Dieter Dietz

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Professor EPFL, Director ALICE Laboratory (Atelier de la Conception de l'Espace), IA, ENAC, EPFL

dieter.dietz@epfl.ch +41 21 69 38001

EPFL ENAC IA ALICE
BP 4121 (Bâtiment BP)
Station 16
CH-1015 Lausanne

Unité: SAR-ENS

Données administratives

Publications

Recherche

Major scientific achievements


A1) Space and Democracy, PhD studies, 2016 - 17

The years 2013 to 2018 have seen the conclusion of several PhD doctoral studies that are important to the labs consti-tution of theoretical premises for the more recently started research projects. The first two PhDs were aimed at novel understanding of interrelations between space and societal geographies, democratic stance and specific behavior and evolution, based on big sets on available data in Switzerland and the USA. Dr. Koseki Shin’s thesis Moral Matrices: Space through the Unfolding of Direct Democracy in Switzerland (with co-supervisor Lévy Jacques, Choros EPFL) investigated voter behavior in Switzerland from the 1980ies to present days, showing a shift form more regional and language-based align-ment (‘Roestigraben’) towards growing cohesion in relation to urbanity, in particular in urban agglomeration around Swiss cities. Dr. Favre-Bulle’s Thesis. Delineating policies. Governing spaces with no coextensive institutions: metropolitan areas and disadvantaged communities in the United States investigates how policy making require more specific attention and that one-size-fits-all solution fall short in tackling major problems such as water shortages, in California, for example in San Francisco Bay area and greater Los Angeles area.
Of fundamental importance for the lab is Dr. Dario Negueruela’s thesis The City of Extended Emotions (with co-supervisor Cogato-Lanza Elena, LABU, EPFL). This research established theoretical groundwork for substantial research conduc-ted by ALICE both in terms of multi-author design-research projects, in collaboration with public authorities and insti-tutions, as well as for the larger scale case studies and pedagogical ventures. In particular the principles of ‘scaffolding’ (Sterelny, 2010) have been proven transversal in theory and concretizing collective agency in space and design ventures, offering support for novel approaches in the conception of new tools for the territory and architectural space. These new tools engage large-group processes beyond the commonly understood notions of ‘participation’, and offer opera-tional aptitude towards what the lab has named ‘Architectures of Contribution’ – in reference to Bernard Stiegler’s propo-sition of an ‘economy of contribution’ (Stiegler, 2012).

Impact:
The research projects have seen wide attention and have led to several doctoral summer schools, organized by Negue-ruela and Koseki. The study of Dr. Koseki has seen broad interest from the public media. In particular nearly all large Swiss newspapers covered the findings regarding the disappearing ‘Röstigraben’ as a relevant phenomenon to under-stand present day politics and Switzerland. In 2017 the symposium ‘Open Space’ on June 6th at ZHdK stood in relation to the findings. In 2018 the lab’s concepts on ‘adapted scaffolding‘ will propose the key-context for the international symposium Scaffolds – Open Encounters in Society, Art and Architecture to be held in Brussels in November 2018 (see below).


A2) HOUSE series 2016 - 18

The ALICE HOUSE series originate from the research projects ‘protostructure’ and the concepts of ‘adapted scaffolding’, including a PhD (Agathe Mignon, 2013 – 2018), several teaching formats, and diverse case studies in large-group design and build processes. It consists of a series of building-size installations, parallel cultural and scientific events, framed by exhibitions and publications. The HOUSE series hypothesizes the capacity of large groups to design and build together larger installation artefacts as co-authors. The hypothesis presupposes the principle of ‘protostruc-ture’, in its conceptual and physical form, to federate design and construction processes and allow for a ‘negotiation of the space of social difference’ (Richard Sennett, Together, 2012). The HOUSE projects proof the agency of both indivi-duals and groups, to concretize through deliberation complex ideas and spatial design in view of architectural projects responding to given or emerging functions. HOUSE 1 (Dietz, ALICE studio, EPFL campus, 2016) authored by 227 indiviuals, was nominated for the prestigeous international Swiss Design Award and was winner in the category research. Peer-reviewed articles are forthcoming (Transformational Identities, Learning Scaffolding and Spatial Knowledge in Architectural Education. In: James Thompson (Ed.) Flipping the Script: Foregrounding the Architecture Student – Charrette, Journal of the Association of Architectural Educators. 6(1) spring 2019 / HOUSE 1 PROTOSTRUCTURE. Enhancement of Spatial Imagination and Craftsmanship between the Digital and the Analogical. In Bianconi, F. & Filippucci, M. (Eds). Digital Wood Design. Publisher: Springer. spring 2019).

