Project

Back to overview

Switzerland: A Technological Pastoral. The built and the territory

English title Switzerland: A Technological Pastoral. The built and the territory
Applicant Stalder Laurent
Number 197338
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur (gta) D-ARCH - Departement Architektur ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Architecture and Social urban science
Start/End 01.10.2021 - 30.09.2024
Approved amount 800'000.00
Show all

Keywords (10)

territorial planning; environment; history of architecture; modern architecture; infrastructure; landscape; theory of architecture; urban studies; Switzerland; territory

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Projekt untersucht die umfassende Transformation des Schweizer Territoriums durch Bauten und Infrastrukturen in den letzten 150 Jahren und die damit einhergehende veränderte ästhetische Vorstellung dieses Territoriums. Ziel ist es ein Verständnis von Design einzuführen, welches sich nicht nur auf das isolierte architektonische Objekt beschränkt, sondern die Umwelt in seiner Ganzheitlichkeit angeht.
Lay summary

Der Gegensatz zwischen einer pastoralen vorindustriellen oder vermeintlich natürlichen Landschaft und einer technologischen postindustriellen Umwelt prägt bis heute den architektonischen Diskurs. Das Projekt Die Schweiz: Eine technologische Pastorale geht dagegen von der Hypothese aus, dass technologische Entwicklung und pastorale Ideale nicht Gegensätze sind, sondern sich vielmehr bedingen und sich im Laufe der vergangenen gut 150 Jahre gegenseitig geformt haben. Eine besondere Rolle nehmen dabei die Infrastrukturen ein, welche das Schweizer Territorium nicht nur umfassend transformiert, sondern unsere ästhetischen Vorstellungen dessen wesentlich mitgeprägt haben.

Das Forschungsprojekt ist in vier Fallstudien, zugleich Doktorate, gegliedert. Jede Fallstudie umfasst die ganze Bandbreite vom Apparat über den Einzelbau bis hin zum Territorium. Sie untersucht anhand von vier Infrastrukturformen, welche die Informations-, die Tourismus-, die Waren- und die Wasserströme regulieren, die daraus entstandenen Umwelten. 

Ziel des Projektes ist es, die Geschichte dieser technologischen Pastorale aufzuarbeiten, deren Beziehungsgeflecht zu analysieren und sichtbar zu machen. Darüber hinaus zielt es darauf hin, die Bedeutung des Designs in der Gestaltung unserer Umwelt umfassender auszulegen.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 16.12.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
179095 Experimentelles Entwerfen in der Nachkriegszeit - Der Beitrag von Heinz Isler (1926-2009) aus ingenieur- und kulturhistorischer Perspektive 01.10.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In 1992, Stanislaus von Moos coined the expression “Erschliessungsfieber” to describe the rapid development of infrastructures in late nineteenth-century Switzerland that not only fundamentally defined a new territory-through electricity, gas, and water supplies-but also created a new aesthetic vision of that territory (VON MOOS 1992: 91-132). However, this transformation, while studied within many fields, has failed to impact the design disciplines and professionals responsible for producing this territory. Neither is it understood the way in which cultural aesthetic values interact with these technological drivers. In Switzerland, the oft-employed opposition of a ‘pastoral’ pre-industrial or natural landscape to a ‘technological’ post-industrial built environment continues to motivate the way in which architecture is designed and written about. Switzerland: A Technological Pastoral therefore aims to identify and visualize the specific ways in which the interaction between infrastructural technologies and aesthetic values-on the part of designers but also the general public-affect how the built environment is analysed, designed and used. In understanding how technological developments have interacted with pastoral ideals in order to co-produce the post-war environment, Switzerland: A Technological Pastoral will deploy interdisciplinary perspectives to create a substantial contribution to a changing field of architectural design that is beginning to address territory, within and beyond Switzerland. It will draw upon literature from the variety of fields that have addressed the subject of infrastructure, and in particular histories of Swiss infrastructural development, and combine this with empirical site investigations and archival research. The research will be structured as four case studies carried out through individual doctoral projects. Each case study tackles a type of infrastructure that has shaped the Swiss territory over the last 150 years to analyse how the designing of flows-of information, tourists, commodities, and water-produce certain hybridised environments consisting of the built and the unbuilt. The case studies will be assessed at a full range of scales from the territory, to individual buildings, to the technological apparatuses inside of buildings, all of which are connected-often invisibly-through infrastructure. In addition to the four doctoral dissertations, the output will include peer-reviewed research papers, and three workshops, all of which will frame a resulting project Atlas. This Atlas will be an openly accessible and interactive platform, and ultimately a print publication, which will synthesise source material in order to share it amongst the team’s researchers and simultaneously visualise this data in a way that makes it practically available for designers and scholars.Infrastructure, and the flows of people and materials that it channels, has been the object of study in many fields, from architecture and urbanism, to the history of technology and urban studies (in particular, science and technology studies or bottom-up assemblage perspectives). This study hopes to extend existing scholarship in four ways. Firstly, the aims of previous researchers have largely been to describe the city, rather than the relationship between architecture and a territory that extends well beyond the urban limit. Additionally, most of this scholarship has not addressed the design field. Nor has it been able to visually synthesise results in a way that makes them available to the practitioners who are charged with designing, building, and planning for, the built territory. Finally, this project would be the first in-depth study of its kind to focus on Switzerland. The metaphorical title Technological Pastoral proposes thus to capture the central concern of the study: the hypothesis that pastoral ideals inherited from the past tend to obscure the current technological, urban reality when considering the designed environment in Switzerland.
-