063-0703-23L  Architecture of Territory: Territorial Design in Histories, Theories and Projects

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersM. Topalovic
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


063-0703-23 VArchitecture of Territory: Territorial Design in Histories, Theories and Projects
No courso on 12.10. Instead the course session will take place on 14.12.
No course 26.10 (seminar week) and in the last semester week (final critiques).
2 hrs
Thu09:45-11:30ONA E 7 »
14.12.09:45-11:30HIL E 6 »
M. Topalovic

Catalogue data

AbstractThis lecture series sets up an agenda for widening the disciplinary field of architecture and urbanism from their focus on the city, or the urban in the narrow sense, to wider territorial scales, which correspond to the increasing scales of contemporary urbanisation. It discusses the concepts of territory and urbanisation, and their implications for the work of architects and urbanists.
ObjectiveThe course will enable students to critically discuss concepts of territory and urbanisation. It will invite students to revisit the history of architects’ work engaging with the problematic of urbanising territories and territorial organisation. The goal is to motivate and equip students to engage with territory in the present day and age, by setting out our contemporary urban agenda.

The lectures are animated by a series of visual and conceptual exercises, usually on A4 sheets of paper. All original student contributions will be collected and bound together, creating a unique book-object.
ContentThe lecture series consists of 7 core lectures delivered by professor Milica Topalović, and 4 curated guest lectures highlighting a selected theme.

This fall, within the theme MY WEATHER, we will trace the uneven impacts of the environmental crises on the ground, and reflect on the entanglements of weather, atmosphere, and climate with the constructed environments and ecologies.

21. 09. 2023
On Territory

28. 09. 2023
Architecture and Urbanisation

05. 10. 2023
Methods in Territorial Research and Design

19. 10. 2023
Title TBC

02. 11. 2023
Planetary Urbanisation: Hinterland

09. 11. 2023
Critical Walking
Curated walk by NAZLI TÜMERDEM

16. 11. 2023
Disappearance of the Countryside

23. 11. 2023
Metropolitan Repair

30. 11. 2023
Architecture is Climate

07. 12. 2023
Profiles of the Alps: Landschaft, Landscape, Paysage – Talschaft

14. 12. 2023
Our Common Territories: An Outlook
Lecture notesTeam:
Prof. Milica Topalović, Dr. Nazlı Tümerdem

Student Assistants:
Giacomo Rossi

Nazli Tümerdem

Our website:
Literature- Berger, John. “Intoduction”. In: Pig Earth, Into Their Labours. London: Writers and Readers, 1979, pp. xiii-xxix.
- Burckhardt, Lucius. “Strollological Observations on Perception of the Environment and the Task Facing Our Generation”. In: Lucius Burckhardt Writings: Rethinking Man-made Environments, eds. Jesko Fezer and Martin Schmitz, Springer Wien New York, 2012: 239-248.
- Bystrykh, Janna, Generation Regeneration (Amsterdam: Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, 2022)
- Corboz, André. “The Land as Palimpsest.” Diogenes, vol. 31, no. 121, 1983, pp. 12–34., doi:10.1177/039219218303112102.
- Corboz, André. “Die Schweiz Als Hyperstadt = La Suisse Comme Hyperville”. Anthos: Zeitschrift Für Landschaftsarchitektur = Une Revue Pour Le Paysage 42(2), 2003: pp. 4–9.
- Cronon, William. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York, N.Y. etc.: Norton, 1991.
- Diener, Roger, Jacques Herzog, Marcel Meili, Pierre de Meuron, and Christian Schmid. Switzerland—an Urban Portrait. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2006.
- Escobar, Arturo, ‘Introduction’, in Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018), pp. 1-21
- Gottmann, Jean. “The Evolution of the Concept of Territory.” Social Science Information, vol. 14, no. 3, 1975, pp. 29–47., doi:10.1177/053901847501400302.
- Ferrari, Marco, Pasqual, Elisa, and Bagnato. Andrea. “Introduction.” In A Moving Border. Alpine Cartograhies of Climate Change, New York: Columbia Books, 2019: pp. 18-24.
- Herzog, Jacques, Pierre de Meuron, Lisa Euler, Metaxia Markaki, Charlotte von Moos, und Martino Tattara. Achtung: die Landschaft: Lässt sich die Stadt anders denken?: ein erster Versuch. Zürich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2016.
- McHarg, Ian L, and Lewis Mumford. Design with Nature. New York: Natural History Press, 1969.
- Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- MOULD, ‘Remembering the Future’, in Biennale Architettura 2023 The Laboratory of the Future: Catalogue of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, ed. by Lesley Lokko (Venice: Mostra, 2023), pp. 170–73
- Patel, Raj, and Moore, Jason W.. “How the Chicken Nugget Became the True Symbol of Our Era”. The Guardian, May 8th 2018.
- Topalović, Milica. Architecture of Territory: Beyond the Limits of the City: Research and Design of Urbanising Territories: Inaugural Lecture ETH Zürich, November 30, 2015. Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Territorial Planning. Zürich: ETH D-ARCH, 2016.
- Tümerdem, Nazlı. “Critical Walking in Northern Istanbul”, Transfer Global Architecture Platform, 2018.
- Tümerdem, Nazlı. “Walking in the Territory.” Network City and Landscape, December 2019.
- Schmid, Christian, ‘Netzwerke – Grenzen – Differenzen: Auf dem Weg zu einer Theorie des Urbanen’, in: Roger Diener et at., Die Schweiz - Ein städtebauliche Portrait der Schweiz, Basel, 2005, pp. 164 – 174.
- Schmid, Christian. “The Urbanization of the Territory: On the Research Approach of ETH Studio Basel”. In: Territory: On the Development of Landscape and City, edited by Mathias Gunz, Vesna Jovanović, Roger Diener, Liisa Gunnsarsson, Marcel Meili, Christian Mueller Inderbitzin, and Christian Schmid. Zürich: Park Books, 2016: pp. 22–48.
- Wachsmuth, David. “City as Ideology: Reconciling the Explosion of the City Form with the Tenacity of the City Concept”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32(1), February 2014: pp. 75–90.
- Waldheim, Charles. “Notes Toward a History of Agrarian Urbanism”. Places Journal, November 2010.
- Waldheim, Charles. Landscape as Urbanism: A General Theory. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2016, pp. 2-11, 177-183.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lectures will take place on Thursdays, 10.00-12:00, at ONA Fokushalle E7.

80% attendance is required (9 sessions out of 11). The A4 exercises created during the lectures will count toward the attendance record.

The grading will be based on the attendance record and the three graded exercises.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersM. Topalovic
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Architecture MasterField of Landscape Architecture and Urban StudiesWInformation