Impact:
The projects and the research concepts have met world-wide attention in print and digital media. As a consequence, ALICE has been invited to intervene with its HOUSE series at numerous locations in Europe. HOUSE 1 (2a) migrated to Versailles to become HOUSE 1 – 12 CITIES (Dietz, ALICE studio, at École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles, 2016) – exhibiting work from Superstudio (12 Ideal Cities, 1971) (2b). HOUSE 2 (Dietz, ALICE studio, at Toni Areal Zurich, 2017) was invited to Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK (2c); numerous programmed cultural events were held and a scientific symposium with international speakers took place on June 6th and 7th (2d). HOUSE 2 travelled back to Lausanne West to become REPLAY HOUSE 2 (2e), hosting a long series of events programmed by REPLAY Lausanne (2e), and became a public viewing location for the FIFA World Championship 2018. In 2018 CIVA foundation Brussels in collaboration with KANAL – Centre Pompidou invited ALICE EPFL to install HOUSE 3 in the Garage Citroën (2f), forming part of the prefiguration phase in its transformation into a major cultural center on European scale. CIVA/KANAL – Centre Pompidou are programming events and exhibitions around HOUSE 3 from June 2018 through June 2019 (2g). An international scientific symposium will be held at HOUSE 3 on November 22nd and 23rd, co-organized by ALICE EPFL with partners Metrolab Brussels, KUL and TU DELFT (2h),.
HOUSE 1 is central part of a major book publication (All About Space. Vol 2, The House 1 Catalogue, Dietz, D., Michel, M., Zamarbide, D. (eds), 2017, Zürich, Park Books. ISBN 978-3-03860-038-1) (2i). HOUSE 2 and HOUSE 3 will figure in All About Space. Vol 3, Beyond the Object (forthcoming 11/2018, Zürich, Park Books) (2i).


A3) ‘Protostructures’ research platform 2014 - 19

Based on a series of experiences in design-research activities, including research projects with RATP (Paris) or EPFL ECAL lab (for the Montreux Jazz Heritage Lab, Swiss Design Award 2012), as well as various teaching activities, I launched in late 2013 the research platform ‘protostructures’. In its teaching and research ventures ALICE has employed various articulations of ‘supports’ – in space: such as grids, fields or matrices – that were overlapped with ‘supports’ in time, such as structured timelines with detailed output scheduling. These operational matrixes in space and time bare potentials in view ‘adapted scaffolding’, also theorized by Negueruela, that facilitate individual and collective agency. We coined the term as such and defined protostructures ‘as structures in proto-state – ready to receive either alterations in themselves or to accommodate further figurations. As such they are both open in content and development but also defined in existence as structure. It suggests the hypothesis of constant interaction towards appropriate interventions of agents, architects and users, and offers an inter-modular concept in view of human action upon space: in social, ecological, economic and political respect. Protostructures appear at all scales in architecture, from micro to macro, embodying the dialogue between form and its usage. In being inherently set at the threshold between idea and articulation, protostructures are a catalyst in design processes and facilitate decision-making’.
Impact:
The concept of protostructures has led to numerous case studies, teaching ventures, and design-research projects – in particular to the HOUSE series as an extended series of case studies, events and publications (outputs 2a to 2j). The thesis ‘Proto-structure – Archéolgie d’une structure support’ will be defended by Agathe Mignon in the first half of 2019.


