Live: What is Next?

Seminar week 19–23 October 2020

A few semesters ago the studio tentatively made moves towards modernism. The evident failure of architecture to address the imbalance of contemporary life provided the motivation to look again at the more ideological and programmatic promises of modernism, particularly the second wave of the 60s and 70s, whose discourses were broadened to encompass themes of gender, the legacies of empire and the growing imbalances in our environment. The consumer driven economy and its insatiable consumption of precious resources is not sustainable, and the desires it claims to fill can never be satisfied. We need to shift our attention to things that give us purpose and happiness. What should we be doing, and how can we have fulfilling lives?

From our new home in Zürich Oerlikon we will meet and debate, both in person and on Zoom, a wide range of figures who are challenging the status quo of technique, economics and politics. We will both declare our existence to the wider world and also call for participation from beyond the limits of academia. The idea is that this intense week of research and outreach will supplement the ongoing themes of the studio, forming the basis of an interactive screen based journal and a special edition reader.

For the week we are collaborating with the Architecture Foundation, who is presenting and streaming the discussions throughout the week and who makes them accessible to rewatch on their YouTube channel

HS 2020, ETH Zürich, Studio Caruso

Program of the Week


Classroom for Grizedale Arts by Material Cultures with Price and Myers and Takeshi Hayatsu, that uses rocks and boulders instead of concrete foundations

1/9 New Material Developments

Guests: Marlise Blaser, Katharina Lehmann, Summer Islam, Paloma Gormley

Monday 19 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


2/9 The Basic Income Initiative

Guest: Enno Schmidt

Monday 19 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


3/9 Food and the City

Guests: Carolyn Steel, Yvonne Lötscher, Laura Schälchli

Tuesday 20 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


4/9 The Future of Architectural Education

Guests: Amale Andraos, Sébastien Marot

Tuesday 20 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


5/9 Living Together

Guests: Marie Page, Maximilian Fritz, Luca Rösch

Wednesday 21 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


6/9 Plans for Living

Guests: Gabriela Bruno, Raffael Büchi

Wednesday 21 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


7/9 Building Zürich

Guest: Martin Neukom

Wednesday 21 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


8/9 Digital Transformations

Guests: Lukas Hug, Emi Lorincz

Thursday 22 October
watch the discussion on YouTube


9/9 Measuring Space

Guests: Johannes Rebsamen, Matthias Vollmer, Markus Tretheway

Thursday 22 October
watch the discussion on YouTube

Which materials are next?

join our discussion via zoom.

What is the future of construction materials? If we want to achieve the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions objective, and keep the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, the building sector needs to shift its goals towards carbon-negative construction materials. Blumer Lehman Holzbau, Elementwerk Istighofen and the research organization Material Culture are addressing those issues in a contextualized architecture, and are looking at the future for their material’s creation process. The research on performance is an important part for those practices, where performance leads to a more efficient use of the material, and open ways to new possibilities in the building sector. 
If the use of bio-based and/or local materials is a first step towards the reduction of green gas emissions, we also want to question them about the social and cultural side of their practice. How can the humans get involved in building a better future ? What is next ?

You can follow the discussion starting at 2pm via Zoom.

Tamedia Office Building / Shigeru Ban Architects with Blumer Lehmann

Friedhof Winterthur / Appert & Zwahlen with Elementwerk

Flat House / Practice Architecture  with Material Culture

What would you do NEXT if your income were taken care of?

Discussion with Enno Schmidt, Monday 19.10.2020 16:00 via Zoom

On 5 June 2016, the Swiss electorate voted on  the "Unconditional basic income" popular initiative

results: 568'660 votes; 23.1% yes / 1'897'528 votes; 76.9% no

“The initiative aims at introducing a very different system by means of a constitutional amendment that would require the Confederation to provide an unconditional basic income. This means the federal government would pay a certain amount of money to every person living in Switzerland, regardless of their income and assets. No conditions would be set for receiving this basic income. The authors of the initiative believe this will ensure a decent existence for everyone and allow everybody to participate in public life even if they do not earn a wage. The initiative specifies neither the size of this unconditional basic income nor the means of financing it. These two points would need to be defined by Parliament upon approval of the initiative.” (, sited: 18.10.20)

With the current pandemic and mass unemployment the topic of basic income is back in discussion. How would basic income impact the nature of work and our way of life? Would basic income impact the profession of architects and people in the creative field?

