Denise Weber



Denise Weber is the Executive Assistant of Prof. Gerhard Schmitt at the Chair of Information Architecture and for his position as Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre, in Singapore. She is in charge of the administrative operation of the chair. She is also responsible for the management of the chair’s finances, human resources and general administration. Further Denise is the project coordinator of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) Series FUTURE CITIES with over 110’000 participants.

Previously Denise worked for various international advertising agencies as account supervisor, in Switzerland and overseas. After finishing her commercial apprenticeship, she obtained a diploma as “Marketingplaner” from SAWI – Swiss Marketing and Advertising Institute.


eCAADe 2010

Proceedings of the 28th Conference ‘Future Cities’

Information Architecture


“We develop visual methods for the analysis, design and simulation of urban systems for a sustainable future”

Information Architecture, as we define it, has applications on 3 scales:  small – the object or building; medium – the village or urban district; large – the city or territory.  It builds on the assumption that there exist information structures –stable or dynamic – that represent crucial properties of architecture, settlements and territories. Based on this assumption, Information Architecture supports integrated trans-scalar design and evaluation, and it helps to make the invisible visible on each one of those scales. Simulation and visualisation are the major tools of Information Architecture. Both require appropriate abstraction and representation. Data and information are the raw materials of Information Architecture.

What sounds very complicated, is actually quite simple given the proper introduction and instruments. On all scales, we use form, function, dynamics and geometric references as information structures.  On the architectural scale, this helps to visualise surfaces, light, sound, structural behaviour, and economic aspects, and leads to a life-cycle view of the building. On the urban design scale, land use and building codes are additional parameters that, combined with the necessary procedural modelling tools, lead to dynamic and interactive city models. On the territorial planning scale, transportation networks and energy grids form additional information structures. One of the main research questions remains the improvement of the interoperability between information structures at different scales, because solving this question will allow for integrated simulation of the most important aspects of architecture and planning.

The Chair for Information Architecture is at the core of the simulation platform for the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and Zürich. This platform will allow for the integrated modelling and visualisation of the stocks and flows that determine architecture, cities, and territories: people, material, water, energy, finances, space and information. The final goal is to educate architects, designers and planners in the use of the new methods and instruments in order to produce more sustainable and responsible buildings and urban-rural systems.

The urban energy enigma

Energy – it is generated, consumed, and expelled. Our cities have a constant appetite for it. Euronews broadcasts a series of reports on the future of energy consumption.

So how could that kind of consumption of power and fuel ever be sustainable?

Gerhard Schmitt said: “A sustainable city is a city able to survive over decades and centuries which really works well. It’s a city where different flows, flows of material, flows of goods, work well, and in which also immigration and emigration are sustainable.”

iA Work 2011

This video was developed for the annual exhibition 2011 at the department of architecture ETH Zurich. It reflects the different teaching and research activites that were most important throughout the year. The exhibition is located at the HIL building in Science City and can be visited from September 29th until October 28th.

Eisberge in Singapur

Dr. Remo Burkhard elaborates on the importance of images as the most reliable and easiest way of explaining a subject. Being exposed to people from different countries and ethnical backgrounds, images have been a good way for him to communicate in Singapore. Knowing the importance of vizualisation, he and a team created a project to aid businesses to use images in their planning and decision making.

Ich verstehe nur Chinesisch

How important is it to speak Chinese? In Singapore almost everybody speaks English so the use of Chinese for a foreigner is limited .Dr. Remo Burkhard is still adamant in learning the language, as he believes that Spin-offs from the Future Cities Laboratory research project will be established in China. Learning Chinese is tough for a European, but well worth it in the long run.

Dr. Estefanía Tapias



Estefania Tapias is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Chair of Information Architecture, ETH Zurich. She conducted her PhD research at the Chair on the topics of Information Cities and Urban Climate.

Estefania also obtained the PhD label from EIT Climate-KIC; Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership, working together to address the challenge of climate change.

She is part-time researcher for the Cooler Calmer Singapore Impact Project and the Cooling Singapore project at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore.


Teaching at ETH: Digital Urban Simulation, Information Architecture: Smart Cities

Teaching MOOCs: Future CitiesQuality of life: Livability in Future Cities, Smart Cities and Responsive Cities.

“Future Cities” MOOC series: Link


Twitter: @este_tapias



MSc ETH Lukas Treyer


PhD Research Summary


Lukas Treyer studied architecture at ETH Zurich. He is managing the Value Lab and is interested in improving the usability of tools at the Chair for Information Architecture as well as in urban and architectural planning. Using the Value Lab as a test case, it involves productivity tools on the web as well as research on new interface technologies. He also works on integrating graphical syntax of architects and urban planners within the interaction of simulation tools of the simulation platform for urban planning.

As a former student assistant at ETH he could gather a lot of experience in terms of web interfaces and other interface technologies.

Teaching: People as flows

Dr Matthias Berger



Matthias Berger is with the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre since September 2011, where he first worked as a postdoctoral researcher under Prof Gerhard Schmitt’s team and developed the project concept of ‘Cooler Calmer Singapore’. In July 2013 he took the duties of a project coordinator for the Simulation Platform module and became senior researcher.
After the Future Cities Laboratory’s first phase ended in August 2015, Matthias took a sabbatical and re-joined first Prof Schmitt’s chair in Zurich from March to August 2016, than FCL2 in September. Currently he is leading the ‘Cooler Calmer Singapore Impact Project’ and kick-starts the upcoming ‘Cooling Singapore’ initiative, which is a joint endeavour between the Singapore-ETH Centre and other CREATE entities (SMART CENSAM and TUM CREATE) and NUS.

Matthias received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany) in 2006. He joined the High Voltage Laboratory of ETH Zurich (2006 – 2011) where his PhD was dedicated to modelling and optimisation of multiple energy carrier systems and integration of distributed energy resources. Matthias has studied history and philosophy of knowledge (2008 – 2011) at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences of ETH Zurich.
His practical experiences include working as a project coordinator for Seed Sustainability (2007 – 2008) as well as R&D at EADS Space Transportation in Bremen and EADS Astrium in Friedrichshafen (both Germany, 2005 – 2006).

His research focus is simulation and visualisation of energy-related issues of urban environments. How anthropogenic heat and noise is interacting with urban form and design is one of the major questions driving him.