A4) ALICE DR design-research platform 2012 -

Since 2012, in response to its highly mediatized projects ‘overflow’ (winner London Festival of Architecture 2008, Venice Biennale 2008) and ‘evolver’ at Stellisee Zermatt, ALICE has been contacted for numerous projects. With its design research platform ALICE has developed a precisely structured method for architects and non-architects scientists and professionals to interact in common design projects. Based on the principles described above with spatial and time-based support methodologies numerous projects have been completed. In late 2017 the research platform ‘protofigurations’ including a PhD and new design methodologies has been launched.
Impact:
Completed design research projects (selection): Dietz, Dupuis, Zamarbide, Blanc, et.al., 2018. The Disc (Agora Lombard Odier), Place Cosandey EPFL (4a); Dietz, Nieveen, Valdez, 2018. Montreux Jazz Heritage NINA. Mobile Installation (4b); Dietz, Nieveen. 2017. Montreux Jazz Heritage NOMAD. Mobile Installation (4c); Dietz, Dupuis, Zamarbide, et.al., 2016. Place Cosandey EPFL. Public Space, Award : Distinction de l’Ouest (4d); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini. 2016. Montreux Jazz Heritage Lab II. EPFL, Installation (4e); Dietz, Karaçsony, Mignon, 2015. ‘2055’, Architecture, Les Diableret (4f); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini, Devabhaktuni. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Seuil Continu, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Concept and Tool Box, Paris 2014 (confidential) (4g); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini, Devabhaktuni. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Seuil Continu, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Case Studies, RATP Paris (confidential) (4f); Dietz, Devabhaktuni. 2014. SOL-id, Caustic installation at the Rolex Learning Center, Installation, with Mark Pauly EPFL, Lausanne (4g); Dietz, Nieveen, Othenin-Girard, 2014. Porte des savoirs, Vaudoise assurance, Lausanne. Architecture, with EPFL ECAL LAB, interaction design team: Nicolas Henchoz, Thibault Brevet (4h); Dietz, Devabhaktuni, Tan, Hertel, Cattellani, Walraven, Zamora Marco. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Un Seul Espace, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Case Studies, RATP Paris (confidential) (4i); Dietz, Devabhaktuni. 2013. METROLAB iDmétro/Un Seul Espace, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Concept and Tool Box, RATP Paris (confidential) (4j); Dietz, Tan, Hertel, 2013. L’Etoile d’Avenches, a retractable and demountable roof structure, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Avanches (4k)
MoveUp
Label : Major scientific achievements

A1) Space and Democracy, PhD studies, 2016 - 17

The years 2013 to 2018 have seen the conclusion of several PhD doctoral studies that are important to the labs consti-tution of theoretical premises for the more recently started research projects. The first two PhDs were aimed at novel understanding of interrelations between space and societal geographies, democratic stance and specific behavior and evolution, based on big sets on available data in Switzerland and the USA. Dr. Koseki Shin’s thesis Moral Matrices: Space through the Unfolding of Direct Democracy in Switzerland (with co-supervisor Lévy Jacques, Choros EPFL) investigated voter behavior in Switzerland from the 1980ies to present days, showing a shift form more regional and language-based align-ment (‘Roestigraben’) towards growing cohesion in relation to urbanity, in particular in urban agglomeration around Swiss cities. Dr. Favre-Bulle’s Thesis. Delineating policies. Governing spaces with no coextensive institutions: metropolitan areas and disadvantaged communities in the United States investigates how policy making require more specific attention and that one-size-fits-all solution fall short in tackling major problems such as water shortages, in California, for example in San Francisco Bay area and greater Los Angeles area.
Of fundamental importance for the lab is Dr. Dario Negueruela’s thesis The City of Extended Emotions (with co-supervisor Cogato-Lanza Elena, LABU, EPFL). This research established theoretical groundwork for substantial research conduc-ted by ALICE both in terms of multi-author design-research projects, in collaboration with public authorities and insti-tutions, as well as for the larger scale case studies and pedagogical ventures. In particular the principles of ‘scaffolding’ (Sterelny, 2010) have been proven transversal in theory and concretizing collective agency in space and design ventures, offering support for novel approaches in the conception of new tools for the territory and architectural space. These new tools engage large-group processes beyond the commonly understood notions of ‘participation’, and offer opera-tional aptitude towards what the lab has named ‘Architectures of Contribution’ – in reference to Bernard Stiegler’s propo-sition of an ‘economy of contribution’ (Stiegler, 2012).