Enno Schmidt is an artist, filmmaker and activist for unconditional basic income. He is co-founder of the Basic Income Initiative in Switzerland. He is now part of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and internationally active as a speaker and lecturer. Since 2019 he has worked as a research assistant at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg where he is responsible for the networking and public awareness of basic income research.

Join the discussion on Monday 19.10.2020 16:00 via Zoom.

Food and the city- Where is your NEXT lunch coming from?

Discussion with Carolyn Steel, Laura Schälchli, Yvonne Lötscher, Tuesday 20.10.2020 14:00 via Zoom

Carolyn Steel, Yvonne Lötscher and Laura Schälchi will discuss about the relation between food and the city. Where is our food coming from? How does food shape our city? What has to change and how, in order to make our nutrition sustainable? Coming from theoretical, educational and practical backgrounds, we will discuss their various approaches in nowadays food-economy. 

Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker of the relation of food and cities. She studied architecture at Cambridge University, is a practicing architect at Kilburn Nightingale Architects and has held many lectures about food and the city. Her book “Hungry cities: How Food Shapes Our Lives” from 2008 is internationally acclaimed, her second book “Sitopia: How Food Can Save The World” (food-place) was published in March this year. In her work she observes how food shapes our life and surrounding and envisions a “sitopian economy” for the future.

Yvonne Lötscher is a biologist and agricultural scientist and the head of the sustainable food strategy of the city of Zurich. She focuses her professional life on a central issue of future nutrition strategies: How can urban populations feed themselves in the most climate-friendly and sustainable way? 

Laura Schälchi is the president of the association of Slow Food Switzerland, which is working for a better food future. She is also a co-founder of Sobre Mesa, which are offering “encounters around food culture”. Through workshops and other events they create a balance of knowledge sharing and enjoyment. 

Not having to think about food is a privilege

What are you teaching NEXT?

Discussion with Amale Andraos and Sébastien Marot on Tuesday at 16:00 on Zoom


The under signed Rectors of European Universities, gathered in Bologna for the ninth centenary of the oldest University in Europe, four years before the definitive abolition of boundaries between the countries of the European Community ; looking forward to far-reaching co-operation between all European nations and believing that people and States should become more than ever aware of the part that universities will be called upon to play in a changing and increasingly international society, consider (…) that universities must give future generations education and training that will teach them, and through them others, to respect the great harmonies of their natural environment and of life itself. The undersigned Rectors of European universities proclaim to all States and to the conscience of all nations the fundamental principles, which must, now and always, support the vocation of universities.

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SORBONNE DECLARATION of May 1998, joint declaration on harmonisation of the architecture of the European higher education system

The European process has very recently moved some extremely important steps ahead. Relevant as they are, they should not make one forget that Europe is not only that of the Euro, of the banks and the economy: it must be a Europe of knowledge as well. We must strengthen and build upon the intellectual, cultural, social and technical dimensions of our continent. These have to a large extent been shaped by its universities, which continue to play a pivotal role for their development.

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BOLOGNA DECLARATION of June 1999, joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education

A Europe of Knowledge is now widely recognised as an irreplaceable factor for social and human growth and as an indispensable component to consolidate and enrich the European citizenship, capable of giving its citizens the necessary competences to face the challenges of the new millennium, together with an awareness of shared values and belonging to a common social and cultural space.

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In the Bologna Declaration in 1999, twenty-nine European Ministers of Education signed a political-programmatic declaration to standardize study programmes and degrees as well as the international mobility of students, with the aim of creating a single European Higher Education Area. It is known as the Bologna Process.

The convergence process involved a new two-phase system of vocational qualifications (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) and the establishment of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), to ensure a standard quality in the higher education sector. Inherent to this projective is an orientation of study courses towards employability on the labour market. 


We as architecture students are broadcasting this out of our studios at the Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ) to talk about the future of Education. We are asking ourselves: What role does education take on today and which are its responsibilities and capacities in the future? What is next?

Women in Leadership

For us it was refreshing to see that all these companies are led by women. So we asked them what their experience in this man dominated branch is. Let´s see what has happened..

