Urbanism has historically been concerned with cities; only exceptional projects have dealt with territory and the territorial character of urbanisation. The eclipse is introduced as metaphor and method to approach urban territories beyond the city — only when the city itself is eclipsed, can the phenomena unfolding in its “shadow” be adequately perceived and analysed. To reinvent urbanism in the age of the Anthropocene, a widening of its disciplinary field from cities to urbanising territories is required.
The talk with be introduced by Prof. Philip Ursprung, dean of the Faculty of Architecture, ETH Zurich.
Milica Topalović is an architect, urbanist, and an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Territorial Planning at ETH Zurich. Expanding the traditional focus of urbanism and urban studies, her research expertise is on territory and territorial urbanisation beyond the limits of “the city”. She has worked on these themes since 2006, when she joined the ETH Studio Basel and directed urban research programs on international cities and on territories including Havana, Hong Kong and the Nile Valley. From 2011–15 she held research professorship at the Singapore-ETH Centre Future Cities Laboratory, studying the relationship between Singapore and its transnational hinterlands. She has also studied extensively informal urban transformation in Europe and the world. She is the author of Belgrade: Formal/Informal, and is working on the forthcoming book Hinterland: Singapore Beyond the Border. In her ongoing studio series at the ETH Department of Architecture she is conducting a series of investigations on European Countryside.