Impact:
The research projects have seen wide attention and have led to several doctoral summer schools, organized by Negue-ruela and Koseki. The study of Dr. Koseki has seen broad interest from the public media. In particular nearly all large Swiss newspapers covered the findings regarding the disappearing ‘Röstigraben’ as a relevant phenomenon to under-stand present day politics and Switzerland. In 2017 the symposium ‘Open Space’ on June 6th at ZHdK stood in relation to the findings. In 2018 the lab’s concepts on ‘adapted scaffolding‘ will propose the key-context for the international symposium Scaffolds – Open Encounters in Society, Art and Architecture to be held in Brussels in November 2018 (see below).


A2) HOUSE series 2016 - 18

The ALICE HOUSE series originate from the research projects ‘protostructure’ and the concepts of ‘adapted scaffolding’, including a PhD (Agathe Mignon, 2013 – 2018), several teaching formats, and diverse case studies in large-group design and build processes. It consists of a series of building-size installations, parallel cultural and scientific events, framed by exhibitions and publications. The HOUSE series hypothesizes the capacity of large groups to design and build together larger installation artefacts as co-authors. The hypothesis presupposes the principle of ‘protostruc-ture’, in its conceptual and physical form, to federate design and construction processes and allow for a ‘negotiation of the space of social difference’ (Richard Sennett, Together, 2012). The HOUSE projects proof the agency of both indivi-duals and groups, to concretize through deliberation complex ideas and spatial design in view of architectural projects responding to given or emerging functions. HOUSE 1 (Dietz, ALICE studio, EPFL campus, 2016) authored by 227 indiviuals, was nominated for the prestigeous international Swiss Design Award and was winner in the category research. Peer-reviewed articles are forthcoming (Transformational Identities, Learning Scaffolding and Spatial Knowledge in Architectural Education. In: James Thompson (Ed.) Flipping the Script: Foregrounding the Architecture Student – Charrette, Journal of the Association of Architectural Educators. 6(1) spring 2019 / HOUSE 1 PROTOSTRUCTURE. Enhancement of Spatial Imagination and Craftsmanship between the Digital and the Analogical. In Bianconi, F. & Filippucci, M. (Eds). Digital Wood Design. Publisher: Springer. spring 2019).

Impact:
The projects and the research concepts have met world-wide attention in print and digital media. As a consequence, ALICE has been invited to intervene with its HOUSE series at numerous locations in Europe. HOUSE 1 (2a) migrated to Versailles to become HOUSE 1 – 12 CITIES (Dietz, ALICE studio, at École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles, 2016) – exhibiting work from Superstudio (12 Ideal Cities, 1971) (2b). HOUSE 2 (Dietz, ALICE studio, at Toni Areal Zurich, 2017) was invited to Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK (2c); numerous programmed cultural events were held and a scientific symposium with international speakers took place on June 6th and 7th (2d). HOUSE 2 travelled back to Lausanne West to become REPLAY HOUSE 2 (2e), hosting a long series of events programmed by REPLAY Lausanne (2e), and became a public viewing location for the FIFA World Championship 2018. In 2018 CIVA foundation Brussels in collaboration with KANAL – Centre Pompidou invited ALICE EPFL to install HOUSE 3 in the Garage Citroën (2f), forming part of the prefiguration phase in its transformation into a major cultural center on European scale. CIVA/KANAL – Centre Pompidou are programming events and exhibitions around HOUSE 3 from June 2018 through June 2019 (2g). An international scientific symposium will be held at HOUSE 3 on November 22nd and 23rd, co-organized by ALICE EPFL with partners Metrolab Brussels, KUL and TU DELFT (2h),.
HOUSE 1 is central part of a major book publication (All About Space. Vol 2, The House 1 Catalogue, Dietz, D., Michel, M., Zamarbide, D. (eds), 2017, Zürich, Park Books. ISBN 978-3-03860-038-1) (2i). HOUSE 2 and HOUSE 3 will figure in All About Space. Vol 3, Beyond the Object (forthcoming 11/2018, Zürich, Park Books) (2i).


