and serves both pragmatic and aesthetic functions. But can we use them to navigate through the history of architectural representation?
Prerequisites / NoticeNot eligible as a Compulsory GESS Elective for students of D-ARCH.
052-0848-00LExperiments on the Spatial Perception and Spatial Cognition of Architects (FS) Information
This course (ends with «00L») can only be passed once! Please check this before signing up.
W2 credits2SA. Gerber
AbstractThe course deals with the question of how architects perceive architectural and urban space and how their spatial imagination can be grasped empirically. This before the tradition of comparable investigations in history and the theory of architecture.
ObjectiveStudents gain insight into the history and theory of scientific spatial research and architectural aesthetics as well as into the related contemporary cognitive sciences (cognitive psychology and neuroscience). They develop an original question about the perception of space and the spatial imagination of architects, which they verify in an experiment.
ContentThe course presents the "state of the art" of cognitive sciences and their relevance to architecture against the background of the historical analysis of architectural theory with these topics. Discussions take place on existing experiments and theories that pertain to architecture and uses them to develop original, empirical experiments from which a sound understanding of architecture and design can be gained. Students will work also with Hololens and thus investigate upon the boundary between the experience of "real" and of "virtual" spaces.
052-0814-21LHistory, Criticism and Theory in Architecture: Things of Modernity Information Restricted registration - show details W2 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 notes
Prerequisites / Notice
052-0816-21LSeminar Architectural Criticism: The Other Institution - About Criticism and Emancipation Information W2 credits2GA. Stahl
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 to develop the basics of architectural theory and to apply it in joint field research. Students are therefore expected to take on different research tasks, short presentations and a series of text contributions. At the end of the academic year we plan on realizing a publication and an exhibition, that both needs to be conceptualized and organized.
ContentSince the late 1960s it has become accepted practice among artists to fire critique at the institutions historically dedicated to them. In one of many examples, Hans Haacke famously asked visitors of the Museum of Modern Art in his 1970 MoMA Poll whether they would vote again for Nelson Rockefeller as governor of the state of New York, knowing that he was in favor of the Vietnam War. The Rockefellers were among the founding members of MoMA and at that time served on the MoMA Board, the group of people that help steer the artistic direction of the institution. No wonder they requested to shut the Haacke show down shortly after the opening. Thanks to John Hightower, the museum director at the time, the "freedom of artistic expression" won – and so-called “institutional critique” was born, which to this day questions the conditions of art production and therefore art itself. For the upcoming academic year 2021, we will take this “institutional critique” as a starting point for our studies and aim to implement it within the ETH discourse.
Lecture notesWill be handed out at the beginning of the semester.
LiteratureEssays and reviews from architectural journals, magazines and other media.
Prerequisites / NoticeEspecially for students from the 5th semester Bachelor.
052-0818-21LTheory of Architecture Seminar
Does not take place this semester.
W2 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.
052-0824-21LHistory of Art and Architecture: Exhibiting Architecture Information W1 credit2GP. Ursprung, F. Fischli, N. Olsen
AbstractIn this Wahlfach you become an active curator for a touring exhibition.
ObjectiveIn this elective course you become an active curator for a touring exhibition. The subject of the exhibition and Wahlfach is CGI (Computer Generated Images).

The studio focus' on methods of conceiving and producing architecture exhibitions.
Content«Exhibiting architecture» has a growing significance as a form of practice. In this Wahlfach you become an active curator for a touring exhibition. The subject of the exhibition and Wahlfach is CGI (Computer Generated Images) and your tutors are the curators Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen (gta), Luigi Alberto Cippini of the experimental architecture studio Armature Globale, as well as a group of guest lecturers. We are also visiting ETH Zurich’s Disney Research Laboratory, who is behind the technical innovation of numerous movies.
Throughout the semester we both reflect on the exhibition’s main question of departure and you develop individually and in teams contributions for the upcoming exhibition. Enhanced by the pandemic, CGI gains an increasing presence. In architecture CGI is used to both visualize and design buildings, but also to test their behavior during possible earthquakes, fire or how the flow of people is accommodated. In medicine digital models are used to train surgeons, digital avatars in music culture question understandings of gender, in forensics they are used to re-enact scenarios and movies confuse different realities in often non traceable ways. For this exhibition we research how CGI for architecture and beyond is produced. We will look at video tutorials and how the knowledge about CGI distributes. Who are the programmers, CGI architects and what’s the culture behind this new, powerful field of image production?

Throughout the semester we read together texts on the subject of CGI, new forms of representation and on display techniques.
We organize discussions with protagonists from various fields. In teams you realize contributions for the upcoming exhibition.
LiteratureA reading list will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeContribution / project realized as a team or individually for the exhibition.

