052-0634-21L  Force, Material, Form: Exploring Interdisciplinary Design

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersJ. Schwartz
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentITA Pool information event on the offered courses:
10.2.2021, 10-11 h, ONLINE, VideoZoom Link: https://ethz.zoom.us/s/92856146358


052-0634-21 GKraft, Material, Form: Erforschen des interdisziplinären Entwerfens
Keine Lehrveranstaltung am 25.3. (Seminarwoche), am 8.4. (Osterferien) sowie an Feiertagen und vor den Schlussabgaben (s. Raumbelegungen!)
3 hrs
Thu15:45-18:30HCP E 47.1 »
J. Schwartz

Catalogue data

AbstractThis course is aimed at students of architecture and civil engineering from the 5th semester Bachelor or higher, who wish to practice and explore the design of structures in interdisciplinary groups. In the interplay between application and theory, the students design small structural objects in interdisciplinary teams and then investigate group dynamics relevant to design.
ObjectiveStudents learn to work in an interdisciplinary group of architecture and civil engineering students on the basis of the design of small structural objects. Through observation, reflection and theoretical examination, characteristic group dynamics are to be identified and possible behavioural effects are to be investigated. The following questions are central: How can interdisciplinary groups develop high-quality innovative structures? What are the decisive processes in such cooperation? How are interdisciplinary ideas developed and decisions made? Which roles are occupied by whom and how does this distribution of roles affect the structural design?
ContentStructural design is connected with the interdisciplinary negotiation of technical-constructive framework conditions on the basis of creative-spatial ideas. This field of tension between strength, material and form requires a fruitful exchange between architects and civil engineers. The course prepares students for this interdisciplinary working environment by practising and analysing the ability to work creatively with people from different disciplines. Within the framework of the design of small structural objects, tools for observation, reflection and theoretical examination are imparted, with which students can explore design-relevant group dynamics as well as behaviour and thought patterns in interdisciplinary work processes. Three thematic areas will be focussed on: The process of designing, working out approaches to solutions and understanding the roles of the individual group members. Each of these topics is dealt with in three stages:
1. an introduction to the theoretical foundations of the respective topic through input from the lecturers, guest lectures from experts and/or an excursion.
2. design of small structural objects in interdisciplinary groups with self-observation or external observation of the group dynamics relevant to the design.
3. analysis and presentation of the findings from the group observation.
The methodology of the course aims to combine theory and practice in an instructive, practical and entertaining way. The personal experiences and interests of the students in exploring the interdisciplinary design and construction of structural objects are the focus of this course.
LiteratureLiterature with text extracts from specialist books relevant to the topics of the lecture will be presented and made available during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeA regular and active participation in the lessons is assumed (maximum 2 absences). A repetition is only possible if the course unit is enrolled again. This course is aimed at students of the architecture and civil engineering departments from the 5th semester Bachelor or higher.

ITA Pool information event on the offered courses:
10.2.2021, 10-11 h, ONLINE, VideoZoom Link:

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersJ. Schwartz
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Architecture BachelorTechnology in ArchitectureWInformation