15th – 26th June 2009

The Chair for Information Architecture investigates innovative design and visualization methods in order to develop seamlessly interconnected computer-assisted design and simulation processes. Research goals of the Chair are the fundamentals of knowledge visualization and the integration of simulations. The Chair’s educational and practice goal is the design and simulation of sustainable future cities. Students are given the opportunity to augment, extend and realize designs during the Summer School. ETH Life Article


Course Description
The summer school provided step-by-step introductions to basic knowledge for visualizing city schemes through computer-based methods and field trips inside Switzerland.

The goal of the course was to familiarize the students with a novel, computer-assisted design process and test its application within the field of architecture. The two weeks were divided into blocks with the following subjects:

Module 1

  1. Analyzing, describing and visualizing city schemes through comprehensive examples of city utopias
  2. Definition and reconstruction of specific city patterns
  3. Introduction to the architectural programming language CGA

Module 2

  1. Overview of state-of-the-art urban modeling techniques
  2. Insight into today’s digital possibilities in urban design
  3. Adapting and expressing existing design intentions with new methods

Module 3

  1. Introduction to the programming language Processing
  2. Highlighting urban characteristics by revealing patterns and simultaneously showing features that exist across multiple dimensions
  3. Visualization and simulation of GIS data

Module 4

  1. Introduction of fundamental concepts in computer-assisted urban simulation
  2. Exemplifying the theory with concrete research results, experimental examples and case studies
  3. Presentation of the theoretical framework based on the model of stocks and flows

Module 5

  1. Using the ETH Value Lab to visualize mapping techniques
  2. Comparing banking and creative industries in Zurich and Singapore
  3. Visiting creative spaces in Zurich