Design Lab Student work FS 2016


The DesignLab of the Chair of Professor Girot develops new methods in both the teaching and practice of the design of Landscapes.

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UPDATE: From 2017 our Landscape Design Studio will run EVERY semester! From now on you will be able to follow our Design Studio also in the Fall program. Please click here to see our new offering for Fall 2017 Robotic Landscapes.
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Context-sensitive site immersion, and state of the art topological modeling techniques are at the core of our methodology. The studio environment has proved to be the ideal building ground for researching new modes of designing and teaching with sustainable methods. The DesignLab focuses acts as laboratory to develop prototypes and new concepts on existing sites such as abandoned military bases, airports and river deltas at a large design scale. Further digital research of historical sites worldwide, and the future landscapes of alpine Switzerland have lead to new ways of approaching and seeing the built environment.


The goal of the studios is to create a palette of strategies through an evolving landscape design, that incorporates topography, the dynamics of water systems, vegetation and human activities. Students are asked to work on landscape designs in terms of topology and regeneration aiming for a range of possibilities for future uses and developments.


Both analog tools (sketch, section, model, plan) and computer tools (CNC modelling, 3D visualization) are used to test and develop the proposals at various stages and scales. During the semester, skills in CAAD-CAM technologies are gained in order to familiarize students with the design of large-scale topographical interventions. The development of new means of landscape representation allows to define landscape typologies both spatially and in terms of programmatic use.


The offering of courses varies throughout the academic year. The Design Studio is part of the Bachlor/Master teaching program at the ETH Zürich and is offered twice a year in autumn and spring semesters. In autumn semesters an elective course give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge in the area of landscape architecture. The integrated discipline “Landscape architecture” can be chosen by students to accompany an other Design Studio at the ETH. The current DesignLab Courses can be found here: Current Courses


Ilmar Hurkxkens | Coordinator DesignLab | Doctoral Student
Contact and coordination:

Ben Gitai | Research Associate DesignLab
Magdalena Kaufmann | Research Associate DesignLab
James Melsom | Research Associate DesignLab | Coordinator LVML & Diplom
Philipp R.W. Urech | Research Associate DesignLab