Material Circularity and The City

Seminar Week History and Theory of Urban Design (-)
Organizer: Chair of Prof. Avermaete
Lecturers: Dr. Sebastiaan Loosen, Sanna Kattenbeck
Time: 21-25 March 2022
Location: Belgium & Switzerland, 10-20 participants, cost frame C

Harvesting material for the K.118–Kopfbau Halle 118, Winterthur. © baubüro in situ ag, 2021. [URL=][/URL]

In spring semester FS22, the seminar week of the Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design focuses on the circulation of materials in the production of the city and explores how material resources influence the aesthetic, construction and craft cultures of the city. By looking at projects and initiatives by Belgian and Swiss architectural firms and municipalities, we will investigate both historical and contemporary practices of material reuse and ‘urban mining’, and how architectural practices can be reconceptualized to support a circular economy. Thus, the seminar week aims to offer students insights into the diverse handling of materials in architecture and the cultural, political, and social aspects of materiality in the production of the city. Through drawing, writing, reading, and discussing, students learn to approach the subject matter analytically and to expand their disciplinary knowledge in architectural research.

The seminar week will be partially organized in Belgium and partially in Switzerland. We will travel by train to Belgium on Sunday and return midweek by plane. The seminar week expands on this semester’s Avermaete Research Studio, which this semester focuses on Zürich’s material commons.