Symposium | Alpine Landscapes in Transformation: Infrastructure, Culture, and Climate

Workshops // Runder Tisch // Keynote. 12. und 13. Mai 2022: Alpine Landschaften im Wandel: Infrastruktur, Kultur und Klima. ETH Zürich, Zentrum. Bild: Didier Balissat & Hanae Balissat: Synthetische Landschaftsmomente, 2014.

Symposium, 12-13 May 2022 

Research workshops, round tables and keynote presentation
Public event, registration until 5 May 2022.
Organisation: chair Günther Vogt

Climate change, energy transition, urbanization, and industrialization have and will have tremendous effects on the Alpine landscape. Located at the crossroads of Europe, the transformations of this fragile environment need to be questioned. The symposium brought young researchers together with experts from practice, research, and the arts in a broad discussion about the past, present, and future of this unique landscape. It was structured in two parts: a set of research workshops for young researchers, and an afternoon with two round table discussions and a keynote presentation, for a wider audience.

Day 1, Thursday 12 May 2022:

Research workshops
(ETH Zürich, Zentrum, Alumni-Pavillon MM C 78.1)
09:00–11:00 Landscape and Ideologies (EN)
                          Guest critic: Christian Schmid, ETH Zürich
11:30–13:00 Social and Cultural Aspects of Hydroelectricity (EN)
                          Guest critic: Emmanuel Reynard, UNIL Lausanne
14:30–16:00 Memories of and Imaginaries for Exhausted Landscapes (EN)
                          Guest critic: Metaxia Markaki, ETH Zurich
16:30–18:00 Infrastructure, between Technology and Aesthetics (EN)
                          Guest critic: Aisling O’Carroll, The Bartlett School of Architecture

Day 2, Friday 13 May 2022:

Research workshops
(ETH Zürich, Zentrum, Alumni-Pavillon MM C 78.1)
08:30–10:30 Tourist Infrastructure and the Perception of a Nation (EN)
                          Guest critic: Falma Fshazi, ETH Zürich
10:45–12:15 Landscape as Archive (EN)
                          Guest critic: Gilles Monney, Universität Basel

Keynote presentation
(ETH Zürich, Zentrum, HG D 7.1)
13:45–14:45 Introduction + Keynote presentation (DE)
                          Presenter: Markus Ritter, biologist and Thomas Kissling, architect
                          Die Alpenlandschaft hat Wandelbarkeit aber niemals Vergänglichkeit

Round tables
(ETH Zürich, Zentrum, HG D 7.1)
14:45–16:15 Round table 1: Images in Dialogue (EN)
                          Aisling O’Carroll, The Bartlett School of Architecture
                          Elisabeth Joris, independant historian
                          Gilles Monney, Universität Basel
Etienne Wismer, Förderverein Emil Zbinden & Universität Bern (
                          Moderation: Seraina Renz, ETH Zürich & Bibliotheca Hertziana Max-Planck-Institut
                          für Kunstgeschichte

16:45–18:15 Round table 2: Neue Bilder als spekulative Antizipation (DE)
                          Aita Flury, Architektin
                          Paul Messerli, em. Universität Bern
                          Günther Vogt, ETH Zürich
                          Rolf Weingartner, em. Universität Bern
                          Moderation: Karin Salm

18:15 Closing words (Günther Vogt)
+ Apéro riche

Research workshops (EN)
The aim of the research workshops was to gather perspectives from young researchers and foster exchange on the transformations of Alpine landscapes, to complete the round tables held on the second afternoon. Contributions to the workshops tackled this topic in relation to industrialisation, infrastructure construction, climate change, or the cultural adaptations they require. For each workshop, three participants gave a 15-minute presentation each. This was followed by an open discussion, moderated by a guest critic. You will find a line-up with themes in the download-section below.

Round table 1: Images in Dialogue (EN)
The roundtable aimed at inventing and discussing contemporary and past imaginaries of the Alpine landscape from different perspectives. It looked through the eyes of an artist from the 50s who painted alpine industrial infrastructures, the lens of a contemporary photographer, with the tools of a designer, and the method of a historian dealing with female workers.

Round table 2: Neue Bilder als spekulative Antizipation (DE)
Die Alpen verändern sich in beschleunigter Form. Gleichzeitig hemmt die Fokussierung auf Partikularinteressen die Entwicklung und verstellt den Blick auf das grosse Ganze. Wie sehen zukünftige Bilder der Alpen aus, die es vermögen, über die Schaffung neuer Bedeutungen eine Gemeinschaft zum kollektiven Handeln im Raum zu verführen?

Registration for the workshops, round tables, and keynote presentation

This was a public event. The research workshops were intended for young researchers and people interested in research on these topics, whilst the keynote presentations and round tables were intended for a larger public. Registration until 5 May 2022.

Organisation: Team of the chair Günther Vogt, landscape architecture, Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies, ETH Zürich
Contact: Rune Frandsen and Sarem Sunderland, doctoral students of the research project «Industrialisation in the Alps: Landscape, Architecture, Art, and Labour» (supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, SNSF).
Support: This event was possible only due to generous support. Thank you very much!
                          Departement of Architekture (D-ARCH), ETH Zürich
                          Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
                          Schweizerischer Wasserwirtschaftsverband (SWV)


Symposium flyer
Symposium poster
Booklet with programme, places, and abstracts