Architecture has always been a constitutive element of any culture. In design and construction, it combines intellectual, scientific and technological disciplines to form a whole in a way that no other discipline can. Architectural education therefore needs to ensure broad inclusion of all these aspects. Swiss architecture in particular enjoys an outstanding reputation all over the world. This has largely been achieved thanks to the ETH in Zurich, the role of which should also continue into the future.
Technologies are advancing rapidly and offer outstanding opportunities for future architecture. They are making new forms of architectural expression and development possible for modern life in a networked world. Today, social, ecological and economic issues have come to the fore that cannot be solved solely using a technological approach. In addition, there are urgent questions raised by the ever-increasing density of the urban and global future.
The Institute of Technology in Architecture sees itself as a world-leading platform for the teaching and development of pioneering technologies in architecture. Our attention is fo-cused on the following global developments:
- Today’s society is committed to quality and permanence in dealing with the built environment, in the spirit of a sustainable architectural culture.
- We expect primary wealth to emerge from clean forms of energy and their use and an abandonment of all CO2-based energy sources.
- Information technology is becoming omnipresent: traditional, previously insuperable boundaries between simulation and reality are dissolving.
- The system boundaries of analysis are expanding – from the building to the district, and even further to the level of the city.
- Manufacturing processes in the building industry are becoming increasingly digital-zed.
- Modern architectural research now involves working on both the smallest and largest scales – from the sensor to the metropolis.
Along this vector, we are using basic efficiency to prepare an economic, ecological, and logistic platform for competence in every field of architecture.
In this way, we are developing and communicating detailed knowledge while maintaining integrated approaches under the following headings:
- Development of emission-free and resource-efficient buildings that produce part of the energy they need locally.
- Creation of design capacity through the use of appropriate technologies and of decentralized, integrated and restrained construction technology.
- Communication of specific and robust construction methods and practices in the spirit of sustainable durability.
- Strengthening of design at the ecological and economic level by teaching with models and building simulations.
- Conducting research into and creating sensitivity to classic and pioneering structural systems.
- Seamless linkage between digital planning and machine manufacturing.
- Creating the foundations for smart structures using new materials technologies.
- Building bridges between social data networks and built material.
- Development of an adaptable and rapid form of information logistics that will replace the classic construction process and thus overcome the additive processes of planning, competitive tendering, and implementation.
- Translation of large-scale urban energy systems as integral components into a practicable design logic.
An understanding of information technology will prepare us for the urban future. The element common to all of these concerns is an independent architectural aesthetic.
ITA, February 2015