Projects on Territory explores various histories of urban and territorial design and reconsiders the value of these ideas for the present. Students will be introduced to silkscreen (Siebdruck) as a tool to analyse and critically reinterpret selected precedent projects and visions reflected at the territorial scale. The final result of the course will be a collection of archival material crafted in the form of a booklet, and a series of silkscreen prints produced at the Dynamo workshop in Zurich.
The course introduces students to the territorial project—in history and in contemporary practice. Students learn by first revisiting and interpreting selected precedents from the history of planning, and critically redrawing them. Works and ideas will become the topic of discussion and of critical representation, with which we will attempt to understand the value of the projects in the present time. Examples include Hans Bernoulli’s visions about common land, Armin Meili’s Grossstadt, the utopian Bolo Bolo by Hans Widmer, and many contemporary projects that engage with sprawling agglomerations and large landscape infrastructures. The work will be informed by the parallel lecture series SESSIONS ON TERRITORY—ECOLOGY and will result in a series of critical drawings produced via the silkscreen technique and a research booklet.
At the start of the course, each student or student team receives a selected precedent project, which becomes a focus of his or her investigation. Throughout the initial phase, students will work toward an analytical reading of the reference project by drawing from bibliographical, archival, personal or on-site research. Based on the gathered knowledge and intensive discussions in the class, students will formulate a synthetic reading of the reference project. The research will conclude with a critical representation of the project through a set of drawings. In the course, drawing will be used as an instrument and a technique for analysing and understanding what could be called a stratigraphy of a territorial project. Through seminars at the Dynamo workshop, students will be introduced to the silkscreen printing technique in order to produce their drawings. The semester concludes with an exhibition of the drawings in the space of the ETH. The thesis elective lasts three months, with tutoring sessions taking place within the semester timeframe.