Marlise is the owner and director of Elementwerk Istighofen. Elementwerk is precasting concrete elements, focusing on innovation in terms of transformation of conventional concrete products towards hybrid cement products. Marlise and her team of 25 employees are currently developing new receipts for concrete without cement. They are specialized for individual concrete products, which is another reason for the team of Elementwerk to be very flexible and innovative. 

In terms of the question about being a woman in a leading position, she points out that it isn´t about beeing a man or a women, but it´s about the position.

Katharina Lehmann is the head of the Lehmann Gruppe. The Lehmann Gruppe is a timber construction company, which is working on the whole value chain of timber. They are doing both, free forms of timber construction as well as "classical" geometric forms. Her target is to bring timber, as a buildimg material, also into the dense city . The Lehmann Gruppe is focusing on sustainability and on high-tech in form of high-tech planning and prefebracation.

When it comes down to the question of her experiences leading a company as a woman, she found it was uneasy when she started her career 24 years ago. However, it doesn´t make any difference to her at all to be a woman nowadays. She even sees a slight advantage to have a female leader beacause she is convinced that women have a more general way to look at things and that women can combine diffenrent diciplines better. They are able to act like a bricoleur. 

Summer Islam and Paloma Gormley


Summer Islam and Paloma Gormely founded Material Cultures. This is a non-profit organisation working on the intersection between low embodied carbon design, digital technology and mass production. They do kind of a bricolage in terms of using different materials which are meant to have different roles within the construction. 

Especially Paloma sees a "terrifyingly masculine" characteristic about the construction industry. During a long part of her career, she had spend time on the construction site and has therefore a lot of experience to work in this man dominated world. First she felt kind of a consternation about that. People were surprised that you knew your nuts and bolts. For her this is a sad story but at the same time she wants to continue to challenge those perceptions of gender. 

Changes towards sustainable materials by law


With legislation you can make something overnight feasible.

 Adam Caruso


We address the question of ecology by dealing with recycling. It is the way to go, but it’s not easy, because there are many norms that have to be respected and, in the end, it still has to be economical.

Marlise Blaser


Adjustments of the fire safety regulations, in 2005 and 2015 for example, opened up new markets, new possibilities and new creativity.

Katharina Lehmann


There need to be regulatory changes in order for sustainable material to be taken up fully in regulation around embodied carbon in construction for a final shift into a better material culture.

Paloma Gormley


They are not available in the UK and they are not manufactured here because its economically viable. It’s a step behind the UK’s supply industry. That’s the point where some of our principles are in conflict with each other. Maybe if regulation steps in to make those materials more affordable to manufacture, then they could have broader impact than they are having at the moment.

Summer Islam


The French government has announced new sustainability legislation to help make the country carbon neutral by 2050. The new law will mandate that new public buildings in France are built from at least 50% timber or other natural materials. This measure will be enforced by 2022.


Brandschutzvorschriften 2015: Das Bauen mit Holz wird frei

Ab dem kommenden Jahr kann Holz in allen Gebäudekategorien und Nutzungen angewendet werden. Holz normalisiert sich damit als Baustoff ohne Sonderregelung.

Plans for Living – Are we investing in what comes NEXT?

Discussion with Gabriela Bruno and Raffael Büchi
on Wednesday 21.10.2020 15:00 via Zoom

Now more than ever, buildings, especially offices, are becoming vacant due to the current crisis. Is this gonna stay and evolve our way of living or will we recover and reboot to the time before corona pandemic struck? The negative impact of empty places creates a spatial stigmatization where areas are associated with vandalism and social depravation. Which brings us to the question: "What role could these buildings play in our society?". 
Since the economy is in recession, some temporary alternatives allow to fill these empty spaces again and to mantain the speculative value of the building. By allowing companies to use these buildings for short periods of time, this is stimultating the economy and adding value to those spaces. 
When we speak about architecture and where it's heading, we often speak about a shift in focus: from constructing new buildings to working with the existing fabric of your cities and how to intervene. Architecture slowly moves away from the phrase "architecture as a building", and is adding a question-mark to that sentence. 
Gabriela Bruno is a senior consultant at the company Wüest Partner. They are focusing on the construction and spatial development. They are also providing real estate market data. Predictions and analytic articles are used for further investments in what comes next. Wüest Partner prevents this kind of information. Since investment is one of the driving factor in the building industry, the whole swiss building marked depends on these predictions. They became an important tool for investors, putting them in a crucial position for the future investment. 
Raffael Büchi is one of the co-founders of Project Interim. A young company founded in 2011. Many of the empty buildings in Switzerland are awaiting renovation, restoration, reuse or even destruction. These few months (sometimes years) of vacancy can lead to legal and economic problems for the owners (such as squatting or damage to the buildings due to non-use). In Switzerland and Zurich in particular, more and more owners are "lending" their temporarily vacant property to avoid vandalism and maintain the value of the property. This is where Project Interim jumps in, their role is to act as an intermediary between owners and temporary users throughout Switzerland. 