Zoom link:
052-0828-21LSeminar History and Theory of Urban Design: The City Represented - The View from the Car Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 18.
W4 credits2SM. Charitonidou, T. Avermaete
AbstractThe 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.
ObjectiveThe 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.
ContentAn 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 notesA 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.
LiteratureWeekly assigned readings will be provided in digital form. Additional readings will be put on reserve in the library.

Representative bibliography:

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 / NoticeThis course is offered mainly for master’s students and is limited to 18 participants.

Assessment requirements:
- 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)
052-0834-21LPhD Teaching: Ways of Seeing - Working With the Visual Materials of Architecture Information W2 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:
Lecture notesLink
Prerequisites / Notice
052-0850-21LThe City in Theory: Urban Matter and Design Information W2 credits2SH. Teerds, T. Avermaete
AbstractThis 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.
ObjectiveThis 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
ContentThe 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 / NoticeAdvanced bachelor students and master students can enrol in this course
052-0852-21LTopical Questions in History and Theory of Architecture: Apartheid Modernism Information W2 credits2SH. A. Kennedy
AbstractThis course brings a decolonizing perspective to spatial histories of German modernism. It offers a critical history of modern architecture in Germany as framed by the global networks of European, and specifically German, colonialism, which gave shape and form to the 19th and 20th centuries, and which continue to contour the world today.
ObjectiveThis seminar introduces students to methodologies drawn from several intersecting fields: postcolonial history and theory; critical studies of race and ethnicity; settler colonial studies; critical geography; and global history. While we focus on historical developments at the crossroads of colonial and architectural culture in German-speaking Europe, this seminar will also take up key questions of the present, as we wrestle with the meanings and violence of the modern colonial past: Namely, how to identify the endurance of colonial practices and colonial thinking in the present, with a focus on architectures, institutional formations, infrastructures, and territories. Here we will engage the theories of Nelson Maldonado-Torres, who uses the term Coloniality to describe “long-standing patterns of power that emerged as a result of colonialism, but that define culture, labour, intersubjectivity relations, and knowledge production well beyond the strict limits of colonial administrations.” Emphasis will also be placed on learning to read architectural historiographies from the perspective provided by Maldonado-Torres, critically engaging the concept of Coloniality.

Upon the completion of this course, students should be able to: Demonstrate a critical understanding of colonialism, colonial practices, nationalism, imperialism, and concepts of the racial in the history of architecture, urbanism, landscape, and territory, as well as demonstrate the central themes related to the spatial history of German colonialism; understand how architecture evolved as a discipline in the context of national, imperial, and colonial formations (including movements seeking to reject or counter those forms of rule), and to understand architecture’s modern development in relation to adjacent disciplines, professions, and cultural practices; identify blind spots in received narratives of German modernism; develop an analytical response to assigned readings and to organize brief image-based presentations that open up and provoke discussion; conduct in-depth architectural historical research, and to demonstrate a facility with interdisciplinary critical analysis.
ContentThis course brings a decolonizing perspective to spatial histories of German modernism. It offers a critical history of modern architecture in Germany as framed by the global networks of European, and specifically German, colonialism, which gave shape and form to the 19th and 20th centuries, and which continue to contour the world today. This seminar takes up the work of Itohan Osayimwese, focusing on how colonial encounters and imperial entanglements affected architectural developments within Germany itself, and responds to the imperative of postcolonial studies to “provincialize Europe.” A core objective of this seminar will be to understand how liberal humanist thought was informed by European colonial expansion in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, and how in the revolutionary era, concepts of alterity—what Denise Ferreira da Silva calls an "analytics of raciality"—came to be embedded within Enlightenment aesthetics, when concepts of historicity and globality were refigured in prevailing notions of the nation and the racial.

We will also consider the transnational mechanics of imperialism, tracing the translation of “territorializing” techniques across geographies in the form of media-technological, human-corporate, material-ecological, urban-architectural, financial and infrastructural interventions. These interventions shaped colonial space, as white European settlement was superimposed on to indigenous territories across the globe through the creation of material architectures of reclamation, occupation, extraction, and development. Crucially, this process of territorialization will be understood through the dynamics of multidirectional frontier entanglements. Using this multidirectional and decolonial approach, we will seek to foreground local, non-European, and indigenous agencies within these histories, placing emphasis on the role of mass resistance among indigenous polities in the shaping of the colonial built environment.
Prerequisites / NoticeThose who would like to enroll in this seminar must submit a short statement (PDF) that outlines why you are interested in taking this course. Please send the statements to the instructor, Dr. Hollyamber Kennedy, ( no later than Wednesday, 17. February. I will notify those who are admitted to the course by Friday, 19. February. Please include your name, ETH e-mail, program, department, and year on your statement.

