The Responsibility of the ETH in the Education of Architects
The ETH Zurich bases its education, research, and services upon the highest internationally recognized standards. Its activities are consistently aligned to the needs of man, nature and society. One of the primary goals of the ETH is to transfer its knowledge back into the economy and society, while its research strategies tackle global challenges.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the entire field of architecture and urban design is faced with mounting challenges. Complex issues such as urban sprawl, the slummification of urban areas, climactic and energy-economic factors, as well as the expanding divergence of social structures play an increasingly important role, calling not only for an analysis of cause or effects, but also concrete countermeasures. Such measures can only be developed in dialogue with other disciplines.
To properly address this complexity in the frame of an architectural education, the department of architecture presents itself as a dynamic structure of complementary teaching and research entities. At the center of this program is didactic, practice-oriented education in design and construction, tied to scientific methodology. It is in the design studios that comprehensive and passionate education in architecture takes place. All activities are characterized by a profound understanding of the past and a forward-facing outlook. Students are also encouraged, through stringent and visionary thought, as well as sharp observations, to pursue unconventional approaches in solving complex problems in a cross-disciplinary manner.
The affiliated research institutes, the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture (gta), the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA), the Network City and Landscape (NSL) and the Institute of Historic Building Research and Conservation (IDB) are closely tied to the design studios through the interdisciplinary formulation of assignments. The findings of these institutes contribute to architectural teaching at all levels; their expertise is enhanced by other fields at the ETH Zürich such as humanities, social- and political sciences, as well as material, environmental and engineering sciences.
Any knowledge or skill can only be used and developed when it arises from an open, dynamic attitude. It is therefore a central goal of the ETH to prepare young people for a complex, rapidly changing environment. The program seeks to foster an understanding of ethical and cultural values, so that students conclude their training not only as highly qualified professionals, but also as responsible members of society.
Dean, Department of Architecture, AS11-SS13