Unlocking the ‘Contact Zone’. Towards a New Historiography of Architecture

This research project seeks to develop a new method of writing the history of post-WWII architecture, reflecting the complexities of globalisation and its influence on the built environment. The project investigates an alternative historiographic approach by organising history around cross-cultural ‘contact zones’. This term was first used by More

Works and Ideas in Danish Modern Architecture

Kay Fisker (1893-1965) is considered one of the most influential Danish architects of the twentieth century, and yet there has existed until now no in-depth English-language study of his works and writing. Fisker’s output is closely associated with the functional tradition, a hybridization of international modernism and regional architectural More

Conceptualising ‘Cultural Landscape Commons’: Retracing Ecological Thinking from the Swiss Alpine Landscape to Social-Ecological Systems

This paper retraces the fundaments of the ‘nature-culture’ divide within the study of Swiss alpine ‘cultural landscape commons’, showing how this notion was shaped by early ecological thinking expressed through environmental determinism, dynamic systems, and cultural ecology. These fields of research are seen as precursors to some of the More

Architectural Expertise in a World-in-Common

Architectural and urban design are activities embedded in a socio-spatial and political context. Harvard Professor of Urban Planning Susan Fainstein, therefore, challenges theories of planning—and, with that, architectural and urban design—to address these relations: how does the intervention and implementation impact the (urban) context, the (city) users, and More

An Architecture World: The Tacit in Recent Architectural Pedagogy at ETH Zurich

The tacit dimension of architectural pedagogy—which students deploy when designing, but have trouble explaining—remains understudied, beset by methodological difficulties. Existing accounts emphasize isolated studio exercises or cognitive processes, often neglecting cultural, historical, and disciplinary contexts. Meanwhile, the notion of tacit knowledge is not even entirely adequate for architectural More

Exploring Urban-Scale Models: The Projets Urbains and the Performance of the Maquette, 1960s till Today

Little research exists on urban-scale models. In existing scholarship, they are often lumped together with architectural models. Although urban-scale models certainly possess characteristics that are similar to those of architectural models, they also differ. The key difference, this research project hypothesizes, is that in urban-scale models the performative More

Tracing the Virus: the Balcony

In the past months, the freedom of movement of many citizens around the world has been restricted. As part of the attempt to mitigate the COVID-19 virus, people have been advised to remain within their private spaces and restrict their presence in public space to the bare minimum. More