Seminar Zoom Link:
052-0832-21LBasic Concepts in Architectural Theory 18th to 20th Centuries: From Atmosphere to Sign Information
This course is offered until end of FS22.
This course is full. Do not register as of 1.2.21.
W2 credits2SB. Hub
AbstractThe seminar is devoted to central concepts and exemplary texts from the history of architectural theory of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the reading and analysis of which is introduced by a short student presentation and concluded by a synthetic written commentary.
ObjectiveThe seminar examines central concepts of architectural theory in their historical and social contexts in order to understand them in their respective cultural context. In a second step, questions should be asked about the consequences of the architectural-theoretical concepts on the actually built architecture. Finally, the lasting importance for the architectural-theoretical discourse and the built environment today is discussed.

The texts are chosen in such a way that a representative overview of the central architectural-theoretical concepts of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries is obtained. The focus, however, is on practicing the critical analysis and interpretation of historical texts (and buildings) and their confrontation with the present.
Finally, the analysis of the conditionality of historical concepts should also lead to a better understanding and a sharper awareness of the conditionalities of one's own positions and discourses.
ContentThe design of architectural forms and spaces is based not least on theories that are determined by the historical and social context and the contemporary discourses in other disciplines, sometimes also by little or no longer reflected fashions, on which they have an effect. In the 18th century, for example, the architectural-theoretical concept of the sublime was preceded by a philosophical questioning of beauty and proportions as well as a romantic conception of nature. The concept of the monumental arose around 1910 in the context of the modern city characterized by industry and traffic and as a reaction to “a previously unknown optization of life“ (W. Hellpach) and “the growing nervousness of our time“ (W. Eckart). Etc.

After brief historical introductions to the respective epoch in question, we turn to central terms of architectural theory of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as mimesis, beauty, character, style, clothing, the sublime, empathy, shape/form , Monumentality, rhythm, transparency, sign/symbol, atmosphere, identity/authenticity. An exemplary text is provided for each term, which the students should contextualize, analyze and relate to contemporary architecture in independent individual or small group work. For the teaching units, which are each devoted to one or two texts (in chronological order), a brief introduction to the respective text and its author is given and - after reading them together - the discussion is to lead, which also deals with the meaning of the historical terms and concepts should go for the present. A written version of the presentation must then be prepared, which takes into account the results and suggestions of the discussion. The final aim of the seminar is to print an annotated anthology of central texts on architectural theory of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries along their most important terms.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is full. Please do not register as of 1.2.2021!
051-1206-21LIntegrated Discipline History of Urban Design Information Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2UT. Avermaete
AbstractThis 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.).
ObjectiveAim 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 / NoticeBefore the registration to Integrated Discipline History of Urban Design the students have to make an appointment with one of the assistants of the chair.
051-1208-21LIntegrated Discipline History of Art and Architecture Information Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2UM. Delbeke
AbstractThe "Integrated Discipline History of Art and Architecture" requires an independent demonstration of achievement within the History of Art and Architecture as an integral part of the Architectural Design project. The assignment must be completed in writing and/or in the form of creative work. Choice of subject, form and scope of the assignment must be defined in accordance with the Chair.
ObjectiveThe assignment objective is a detailed analysis within the area of the History of Architecture of a clearly defined monographic or thematic topic. The conclusions thus gained shall be integrated into the Architectural Design project.
Prerequisites / NoticeVoraussetzung ist die Anmeldung unter und per e-mail an die Professur bis spätestens zum Ende der ersten Semesterwoche unter Angabe des Entwurfsthemas und der betreuenden Professur sowie die Teilnahme am Kolloquium in der zweiten Semesterwoche zur allgemeinen Einführung und konkreten Besprechung der Integrationsleistung (Ort und Uhrzeit des Kolloquiums werden auf der Homepage des Lehrstuhls Oechslin bekannt gegeben). Die Abgabe der Arbeit erfolgt gleichzeitig mit der Abgabe des Entwurfs.
051-1210-21LIntegrated Discipline History of Art and Architecture (P. Ursprung) Information Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2UP. Ursprung
AbstractA brief assignment within the History of Architecture completed in writing and/or in the form of creative work is integrated into the Architectural Design project.
ObjectiveThe objective is a detailed analysis of a topic chosen within the
History of Architecture. The conclusions gained shall be integrated into the Architectural Design project.
ContentThe integrated study performance is associated with the draft, but a clearly recognizable independent performance in the form of a short written and / or creative work must be performed. The choice of topics is made in close consultation with the substitute professorship, the form and scope of the work are agreed in advance.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe prerequisite is registration at and an e-mail to the chair by the end of the first week of the semester stating the design topic and the supervising chair, as well as participation in the colloquium in the second week of the semester for a general introduction and concrete discussion of the integration work . The place and time of the colloquium will be announced on the homepage of the Professorship in Hildebrand. The submission deadline is set analogously to that of the draft.
051-1214-21LIntegrated Discipline Theory of Architecture Information Restricted registration - show details W3 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.
  •  Page  1  of  1