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Call for applications 2023: joint MAS in Urban and Territorial Design at ETH Zürich and EPFL

December 16, 2022–May 31, 2023

ETH Zürich and EPFL invites applications for 2023 joint MAS in Urban and Territorial Design from December 16, 202 to May 31, 2023.

Master of Advanced Studies in Urban and Territorial Design ETH Zürich D-ARCH LUS and EPFL ENAC HRC joint master programme. This one-year, full-time postgraduate program will welcome its third cohort in September 2023.

It is taught in English and held at the two Swiss schools, EPFL (autumn) and ETH Zürich (spring). The participants get a 60 ECTS joint degree, the “MAS ETH EPFL UTD I.”

The Territorial Project for Social and Ecological Change
The importance of urban and territorial design has grown. Cities and urbanization processes are being redefined in the public realm as drivers of progress or sources of planetary risks. The critical evaluation of anthropocentric world views, the greening of politics and economies, the growth of social movements, and climate activism are all reflected in urban and territorial space, revealing power imbalances, uneven development, and the importance of finding alternatives. The urban future involves social and environmental imaginaries that now transcend beyond the city and beyond the human. Rather than being an object, the territory becomes a person among others, and space becomes a socioecological change agent. The urban and territorial endeavor is viewed as a possibility to investigate common epistemic perspectives and new biopolitical paradigms. The MAS curriculum accepts such a transformation as a subject of critical and innovative inquiry, grounded in the values of social and environmental equity and justice. The MAS uses the urban and territorial project as a critical arena of knowledge creation across scales, engaging with notions of transformation, reuse, regeneration, reparation, and transition of habitats and ecologies.

The joint Master of Advanced Studies at ETH Zürich and EPFL creates an innovative urban and territorial design curriculum that addresses social and environmental concerns both within and beyond the city-territory. The center of the program is design and research studios, where design is examined as a tool for synthesis within inter- and transdisciplinary exchanges including science, practice, and government. The increased scope of urban design training involves both developing innovations in urban theory and a deeper grasp of the cultural and ecological components of territory. Urban design, landscape architecture, urban and landscape (agro)ecology, sustainable building, renewable energy, and low-carbon mobility will be the focus of scientific research on planetary urbanisation, postcolonial philosophy, and the Anthropocene.

The MAS functions as a laboratory and a forum for developing agendas, tactics, and governing models for specific territories. Through comprehensive ethnographic inquiries and in-person seminars, both Swiss and foreign case studies are studied. The program participates in communication with communities, local actors, non-governmental organizations, and governance entities.

Collaborating teams
ETH Zürich D-ARCHInstitute of Landscape and Urban Studies (LUS), Assoc. Prof. Milica Topalović
Milica Topalović, Nancy Couling, Karoline Kostka, Muriz Djurdjević, Nazlı Tümerdem and Alice Clarke; Teresa Galí-Izard, Stefan Breit and Bonnie Kate Walker; Christian Schmid and Nitin Bathla; Christoph Küffer.

EPFL ENACHabitat Research Center (HRC), Prof. Paola Viganò
Paola Viganò, Valentin Bourdon, Michael Fingleton and Loan Laurent; Vincent Kaufmann and Luca Pattaroni; Elena Cogato Lanza and Anna Pagani; Corentin Fivet; Luca Rossi; Sébastien Marot; Charlotte Grossiord and Christoph Bachofen

Timeline and eligibility
Autumn 2023 (September–January): EPFL ENAC, Laboratory of Urbanism (Lab-U), Studio Paola Viganò. Spring 2024 (February–June): ETH Zürich D-ARCH, Architecture of Territory, Studio Milica Topalović.

The program is aimed at international graduates, young professionals, designers, and researchers who want to use their research and design skills to the increased urbanization of areas. A preceding bachelor and master degree are also required.

One to two scholarships covering tuition fees are offered in order to foster diversity and inclusivity.

How to apply
For information about the programme, tuition fees, scholarships and how to apply, please contact here or at the ETH School of Continuing Education. Students requiring a visa to Switzerland are highly recommended to complete the application procedure before March 31, 2023. The programme is committed to cultivating a successful social environment in Switzerland and cannot be attended remotely. Support services are offered to assist in finding accommodation.