A3) ‘Protostructures’ research platform 2014 - 19

Based on a series of experiences in design-research activities, including research projects with RATP (Paris) or EPFL ECAL lab (for the Montreux Jazz Heritage Lab, Swiss Design Award 2012), as well as various teaching activities, I launched in late 2013 the research platform ‘protostructures’. In its teaching and research ventures ALICE has employed various articulations of ‘supports’ – in space: such as grids, fields or matrices – that were overlapped with ‘supports’ in time, such as structured timelines with detailed output scheduling. These operational matrixes in space and time bare potentials in view ‘adapted scaffolding’, also theorized by Negueruela, that facilitate individual and collective agency. We coined the term as such and defined protostructures ‘as structures in proto-state – ready to receive either alterations in themselves or to accommodate further figurations. As such they are both open in content and development but also defined in existence as structure. It suggests the hypothesis of constant interaction towards appropriate interventions of agents, architects and users, and offers an inter-modular concept in view of human action upon space: in social, ecological, economic and political respect. Protostructures appear at all scales in architecture, from micro to macro, embodying the dialogue between form and its usage. In being inherently set at the threshold between idea and articulation, protostructures are a catalyst in design processes and facilitate decision-making’.
Impact:
The concept of protostructures has led to numerous case studies, teaching ventures, and design-research projects – in particular to the HOUSE series as an extended series of case studies, events and publications (outputs 2a to 2j). The thesis ‘Proto-structure – Archéolgie d’une structure support’ will be defended by Agathe Mignon in the first half of 2019.


A4) ALICE DR design-research platform 2012 -

Since 2012, in response to its highly mediatized projects ‘overflow’ (winner London Festival of Architecture 2008, Venice Biennale 2008) and ‘evolver’ at Stellisee Zermatt, ALICE has been contacted for numerous projects. With its design research platform ALICE has developed a precisely structured method for architects and non-architects scientists and professionals to interact in common design projects. Based on the principles described above with spatial and time-based support methodologies numerous projects have been completed. In late 2017 the research platform ‘protofigurations’ including a PhD and new design methodologies has been launched.
Impact:
Completed design research projects (selection): Dietz, Dupuis, Zamarbide, Blanc, et.al., 2018. The Disc (Agora Lombard Odier), Place Cosandey EPFL (4a); Dietz, Nieveen, Valdez, 2018. Montreux Jazz Heritage NINA. Mobile Installation (4b); Dietz, Nieveen. 2017. Montreux Jazz Heritage NOMAD. Mobile Installation (4c); Dietz, Dupuis, Zamarbide, et.al., 2016. Place Cosandey EPFL. Public Space, Award : Distinction de l’Ouest (4d); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini. 2016. Montreux Jazz Heritage Lab II. EPFL, Installation (4e); Dietz, Karaçsony, Mignon, 2015. ‘2055’, Architecture, Les Diableret (4f); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini, Devabhaktuni. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Seuil Continu, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Concept and Tool Box, Paris 2014 (confidential) (4g); Dietz, Nieveen, Fantini, Devabhaktuni. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Seuil Continu, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Case Studies, RATP Paris (confidential) (4f); Dietz, Devabhaktuni. 2014. SOL-id, Caustic installation at the Rolex Learning Center, Installation, with Mark Pauly EPFL, Lausanne (4g); Dietz, Nieveen, Othenin-Girard, 2014. Porte des savoirs, Vaudoise assurance, Lausanne. Architecture, with EPFL ECAL LAB, interaction design team: Nicolas Henchoz, Thibault Brevet (4h); Dietz, Devabhaktuni, Tan, Hertel, Cattellani, Walraven, Zamora Marco. 2014. METROLAB iDmétro/Un Seul Espace, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Case Studies, RATP Paris (confidential) (4i); Dietz, Devabhaktuni. 2013. METROLAB iDmétro/Un Seul Espace, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Concept and Tool Box, RATP Paris (confidential) (4j); Dietz, Tan, Hertel, 2013. L’Etoile d’Avenches, a retractable and demountable roof structure, Interdisciplinary Design and Research Project, Avanches (4k)