Core Course
This lecture series sets up an agenda for widening the disciplinary field of architecture and urbanism from their focus on the city, or the urban in the narrow sense, to wider territorial scales, which correspond to the increasing scales of contemporary urbanization. It discusses the concepts of territory and urbanisation, and their implications for the work of architects and urbanists.

Five Guest Speakers

Within the program, the five guest speakers are invited to open up perspectives on territory as Earth and the manifold meanings it embodies: Earth as a living world, a world-system, earth as soil, as land, as field, and even as dirt. By looking at the Earth and its ecologies, the guest speakers will propose novel and urgent approaches to territory and urbanisation: from “Gaia-graphy” of Earth’s critical zones, and emergence of urban soil mapping as tool in urban design, to working with “dirt” in order to develop an ethics of care and maintenance for precarious environments.

17. 09. 2020
On Territory
Access to recording

24. 09. 2020
Architecture and Urbanisation
Access to recording

01. 10. 2020
Critical Zones: Sensors for Ghost Landscapes
Guest lecture by ALEXANDRA ARÈNES
Access to recording

08. 10. 2020
Methods in Territorial Research and Design
Access to recording

15. 10. 2020
Urban Soils Mapping: Case West Lausanne
Guest lecture by ANTOINE VIALLE
Access to recording

29. 10. 2020
Linking Soils Across the Urban-Rural Nexus
Guest lecture by JOHAN SIX
Access to recording

05. 11. 2020
Planetary Urbanisation: Hinterland
Access to recording: 01
Access to recording: 02

12. 11. 2020
Arable Lands Lost Lands
Access to recording

19. 11. 2020
Disappearance of the Countryside

26. 11. 2020
Dirty Theory: Dirt and Decolonisation
Guest lecture by HÉLÈNE FRICHOT
Access to recording

03. 12. 2020
Our Common Territories: An Outlook

The course will enable students to critically discuss concepts of territory and urbanisation. It will invite students to revisit the history of architects’ work engaging with the problematic of urbanising territories and territorial organisation. The goal is to motivate and equip students to engage with territory in the present day and age, by setting out our contemporary urban agenda.

The lectures are animated by a series of visual and conceptual exercises, usually on A4 sheets of paper. All original student contributions will be collected and bound together, creating a unique book-object. Some of the exercises are graded and count as proof of completion.
Download Basic Readings

Prof. Milica Topalovic

Charlotte Malterre Barthes, Metaxia Markaki, Gyler Mydyti, Nazli Tumerdem

Metaxia Markaki, markaki@arch.ethz.ch