EPFL/ETHZ’s summer school Relational Space/ Relational Urbanism

Applications until 10 May (EXTENDED DEADLINE). 11th – 15th June 2018 | EPFL Campus.

The Summer School «Relational Space/Relational Urbanism» empowers young researchers in urbanism and the sciences of the city to explore the spatial dimension of the social. It revolves around the premise that urban complexity requires the deployment of new tools of assembling knowledge and new ways of translating knowledge into action; and that a relational understanding of space can profoundly change both.

Participants will be exposed to new epistemic movements (big data, bottom-up social theory) and state-of-the-art practices in urban planning and design. Working in trans-disciplinary teams, and benefitting from the guidance of our distinguished keynote speakers, they will refine the conceptual framework of their individual research projects and sharpen the relevance of their research questions.

The overarching theme: relational space

The guiding concept of the summer school is the notion of relational space – the complex space of interaction between human and non-human actors that characterizes today’s hyper-dense, hyper-connected urban landscape. How can we measure and map the increasingly intricate webs of interaction in our cities? How does the idea of relational space change our methods of studying and designing the city?

A tool to provoke debate: the diagram

Participants will present and develop diagrams that explore the links between the concepts present or implied in their research questions and seek to expand the concepts and establish relationships between spatial actors or actants.

During the four-and-a-half-day summer school, we will alternate between keynote lectures and workshop sessions. You will have the chance to discuss every day’s lecture and its pertinence to your research, as well as to write, reflect, and advance your diagram and texts.

The program includes a half-day recreation trip in the Vaud area.

Apply for participation

The summer school is open to doctoral students from ETHZ and EPFL. Participants will be credited with 2 ECTS.

The participation fee is 263 CHF for doctoral students and 105 CHF for master students and covers accommodation, food, and transportation in the Lausanne area.

To apply, submit an abstract of max. 200 words and a diagram outlining one or more concepts central to your research at the Summer School’s website: rsru2018.epfl.ch

EXTENDED Deadline: 10th May 2018

Keynotes speakers

  • Jacques Lévy (EPFL – ENAC),
  • Ekim Tan (Play the City, Delft university of Technology),
  • Alexandre Alahi (EPFL – VITA),
  • Boris Beaude (EPFL – EDAR),
  • Eduardo Rico (Relational Urbanism, AA)


  • Thibault Romany (EPFL – LASUR / Chôros),
  • F. Peter Ortner (EPFL – LDM),
  • Eirini Kasioumi (ETH Zurich – ISB)