ARCHITECTURE OF TERRITORY investigates urgent phenomena and processes of urban transformation of contemporary territories and their social and environmental implications. This approach comprises a shift of interest from cities to broader territorial frames, and to what was once considered the non-urban realm or the city’s constitutive outside: the city’s hinterlands, rural countrysides and nature, including alpine zones, jungles, deserts and oceans.
Today, even remote spaces and landscapes are pulled into the vortex of urbanisation; the urban condition is omnipresent. Throughout the twentieth century and into the present, the extended field of the urbanisation of territories has continued to challenge the disciplines of architecture and urbanism to rescale and expand their concepts, methods and approaches beyond urban centres and urban agglomerations.
ARCHITECTURE OF TERRITORY sees its role in decentering and ecologising architectural pedagogies, fostering new forms of design practice and public engagement, and reframing the disciplines of architecture and urbanism toward researching and designing contemporary territories, comprising both built and unbuilt environments and landscapes.
The joint Master of Advanced Studies at the ETH Zurich and EPFL builds an innovative urban and territorial design education addressing social and environmental challenges both within the city-territory and across wider landscapes. The MAS serves as a laboratory and a forum where we propose agendas, design strategies, and governance models for concrete territories. Both Swiss and international case studies are investigated through intensive, ethnographic explorations and in situ workshops. The studies engage in dialogue with communities, local actors, NGOs, and governance bodies.
For further information, please visit the MAS Website.
Throughout the twentieth century, for architects, urbanists and urban theorist alike, “the urban” and “the city” have been elusive, unstable categories. New territorial scales and forms of urbanization have emerged in the second half of the twentieth century—the metropolis, the megalopolis, the region—while the distinctions between the city and the countryside have been diminishing.