Territory as Palimpseste. The Legacy of André Corboz


From 25.09 to 05.12.23
Archizoom, bâtiment SG, EPFL

Since the 1970s, the Genevan thinker André Corboz has been questioning notions of landscape, city and heritage in the polycentric, urbanised territory of Switzerland, which is undergoing spectacular spatial change. 

The exhibition immerses visitors in the intellectual laboratory and multiple works of André Corboz, offering an overview of his oeuvre. Through sketchbooks, photographs and graphic documents, it sheds light on Corboz’s working methods and reveals the topicality of his narrative strategies and his activities as a cultural critic, writer and teacher.

André Bideau & Sonja Hildebrand
with Anna Bernardi, Elena Cogato Lanza and Frida Grahn


Opening Monday 25 September, 6.30 p.m., en
Inaugural lecture followed by an aperitif
André Bideau & Sonja Hildebrand

Lecture Monday 16 October, 6.30 p.m., en
On heritage
Paul Bouet & Bricklab, Abdulrahman and Turki Hisham Gazzaz
Modération Alia Bengana

Lecture Monday 27 November, 6.30 p.m., fr
On territory
Georges Descombes, Rainer Michael Mason & Ariane Widmer
Moderation Paola Viganò

Guided tour Monday 27 November, 5 p.m., en
by André Bideau, on registration

Guided tour Monday 4 December, 5 p.m, fr
by Elena Cogato Lanza, on registration

André Corboz’s Notebooks, 1951-2011. Photo © Solène Hoffmann


Historian, cultural critic, poet, journalist and photographer, André Corboz (1928-2012) has influenced his time through a wide variety of disciplines and languages. From Palladio to the Territorial Grid of the United States, from planning during the French Enlightenment to postmodern Switzerland, his subjects go beyond the scope of the historian as it is usually described.

Corboz engaged in meticulous forms of self-observation and notation, keeping records of most of his research projects, as well as his many travels. The exhibition has two main themes: How to read the territory (A) and Knowledge production and historiography (B); addressing, on one hand, the lasting contribution to the discourses around landscape and urban development that Corboz theorised as an interrelated space; and, on the other hand, the evolution of this self-trained historian who travelled through multiple disciplinary fields, countries, and different cultures.

Exhibition supported by Oertli Stiftung, Zurich

For more information on the exhibition:
Press Kit André Corboz

This exhibition was originally developed and first presented at the Teatro dell’architettura Mendrisio from 4 November 2022 until 5 February 2023. 

Exhibition promoted by
Accademia di architettura dell’Università della Svizzera italiana
accompagnée de
Istituto di storia e teoria dell’arte e dell’architettura – ISA 
et du soutien de
Biblioteca dell’Accademia di architettura
Cattedra Borromini

Curatorial team
André Bideau (concept, main content)
Sonja Hildebrand
Anna Bernardi
Elena Cogato Lanza
Frida Grahn

Curatorial assistance
Isabela Ferrari
Petra Filagrana
Lucia Pennati

Fonds A.Corboz de la Biblioteca dell’Accademia di architettura
Elisabetta Zonca

Accademia di architettura 
Walter Angonese
Marco Della Torre
Dean’s Office Coordinator
Head of exhibitions
Stefania Murer
Exhibits coordination, Registrar
Matteo Clerici

Setting-up collaboration
Tizulu Maeda
Secretary TAM
Alberto Canepa
Video editing

Sidi Vanetti, 
Marco Zürcher, CCRZ
Exhibition Graphic design and layout

The lenders
Archives de la Ville de Carouge
Archives d’Etat de Genève
Archives TeTU, HEPIA, Genève
Biblioteca dell’Accademia di architettura, USI, Mendrisio
Yvette Corboz, Thônex
Peter Fischli, Zürich
Adele Ghirri, Roncocesi
Marco Graber, Zürich
Graphische Sammlung, ETH Zürich
gta Archives, ETH Zürich
Regula Iseli, Zürich
Musée d’art et d’histoire, Genève
Medien- und Informationszentrum, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zürich
Thomas Pulver, Zürich
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Mario Botta
Michel Corboz
Yvette Corboz
Christoph Frank
Christine Passerat
Angela Windholz

Archizoom Team
Cyril Veillon
Roxane Le Grelle
Project Coordination
Solène Hoffmann
Beatrice Raball

Graphic Design
Sophie Wietlisbach

French translation
Anne Lemoine

Mounir Ayoub
Elena Cogato Lanza
Maxime Lécuyer
Ariane Widmer

Set up 
Antoine Angeard
Michaël Aydogan
Melchior Dechance
Sylvain Destouches
Antoine Foehrenbacher
Dimitri Kasparian
Mike Lerjen