Swiss Landscape 1930-1970-Landscape Architecture-ETH Zürich-Prof. Girot

Processes of Exchange 

Swiss and American Modernist Landscape Architecture 1930-1970

Postdoctoral Research: Dr. Johannes Stoffler

During 1930 to 1970, an intensive professional discourse developed between landscape architects from the USA and Switzerland. The exchange clearly reflected the specific context in which the landscape architects worked in their respective countries. While both groups profited from substantial international publicity and recognition, their profession found itself in a state of upheaval, stemming from the provocative architecture, urban concepts and fine arts of Early and Mid-Century Modernism. The exchange between American and Swiss landscape architects during this time was vital for the profession’s continued development of design and conceptual approaches. It still influences the practice of landscape architecture in both countries to this day.


The goal of this study is the portrayal and critical appraisal of this exchange between 1930 and 1970. It investigates to what extent design and conceptual impulses were integrated into the national discourse and how they were interpreted and developed in their respective cultural and spatial contexts. In the forefront of the study is the documental disclosure of historical development relationships. In particular the role of designers, their creations and personal networks will be studied as well as the contribution of educational institutions and professional organizations to this exchange.

Location of research: Harvard Graduate School of Design

Project duration: Jan 2010 – Dec 2010