4607763: Territory and Settlement

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Semester:WS 18/19
Scheduled in semester:1-2
Semester Hours per Week / Contact Hours:16.0 L / 12.0 h
Self-directed study time:48.0 h

Module coordination/Lecturers


Master's degree programme in Architecture (01.09.2014)


This seminar investigates the relationship between territory and settlement, providing an overview of how and where humankind settles. It also demonstrates how uninhabitable environments have been made accessible and habitable through necessary infrastructure and what impact this had on the landscape. Further, the course elaborates on natural and artificial boundaries within a geographical and political context. … Beginning with the continuous rise of human impact on the planet, the tight relationships between human land use, settlement, productivity and social development will be explored throughout the course. An overview of the history of urbanization will be traced, and processes of centralisation and decentralisation investigated. Decentralisation as one of the greatest contemporary forces shaping our environment is going to be discussed using a selection of fundamental positions in academic urban design thinking. The opportunities and risks of the global process of decentralisation, transformation and possible courses of action for the future design of the territory will be debated.

Learning Outcomes

Professional competence

  • Have comprehensive understanding of process of settlement in relation to territory
  • Understand the impact of geographical and political boundaries on settlements and communities
  • Explain competently, discuss and critique own work through oral presentations,
writing or visual communication
  • Distinguish historic and contemporary models of urbanism and landscape
  • Identify different settlement patterns and recognize functional connections on various scales

Methodological competence
  • Identify key elements of problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • Summarize, analyze and interpret academic literature properly

Social competence
  • Discuss and articulate ideas and information fluently

Personal competence
  • Assess own work and put it into a historical, theoretical and philosophical context
  • Express informed own view on academic literature about settlement development
and contemporary forms of urbanization


Lectures Method

Lecture and seminar: case studies, discourse, writing

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Science in Architecture Degree Program


A detailed list of the required readings will be provided as pdf files at least one week prior to the first session. Basic books:
• Diener, R.; Herzog, J.; Meili, M.; de Meuron, P.; Schmid, C.; ETH Studio Basel (2006). Switzerland: An urban portrait. Basel: Birkhäuser.
• Shane, D. G. (2011). Urban design since 1945: A global perspective. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
• Sieverts, T. (2003). Cities without cities: An interpretation of the Zwischenstadt. London: Spon Press.
• Waldheim, C. (2006). The landscape urbanism reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Exam Modalities

Paper, exercises, minimum 75% mandatory presence


  • PAR MA 14_Territory and Settlement (WS 18/19, in Planung)