Architecture and Sciences of the City

The Doctoral Program Architecture and Sciences of the City (EDAR) is part of Doctoral School of EPFL (EDOC). It brings together in one doctoral program the world of architecture and that of social sciences concerned with the inhabited space and combines basic and applied research in an interdisciplinary perspective. Comprised of faculty members active within more than 30 laboratories of EPFL, the EDAR doctoral program receives three times a year new doctoral candidates interested in its scientific orientations which encompass three research areas across the researches conducted in the laboratories.

The EDAR program is based on two fundamental principles: interdisciplinarity and dialogue between basic and applied research.

Interdisciplinarity as conceived of in the EDAR doctoral program is multidimensional. It is situated inside architecture (history, theory, projects) and in the urban sciences (geography, urban sociology, environmental economics, housing and networking, urbanism and spatial planning), but also between the two fields in that it is based on the role of a mediator between the problems of the city, of mobility, of space, and of inhabiting it. Finally, the openness of the EDAR doctoral program to mathematics, the sciences of matter and life and the science of engineering is part of its essential choice. The program also maintains particularly close relations with the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), which regards interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity as fundamental and is the origin of a large part of the faculty and Doctoral candidates of EDAR.

The link between theory and practice enables doctoral students to treat the project – regardless of its subject (architecture, urbanism, spatial development) and its actors (from individual residents to the local community as a whole) – both as an object of study and as a research challenge. Today, reflexivity on action proves to be indissociable from action itself; if this is disregarded, the result is very likely to be inefficiency and failure. An approach to the great theoretical and epistemological questions is therefore of crucial necessity for everyone. This method is intended to enable doctoral students to master the dual complexity of intellectual construction and of situative action in one single movement. This is the challenge that the EDAR program helps its doctoral candidates to take up.

Upcoming public defense


Prof. Elena Cogato Lanza

Sandra Bottà

EPFL EDAR program
BP 2130
CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone +41 21 693 2191
[email protected]

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is an interdisciplinary journal initiated by EDAR doctoral candidates. It is the expression of a common interest to draw the boundaries of a new territory.

is an indisciplinary journal in social sciences that presents works of exploration and conceptual construction.