Superonda Talks is a lecture series organised each semester by a laboratory at EPFL Architecture to open up discussion on a particular research theme in order to deepen our field of knowledge and to create dialogue amongst the academic community, professionals and design enthusiasts.

As its name implies, the Superonda Talks take root in an experimental and ideal practice, referencing the radical 1970s Italian architects Archizoom. It is the place and space where EPFL Architecture opens up to investigational approaches to address relevant issues of our time, questioning realities that are taken for granted.

Whole Wood

Autumn 2022

Wood was first able to meet the needs of many societies, before being replaced by other building materials. Once the material of choice, it ceased to be so in the industrial era. However, it could once again become the most suitable choice from a technical and mechanical point of view.

Urban development in Switzerland and around the world continues to accelerate, resulting in a high demand for materials such as concrete and steel. We need to better understand the critical interdependencies of the supply and demand dynamics of raw materials, as well as the resulting international trade flows and their implications. Through digitization, it is possible to combine the requirements of forest management, the carbon footprint of processing/manufacturing, and automated robotic geometric processing for structural and architectural applications. The question is: what needs to happen in the next 15 years if we hope to generate a radical transformation in the ecological impact of urban development?

An earlier impetus for innovation in wood construction occurred between the 1970s and 1980s, notably within a working group consisting of the architects Gimonet, Watel, Schweizer and Lagus. Despite the emphasis on experimental realization of modular wood structures, this push for innovation and change in the industrial model did not have a lasting impact. Does the current resurgence of interest in wood construction have anything to learn from this development? Can we use past innovations to strengthen future ones? 

This lecture series will close with a debate to highlight the themes of ecology, the tectonics of architecture and a critical archaeology of innovation. We will discuss how changing mindsets have created a new impetus within wood construction prioritizing the local circular economy, while considering the changes that must be implemented to ensure a sustainable impact.

A program proposed by Yves Weinand and Christophe Catsaros

Programme

17.10.2022   6 p.m.
Lecture by Sarah Nichols

03.11.2022    6 p.m.
Lecture by Mario Rinke

21.11.2022   6 p.m.
Lecture by Stéphane Berthier 

05.12.2022   6 p.m.
Debate with Mario Rinke, Sarah Nichols, Stéphane Berthier et Yves Weinand. Moderated by Christophe Catsaros

All the lecture are also broadcast live on Zoom.
Meeting ID : 646 5060 5823


Politics Of Kindness

Autumn 2021 & Spring 2022

For this series, Superonda intends to address the issue of political attitudes in design by inviting a series of beautifully yet seriously engaged guests under the borrowed title of POLITICS OF KINDNESS. Recognisably, this title is freely taken from Jacinda Ardern’s speech at the UN in September 2018, calling for a paradigm change when invoking kindness as a political tool.

How about architecture? How is this issue addressed, if it is at all? Is empathy and benevolence an official part of architectural and design agendas? What is the degree of participation of both the profession and architectural institutions to a world more dedicated to the craft, skills, and practice of living together, of collective, multi-specific cohabitation? The talks wish to address these ambitious and fundamental issues via a transdisciplinary approach, proposing guests from a diversity of fields such as politics, landscape design, SF, biology, curatorship and design.

A program proposed by ALICE Lab, Teresa Cheung and Daniel Zamarbide.

Programme

06.12.2022
DESIGN TRUST, Hong Kong
Talk by Marisa Yiu
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Architecture & Environnement

Archizoom supports this semester the reflections developed in the History and Theory of the Environment course given in Bachelor 1 at the EPFL by Sébastien Marot. A course that invites us to understand to what extent environmental concerns today lead us to rethink the meaning and principles of architecture and other project based disciplines. This series of lectures aims to explore how architects and urban planners can understand environmental concerns today, and how they can stimulate our imagination and our responsibilities.

Produced in collaboration with Sébastien Marot and Raphaël Bach.

Programme

30.03.2021
“Architecture et Développement durable” 
Conversation around Durer: Éléments pour la transformation du système productif
Talk by Pierre Caye
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20.04.2021
Building-In-Time : From Giotto to Alberti and Modern Oblivion
Conversation with Marvin Trachtenberg, Luc Baboulet et Sébastien Marot
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27.04.2021
“To Re-enchant the World” & “I will life to go on”
Talks and conversations by Starhawk (EN) & Isabelle Stengers (FR)
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04.05.2021
NOUS SOMMES LE PAYSAGE
Talk by Anna Chavepayre
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18.05.2021
Agriterritories, Urbanisation in the Countryside
Talk by Milica Topalovic
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