AR-302(ah) / 12 credits

Teacher: Malterre-Barthes Charlotte

Language: English

Withdrawal: It is not allowed to withdraw from this subject after the registration deadline.

Remark: Inscription faite par la section


To face the climate and social emergency, the construction sector must change radically, as does architectural practice. This studio examines the profession's economic model, and how the traditional 'office' can be challenged by alternative forms of architectural practice.



architecture, urbanism, practice, labor, political economy

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Critique
  • Structure
  • Compose
  • Argue
  • Analyze

Teaching methods

Choreographed by episodes that set the tone both graphically and politically  (i.e. templates, graphic standards, references), the studio will engage with exploring the different frameworks that regulate the architecture office and its actors, forces and systems globally at times asking students to mine their own background, surroundings and experience. Investigating cases of offices, their financial mode and the buildings they generate, we will produce works of various formats (i.e., diagrams, drawings, various media such as film or animation) that will help us understand and articulate complexities of our profession, and how economy, labor and materiality are intertwined in architecture and its practice. While engaging in this research, we will gain literacy in legal and policy frameworks, economic schemes, and organizational structures surrounding labor and its corresponding resistance movements. Readings of texts reflecting upon intersectional social, labor and spatial justice will be used for theoretical help, from Sergio Ferro to Keller Easterling. We will ultimately draft and draw our field of action to produce design works. The studio articulates the design project as the product of cultural, social, economic, and political mechanisms while seeking to imagine an emancipated future, but is fully aware of the necessities to engage with the world, and traditional formats will be considered (i.e. plans, sections, models). Episodes are paced across the semester with a counter-crescendo, first rapid and later slowing down to let the project emerge.

Assessment methods

The grading will be based on the consistent engagement and learning/un-learning curve of the students with each episode in the Studio. The grades will be proportionately distributed over the episodes listed as follows.

Episode 01: 15 %
Episode 02: 20 %
Episode 03: 15 %
Episode 04: 50 %


Assistants Yes



  • Agha, Menna. In Pivoting Practices. A Global Moratorium on New Construction, edited by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Roberta Jurcic. Zurich: Swiss Institute of Technology, 2021.
  • Arboleda, Martin. Planetary Mine : Territories of Extraction under Late Capitalism. Brooklyn: Verso Books, 2020.
  • Battistoni, Alyssa. "Bringing in the Work of Nature: From Natural Capital to Hybrid Labor." Political theory 45, no. 1 (2017): 5-31.
  • Clement, Gilles. The Planetary Garden (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press: 2015)
  • Cortright, Marisa. "Can This Be? Surely This Cannot Be?" : Architectural Workers Organizing in Europe. Architectural Workers Organizing in Europe. First edition ed. Prague: VI PER Gallery, 2021.
  • D'Aprile, Marianela, and Douglas  Spencer. "Notes on Tafuri, Militancy, and Unionization." The Avery Review Issue 56, no. Issue 56 (2022). .
  • Deamer, Peggy. Architecture and Labor. Edited by Jane Rendell. New York, NY: Routledge, 2020.
  • Donat-Cattin, Natalie. Collective Processes : Counterpractices in European Architecture. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2021.
  • Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger (London and New York: Routledge Classics.2002) p. 1-35
  • Dussel, Enrique, and Eduardo Ibarra-Colado. "Globalization, Organization and the Ethics of Liberation." Organization (London, England) 13, no. 4 (2006): 489-508.
  • Easterling, Keller. Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades. Mit Press, 2005.
  • Fisher, Mark. Capitalist Realism : Is There No Alternative? Winchester: Zero Books, 2013.
  • Grace, Charlotte. "From Students to Comrades." Learning Architecture 1, no. 1 (2022): 1-7.
  • Haraway, Donna. "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective." Feminist studies 14, no. 3 (1988): 575-599.
  • ________. "A Cyborg Manifesto : Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century." Science fiction and cultural theory : a reader, (2015): 235-246.
  • Herscher, Andrew. "Community and the Disavowed Labor of "Participation"." Harvard Design Magazine, no. 46 (2018): 222.
  • Kader Attia, Repair: Architecture, Reappropriation, and The Body Repaired, 2013. p.5-6
  • Latour, Bruno. "Imaginer Les Gestes-Barrires Contre Le Retour" La Production D'avant-Crise." Analyse Opinion Critique (2020). [accessed Februray 2, 2021].
  • Mah Hutton, Jane. Reciprocal Landscapes, Routledge, (2020)
  • Malterre-Barthes, Charlotte, and Lange for the Parity Group Torsten. "Architects Who Make a Fuss: A Speculative Investigation into the Archive of a Grassroots Initiative for Gender Parity at the Department of Architecture Eth Zürich, 2014-2017." Site Magazine (2020).
  • Marcuse, Peter. "Sustainability Is Not Enough." Environment and Urbanization 10, no. 2 (1998).
  • Ostrom, Elinor. Analyzing Long-Enduring, Self-Organizing, and Self-Governing Cprs. Governing the Commons : The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  • Self, Jack, Bose Shumi, Fulcrum, Aureli Pier Vittorio, Brenner Neil, Campbell Mark, Carpo Mario, et al. Real Estates: Life without Debt. Bedford Press, 2004.
  • UN Environment and International Energy Agency. 2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme,, 2021.
  • Vassal, Jean-Philippe "Designing the Brief," Arch+, 2019, 65-73.
  • Vergès, Françoise, Un féminisme décolonial, La Fabrique, (2019)
  • Woudhuysen, James. Why Is Construction So Backward? Edited by Ian Abley. Chichester Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Academy, 2004.
  • Yusoff,Kathryn A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Univ Of Minnesota Press, (2018)

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Studio BA6 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Project: 4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Studio BA6 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Project: 4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Studio BA6 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Project: 4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Studio BA6 (Malterre-Barthes)
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
  • Project: 4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week


Monday, 8h - 12h: Project, other

Monday, 13h - 18h: Project, other

Tuesday, 8h - 10h: Lecture

Tuesday, 10h - 12h: Project, other

Tuesday, 15h - 18h: Project, other

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