Join us for the first term of the Chair for Architecture Heritage & Sustainability at ETH Zurich in Spring/Summer 2023.

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The End of Youth

The youthful optimism ushered in through the industrial revolution, facilitating the advent of a modernist architecture that explored an incredible freedom of form and space, culminating in a contemporary architecture of sometimes exhilarating form. Overtime, buildings have detached themselves from any concerns related to climate, geography, nature, and human conditions, to become more about technical possibilities focused constant invention sometimes to the detriment of the buildings’ use or usefulness.

Architecture has often been an agent of that isolation and degradation through the typologies we design. They are easily complicit in reinforcing class segregations, cultural segregations, or even generational segregations. In a time of environmental collapse,
economic fragility and rapidly aging societies, we are becoming more and more vulnerable, yet we live painfully separate and segregated lives from each other. We no longer have the built infrastructure to live together, even though we clearly need one another, as was made painfully evident by the COVID global pandemic. In short, the
dismissal of the realities inherent to the context of buildings might be incompatible with a healthier, more responsible and more connected future.

This studio will ponder the place of architecture in this time of crisis and fragilities. The focus will be on a neighborhood of Zürich where students will immerse themselves in the local environment, social and economic context of the project through in-depth research. The course will unfold as a process that will help and encourage participants to imagine typologies that are multi-layered solutions in response to a predominant social vulnerability.

Address & 

Prof. Mariam Issoufou Kamara
Chair for Architecture Heritage & Sustainability
ETH Zürich
Department of Architecture

HIL E 47.1
Stefano–Franscini–Platz 5
CH–8093 Zürich

+44 633 48 58