up
29.03.2021
OPERATION BETON
Sarah Nichols in conversation with Guillaume Habert and Donald Mak
What is embedded in material or, respectively, architecture? Addressing this question reveals the entanglements that bring architecture into being—organizations and knowledge, energy and labor, and extraction and emission. By taking up this lens, building can be thought of as a long process of formation that happens through both material and immaterial means, neither beginning nor ending with the construction site but rather stretched across territories and through time, intimately linking seemingly disparate agencies together.

By studying approximately a century of cement and concrete in Switzerland, this talk will examine the relations between institutions, discourse, and technology as they intersect in the material. The establishment of organizations, ideas, and techniques from the late 19th century through the end of the interwar period will be shown to have enabled the mass deployment of concrete in the Postwar period.

Over the period of study, concrete went from being a material used occasionally to one that is ubiquitous. This talk will thus also grapple with the challenges of studying ubiquity to show how concrete—organizationally, technically and conceptually—broke with previously held notions of scarcity and became a material without limit.
About the Event:
The event is part of the lecture series
SESSIONS ON TERRITORY—URBANISM AS MATERIAL ACCUMULATION
MATERIALS

4 – 6 pm
Online
https://ethz.zoom.us/j/95007725252


CONCEPT AND REALISATION
Chair of Architecture and Territorial Planning
Prof. Milica Topalovic
Hans Hortig

in collaboration with
Assistant Professor of Urban Design, Harvard GSD
Prof. Dr. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Goda Budvytyte

ORGANISATION
Hans Hortig

Image Credit: An explosion to extract rock for cement production. EG Portland, "Die Schweizer Zement-Industrie" (Rüschlikon: Schück Söhne, 1958), 19.