351-1138-00L  PRISMA Capstone - Rethinking Sustainable Cities and Communities

SemesterHerbstsemester 2020
DozierendeA. Cabello Llamas
Periodizitätjährlich wiederkehrende Veranstaltung
KommentarDue to didactic reasons, the number of participants is limited to 30.

All interested students are invited to attend the first day of class.
Additionally please enroll via mystudies. Please note that all students are put on the waiting list and that your current position on the waiting list is irrelevant, as places will be assigned after the first lecture on the basis of your interest and commitment for the class.


351-1138-00 VPRISMA Capstone - Rethinking Sustainable Cities and Communities
The lecture takes place online

Monday 17.00 - 20.00
21.09.20 / 28.09.20 / 05.10.20 / 12.10.20 / 19.10.20 / 26.10.20 / 02.11.20 / 09.11.20 / 16.11.20 / 23.11.20 / 30.11.20 / 07.12.20 / 14.12.20

Wednesday 15.00 - 17.00
16.09.20 / 23.09.10 / 30.09.20 / 07.10.20 / 14.10.20 / 21.10.20 / 28.10.20 / 04.11.20 / 11.11.20 / 18.11.20 / 25.11.20 / 02.12.20 / 09.12.20 / 16.12.20
5 Std.
16.09.15:15-17:00HG G 5 »
A. Cabello Llamas


KurzbeschreibungThe goal of this course is to bring students from different backgrounds together to make connections between disciplines and to build bridges to society. Supported by student coaches and experts, our student teams will work using hands of design thinking methods to solve current challenges based on the UN sustainable development goals. This course is a capstone for the student initiative PRISMA.
LernzielIn this course students will be able to acquire and practice cross-disciplinary competencies as a part of their studies. More specifically students will learn to:
- Work and think in a problem-based way.
- Put their own field into a broader context.
- Engage in collaborative ideation with a multidisciplinary team.
- Identify challenges related to relevant societal issues.
- Develop, prototype and plan innovative solutions for a range of different contexts.
- Innovate in a human-centred way by observing and interacting with key stakeholders.

The acquired methods and skills are based on the ETH competence framework and can be applied to tackle a broad range of problems in academia and society, way beyond the scope of this course.
InhaltTopic 2020 – Sustainable Cities and Communities – UN SDG 11

Over the last decades, the share of human population living in urban areas has steadily increased, rapidly growing from 751 Million in 1950 to 4.2 Billion in 2018. Today, 55% of the global population lives in cities, and the number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050 , making cities a crucial part of some of today’s most pressing problems like climate change and poverty, but also a main driver for innovation and economic growth. The UN has underlined the importance of cities for the future with its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which aims at making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Moving beyond traditional teaching approaches, this course allows students to engage creatively in a process of rethinking and redesigning aspects and elements of current and future urban areas, actively contributing towards fulfilling the UN SDG 11.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a deeply human process that taps into the creative abilities we all have, but that get often overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. It relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express ourselves through means beyond words or symbols. Design Thinking provides an integrated way by incorporating tools, processes and techniques from design, engineering, the humanities and social sciences to identify, define and address diverse challenges. This integration leads to a highly productive collaboration between different disciplines.

Course structure

This course is offered on a yearly basis, each year addressing a different topic related to the UN SDGs.

The course is divided in to three stages:

Warm-up and framing: The objective of this first stage is to get familiar with current problems faced by cities and communities as well as with the Design Thinking process and mindset. The students will learn about the working process, the teaching spaces and resources, as well as the fellow students and the lecturers.

Identifying challenges: The objective is to get to know additional methods and tools to identify a specific challenge relevant for urban areas through fieldwork, resulting in the definition of an actionable problem statement that will form the starting point for the formulation of innovative solutions.

Solving challenges within current and future context: During this phase, students will apply the learned methods and tools to solve the identified challenge in a multi-disciplinary group. Although the challenge setting starts from the context of Swiss cities, the envisioned solution will draw inspiration from additional contexts (e.g. best practices from other countries) and reflect on its application in different settings.

To facilitate iterative learning, students will go through two cycles of this process, honing their skills in a smaller 3-week project before diving deeper and addressing a real world challenge in a bigger 9-week project in collaboration with an external partner.
Voraussetzungen / BesonderesBachelor students are given preference to this course.


Information zur Leistungskontrolle (gültig bis die Lerneinheit neu gelesen wird)
Leistungskontrolle als Semesterkurs
ECTS Kreditpunkte4 KP
PrüfendeA. Cabello Llamas
Formbenotete Semesterleistung
RepetitionRepetition nur nach erneuter Belegung der Lerneinheit möglich.
ZulassungsbedingungOnly for Bachelor students


Keine öffentlichen Lernmaterialien verfügbar.
Es werden nur die öffentlichen Lernmaterialien aufgeführt.


Keine Informationen zu Gruppen vorhanden.


PlätzePlätze beschränkt. Spezielles Auswahlverfahren.
WartelisteBis 30.09.2020
BelegungsendeBelegung nur bis 23.09.2020 möglich

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