I forgot how to trust

Exhibiting Home Life: A Social Experiment

Discussion with Marie Page, Maximilian Fritz and Luca Rösch

Wednesday 21.10.2020 at 13.00 CET on Zoom


The backside of Living Room-Poetry, Second Salon, Foto: Reto Gadola


The Schweizer Werkbund Experimenthaus Neubühl, located in the second district of Zürich, is since 2017 a domestic laboratory where up to three tenants organize and present various exhibitions in their modern common house. Currently it is being occupied by Marie Page, Maximilian Fritz and Luca Rösch, who all studied Architecture at the ETH Zürich and share this project of creating various salons during their residency. These exhibitions all treat the topic of living and relate to the intersection between private living and public discussion, for example their first salon Under the Scenes invited visitors to an experience below the terrace houses and through the building’s spine with corridors, pipes and the hidden infrastructures.

Studio Adam Caruso warmly welcomes them on Wednesday 21st October at 13.00 CET physically in the ETH ONA as well as virtually on Zoom. 


Foto: Marie Page / Maximilian Fritz / Luca Rösch

Soon Live •

Plans for Living – Are we investing in what comes NEXT?

Discussion with Gabriela Bruno and Raffael Büchi 
on Wednesday 21.10.2020 15:00 via Zoom

Is this FORMAT already NEXT ?

Working - Living - Eating

Video: Page / Fritz / Rösch


Rather than a single object, it focuses on a very specific way of living.
Where you are asked to perform, to discuss, to produce.
While you cook, you eat, you sleep, you write.
Daily and everywhere.
Having always the next things in your mind to come.

Maximilian Fritz


Is the residency voluntary labour, also hired labour or somewhere between?

Luca Rösch


We don’t make a living, 
But live for a making.

Marie Page


Measuring space: What is NEXT in the digital representation of space?

Discussion with Markus Tretheway, Matthias Vollmer and Johannes Rebsamen, Thursday 22.10.2020 16:00 via Zoom


What is the potential of digital technologies in measuring space? How will it change our view of the environment we are living in? Where will it bring our planning and building practices?

SCANVISION and BUILDING POINT are two actors engaged with finding new ways of making use of the evolving possibilities in measuring and representing our material world. With the use of laser scanning, photogrammetry and audio, SCANVISION aims to explore the boundaries of surveying and representation of space. A cloud of data points with overlayed audio conveys new relationships of places, infrastructures, objects and spaces. Through researching and producing software solutions and measurement techniques to be integrated in planning and construction, BUILDING POINT ensures greater efficiency and profitability in the building sector. Comparing BUILDING POINT to SCANVISION reveals a diametral relationship between them. They mark opposite ends on a spectrum. While SCANVISION works as a small scale start-up company at the forefront of research, BUILDING POINT is a well established big player that aims to bring the existing potential of digitalization into architectural practice. We are interested in hearing their insights, arguing with them, and gaining new ideas to answer the question, WHAT'S NEXT?


Video : Pointcloud-Video about Zurich Main Station for the XII Bienal Internacional de Arquitetura de Sao Paulo, 2019


Matthias Vollmer and Johannes Rebsamen founded SCANVISION together in January 2018 as an ETH Spinoff based on many years of experience with point clouds at the Chair of Landscape Architecture Christophe Girot at ETH Zurich. Both founders bring along specialized knowledge due to their educational background. Johannes Rebsamen is an architect with a masters degree form ETH Zürich with a further education in geoinformation systems, whereas Matthias Vollmer studied architecture at the ETH Zurich and film at the ZHdK. Their work includes the surveying, documentation and visualisation of art objects, urban situations, large-scale landscapes and underground infrastructures.


