Seminar Week Spring 2014

Istanbul – the City and its Territory

Constantinople, Turkey. Map 1752. 'CONSTANTINOPLE or STAMBOL' (Map of the Golden Horn with Constantinople and surrounding areas). Copper engraving, coloured, by Lempereur 37x45.8cm. London, 1752.

The seminar week to Istanbul will be the occasion to explore the relationship between the city and its territory from both a historical and contemporary perspective. By looking first at its un-built territory we will discover and assess the ways in which the city has been reacting to the complex conditions of its territory both in the past – in this case by focusing on the Ottoman architectural and urban heritage – and in recent years – in this case by critically evaluating the city’s contemporary forms of urbanization and its neglected use of valuable resources.

Colaboration between the Chair of Günther Vogt and the Chair of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron
16 March – 21 March 2014, Budget C
Participants: Twelve students from Studio Basel; additional five vacancies for students from other courses
Contact: Thomas Kissling,



Urban Qualities in Landscapes – The Travelling Architect

In the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, including at the Chair of Professor Vogt, seminar trips take place twice a year. These are planned independently of the current design semester.

We understand a travel seminar not as a sightseeing tour but rather as a guided examination of public open spaces, mainly concerning the tension between the city and the landscape. We are not tourists; we are travelling architects. The clear contrast between city and countryside is disappearing more and more. The landscape is becoming urbanised and there is hardly any untouched nature to be found. All landscape spaces are the result of human intervention: there are landscapes that have the marks of a design as well as a redesign that can be read just like agricultural land and infrastructures. The Seminar Week cycle of the Chair is devoted to this area of tension with the main theme: Urban Qualities in Landscapes.

Content-wise, the seminar trip is oriented to the main themes of the Chair and offers the possibility to delve into these in depth and on site. Last semester’s seminar topic dealt mainly with the notion of craft, with a special focus on the manufacture of products and the resources it requires. Other problem areas addressed were the processes of change and adjustment that subordinate a particular handwork tradition and its artisans, as well as the effects these have on the use and formation of the landscape.