International Conference
The History of Urban Design at Schools of Architecture

International Conference
Organizer: Visiting Lectureship Gerber - Hanisch
Date : Friday the 6. October 2017 to Saturday the 7. October 2017
Location : Semper-Aula (HG G 60), ETH Zurich, Zentrum
 


The History of Urban Design at Schools of Architecture
Reflections on a Core Subject


International conference
6–7 October 2017
Semper-Aula (HG G 60), ETH Zurich, Zentrum
Concept and organisation: Rainer Schützeichel, ETH Zurich, and Tom Steinert, TU Berlin

In the course of the establishment of the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta), a full professorship of the History of Urban Design was created on 1 October 1967, which today is the most significant chair, and the one steeped in the greatest tradition, in the German-speaking countries.
At most universities, however, the distinctness of the history of urban design is disputed, meaning that the discipline forfeits elementary research opportunities. What makes the situation more difficult is that due to the fact that it does not exist as an independent field of study, the history of urban design is a priori structured as an interdisciplinary subject. At those universities where corresponding professorial chairs have been established, they are usually incorporated within architecture faculties. Despite this, up until the present day architects and urban planners often only learn the historical circumstances that have impacted on the shape of cities incidentally, or for that matter have no knowledge of them whatsoever. This state of affairs is reinforced by the tendency, in particular in recent times, to subsume the history of urban design in multi-denominational appointments along the lines of “The History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism”. The chair at ETH Zurich is one of the rare counter-examples.
Within the context of an international academic conference, the jubilee of the Zurich professorship is taken as an occasion to showcase the diversity of recent research and teaching in the history of urban design at schools of architecture, as well as to bring together its protagonists and the scholarly newcomers. The programme of the one-and-a-half-day event encompasses broadly orientated thematic and biographical studies; a roundtable discussion of the reciprocal interaction between the history of urban design and current architectural production; and finally an appraisal, based on a discussion of political aspects and research desiderata, of the mid- and long-term trajectories in the history of urban design.

Programme

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