Some Title

Focus Work
Autumn Semester 2024

For the upcoming semester, the Chair for Architecture Heritage & Sustainability offers two distinct topics to interested students. 


Topic One

Beyond and Behind Timelines: Literature Research and Digital Output

 ↘  Questioning imperial chronologies and their production, addressing power structures within representation of time such as timelines, and knowledge decolonization.

 ↘  Digital collection of images and bibliography of timelines with a written report + digital images / videos / interactive web pages / small installation that can be settled somewhere in the department/somewhere in the city to promote a dialogue about the topic during a small public event. The output will be published on the chair’s website. The results will be advertised on the webpage. The work can be carried out individually or by a group of students.

↘  Understanding and elaborating on the open questions and choosing one/two of them through critical research and translation of these issues into a creative process.

↘  The research is part of an internal chair project on illustration of different chronologies along a timeline. The student will research calendars, data events, timeline representations to understand how these social constructs and histories influence our perspective of the world. What kind of content a timeline can transmit in terms of imperialist/colonial mindset, fake events, use of specific words to convey or manipulate meanings? Which events are named but never happened (I.E. End of colonization)? How do they reflect the imperialist ideology? In the first phase, students will explore different data and make a selection of existing case studies (timeline graphics and exhibitions). In the second phase, the student will research tools to display multiple chronology timelines, and will choose a layout to create a new one (digital or in the 3d space), documenting the process and its limits. Students will be provided with and explore literature on chronopolitics, politics of representation, and decolonial theories of history to start the research. Brainstorming sessions will be planned to guide the research and the choice of case studies.

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Screenshots of Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape, Those With Walls for Windows (2023), exhibited at the Venice Biennale (Arsenale).

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The American Uncle Sam follows the British John Bull in their racist “civilizing mission.” Victor Gillam, “The White Man’s Burden (Apologies to Rudyard Kipling),” originally published in Judge magazine, April 1899. Source: The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

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Decolonization:  Indigeneity,  Education  &  Society. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40

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Screenshots of Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape, Those With Walls for Windows (2023), exhibited at the Venice Biennale (Arsenale).

Topic Two

Mapping: Limits, Implications, Latent Uses

↘  Questioning the use of map projections and their influence in colonized knowledge.

↘  Written report + digital presentation with findings. Part of the research will be part of internal publications and will be advertised on the webpage. Possibility to create an exhibition (virtual or in place). The work can be carried out individually or by a group of students.

↘  Using specific map projections for storytelling and data sharing. Providing insights on ongoing research and tools for writing histories and sharing data from different perspectives. The student will be provided with and explore literature on chronopolitics, politics of representation, and decolonial theories of history and architecture to start the research.

↘  What happens when mapping in different projections? There will be different perceptions from the macro-overview.  The research links to the decolonization of geographical and social knowledge, aiming at taking distance to see the reality according to the imperialist political borders, but rather referring to the realities without referring to them. Students will research colonial practices related to architecture and map their consequences (erasure, imposed styles, potential futurities, …) to make visual analysis of their impact. Other thematics might be approached. Brainstorming sessions will be planned to guide the research and the choice of case studies.

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Superimposition of the most used map projections. Chair of Architecture Heritage and Sustainability, 2023.

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Decolonization:  Indigeneity,  Education  &  Society. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40

120-0124_research_ah_03

The American Uncle Sam follows the British John Bull in their racist “civilizing mission.” Victor Gillam, “The White Man’s Burden (Apologies to Rudyard Kipling),” originally published in Judge magazine, April 1899. Source: The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

120-0124_research_ah_03

Superimposition of the most used map projections. Chair of Architecture Heritage and Sustainability, 2023.

Student Projects

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Address & 
Contact

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

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

issoufou-all@arch.ethz.ch
+44 633 48 58

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