Archive ETH Studio Basel

The archive of ETH Studio Basel website can be found here.

ETH Studio Basel was founded in 1999 as institute of urban research at the ETH Zürich Department of Architecture by architects Roger Diener, Jacques Herzog, Marcel Meili, Pierre de Meuron and by urban sociologist and geographer Christian Schmid. Operating over two decades until 2018, the ETH Studio Basel created groundbreaking research on urbanisation and territory, tightly linked to the pedagogy of the design research studios.

Switzerland: An Urban Portrait (2006) was ETH Studio Basel’s the first major project, motivated by rapid urban change. Echoing Henri Lefebvre’s thesis of the complete urbanisation of society, the project engaged in a comprehensive investigation of the territory of the entire country, tracing urbanisation processes that have shaped it and identifying potentials emerging in the new conditions. With its conceptualisation of Switzerland beyond the urban-rural divide, the project and the book revolutionised the public discourse and institutional approaches to spatial planning. It also initiated a novel approach to research in architecture based on specific methodologies including ethnographic fieldwork methods and a cartographic exploration and analysis. It has been foundational to the development of a territorial approach to urbanization.

Other influential research trajectories and projects over the years include the research on international cities resulting in publications The Inevitable Specificity of Cities (2014) and Belgrade. Formal/Informal: A Research on Urban Transformation (2012); and the comparative analysis of extended urbanization in different world regions published in the book Territory: On the Development of Landscape and City (2016). Several additional territorial studies on Switzerland elaborated over the years culminated with a call for designing the ”unbuilt” in achtung: die Landschaft (2016).

The archive presented here offers a detailed insight into the research and pedagogy of ETH Studio Basel between 1999 und 2018.