Image: Tekla Structures' 3D model


Markus Tretheway has been the CEO of BUILDING POINT since 2018. The company provides measurement technology and software solutions to investigate digital processes in the building sector. Markus Tretheway holds a MAS in Virtual Design and Construction and BIM from Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW and was a lecturer for structural and civil Engineering CAD/BIM at FHNW and the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH.


"Caring and repairing the buildings is part of our future"

William Heath Robinson 
The Folding Garden (1933)

Zurich NEXT - Sustainability in Architecture & Urban Planning

Discussion with Martin Neukom, Wednesday 21.10.2020 18:30 via Zoom

Martin Neukom, member of the Green Party in Switzerland, is Regierungsrat in the Canton of Zürich and Head of the Building Departement. After his apprenticeship as a technical draughtsman, he studied mechatronic engineering at ZHAW. While working on a measuring device for solar cells at Fluxim AG until 2019 he completed his PhD at the University in Augsburg with his dissertation „Comprehensive Characterization and Modelling of Operation Mechanisms in Third Generation Solar Cells“. 
The focus in his political work lies on climate protection, biodiversity, the development of sustainable energy techniques, improvement of the traffic system and to fulfill the Paris agreement to be climate neutral by 2050. 
We are looking forward to discuss the topic of sustainability in the built environment of Zurich on Wednesday  21.10.2020 at 18:30 on Zoom.

Book: Die Stadt als Ressource

Salon and its Meanings

Foto: Pierre Marmy


SALON in British English
(ˈsælɒn  )

a room in a large house in which guests are received
an assembly of guests in a fashionable household, esp a gathering of major literary, artistic, and political figures from the 17th to the early20th centuries
a commercial establishment in which hairdressers, beauticians, etc, carry on their businesses
beauty salon
a hall for exhibiting works of art
such an exhibition, esp one showing the work of living artists

Word origin
C18: from French, from Italian salone, augmented form of sala hall, of Germanic origin; compare Old English sele hall, Old High German sal, Old Norse salr hall


Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

'mommy I'm going to buy some snickers'

David Holmgren. Co-originator of the Permaculture Concept


1 2   P E R M A C U L T U R E   D E S I G N   P R I N C I P L E S


1. Observe and Interact - beauty is in the eye of the beholder
2. Catch and Store Energy - make hay while the sun shines
3. Obtain a Yield - you can’t work on an empty stomach
4. Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback - the sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the seventh generation
5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services - let nature take it’s course
6. Produce No Waste - a stitch in times saves nine. Waste not, want not
7. Design from Patterns to Details - can’t see the wood for the trees
8. Integrate Rather than Segregate - many hands make light work
9. Use Small and Slow Solutions - the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Slow and steady win the race
10. Use and Value Diversity - don’t put all your eggs in one basket
11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal - don’t think you are on the right track just because it is a well-beaten path
12. Creativity Use and Respond to Change - vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be



Blockchain, a promise for everything

Discussion with Emi Lorincz and Lukas Hug

Thursday 22 October, 14.00-15.30 via Zoom


BitterCoin, César Escudero Andaluz & Martín Nadal, 2016

Still image from Chinese Coin, UBERMORGEN.COM, 2015

Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly.

Vitalik Buterin, cofounder of the Ethereum blockchain


Blockchain as a technology is mostly known through cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and understanding of it rarely goes beyond a vague idea of speculative investments and young tech-savvy millionaires. 

Yet blockchain has the potential to affect vast swathes of public and private life and in some cases already does so. The mechanisms that underpin this technology, when looked at through a political lens, tend to look almost radical. 

By promising maximal Transparency while maintaining the Privacy of its actors, it has the potential to facilitate interactions and transactions between people.

In providing a secure environment for recording information, it may remove the need for Trust in institutions, both financial and political.

As an inherently Distributed system, where control lays not with a single governing entity but with every single participant, it questions the very need for Hierarchical Structures

We will discuss these topics and more with Lukas Hug from the digital asset bank Sygnum, and Emi Lorincz, Director Sales & Business Development at Ledger.

A Salon to Show Your Home

We do see the house as a stage. A stage for the Salons filled with decors. Rearranging the whole house.

Maximilian Fritz

"If we would have started in the 90ies [...]. We should have done it differently, but the important question is: what do we do now?"

In Discussion with Martin Neukom

Front page of the New York Times on June 24, 1988


We will have our Apéro next time. 

Or will go to a restaurant all together.

Or just have breakfast or lunch together.