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 twenty laboratories of EPFL, the EDAR program receives three times a year new doctoral students interested in its scientific orientations which encompass four 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 programme 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 programme to mathematics, the sciences of matter and life and the science of engineering is part of its essential choice. The programme 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 students of EDAR.

The link between theory and practice enables 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 students to master the dual complexity of intellectual construction and of situative action in one single movement. This is the challenge that the EDAR programme helps its doctoral students to take up.

Upcoming public defenses

Public transport users can download Urby-Me

— Dominic Villeneuve from the EPFL Urban Sociology Laboratory is one of the creators of this application that allows to note the public transit live. He presents the Urby-me app on the CQFD show on the RTS Première chaîne

Conference with Prof. Alexandra Midal – HEAD Genève

— Le Prof. Vincent Kaufmann, directeur du Programme doctoral Architecture et sciences de la ville (EDAR)  a le plaisir de vous inviter à la conférence de rentrée avec le Prof. Alexandra Midal – HEAD Genève.

The gta 50 takes place on the 28th and 29th of September, at the ETH

— This year, the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture (gta) of ETH Zurich celebrates its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, it hosts gta 50: a conference (“Founding Myths”), round-tables (“End of Theory?” and “Perspectives”), and the opening of an exhibition (“Phantom Theory”). 

Mapping urban underground potential

— An EPFL researcher has taken a methodology designed to improve underground urban planning around the world one step further. The study, which combines geology and economics, encourages a more rational approach to underground development while safeguarding natural resources.

Forever young: built infrastructure that lasts

— The safety of aging bridges and other built structures is difficult to assess, limiting options when they reach the end of their planned service life. A new method could encourage rejuvenation of infrastructure, potentially indefinitely.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (mornings only)

Prof. Vincent Kaufmann

Sandra Bottà

EPFL EDAR program
BP 2130
CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone 41 21 693 2191
[email protected]

is an interdisciplinary journal initiated by EDAR PhD students. 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.