EDAR Research areas

The different research areas outlined below intend to guide current and future doctoral students through the various research topics addressed in this program.The map gives an overall view of research areas and the affiliated laboratories within EDAR.

« Sciences of the City »

The research area of Sciences of the City is aimed at students of social sciences (Sociology, Geography, Economics, Political science, Anthropology, History), but also architects and engineers wishing to pursue a thesis on urbanization, urbanity, mobility and habitat.
It concerns primarily an understanding of the contemporary urban world in all its aspects as a fundamental dimension of inhabiting and even more generally, of social life. This requires a reflection on epistemological and theoretical tools that allow thinking of space of societies, fixed and mobile lifestyles and urbanization as long-term historical process.
It is also essential to analyze, with renewed tools, components of contemporary urbanity: ways of living, mobility, public space, productivity and creativity, for which the contributions of the humanities and social sciences are mobilized, both about countries already completely urbnized and those that experience an accelerated process of urbanization in the context of the globalized world.
Finally, urban action, whether in the usual form of urban planning or other less conventional expressions (sectoral policies, urban social movements, etc..), will be questioned. One unique feature of urbanism is indeed in complex relationships of mutual interpenetration of observation and action, analysis and project, experts and inhabitants.

« History, Theory, Heritage »

History, Theory, Heritage is open to any proposed research topic likely to provide a deeper understanding of the questions inherent in the fields of history and theory, from the vantage point of process of architectural project, in particular from the point of view of construction and composition.

The terms construction and composition are intended in the broad sense from the materials and their nature, the structures and statics, the project criteria established by architectural treaties and texts and even the non-compositional creations of contemporary art and architecture. The choice of the construction and composition as the privileged framework of various researches reflects the conviction that the two disciplines constitut the poles, often conflicting,upon which the creative process in architecture is based.

« ComplexDesign»

The questions raised by the massive urbanization of the territory entails, in terms of sustainable development, increasingly complex project strategies in architecture and urbanism. At an intermediate scale between the city fragment and the building, control of the territorial reach demands solutions that integrate very specific infrastructures and equipments. Indeed, many examples show that from a critical area of over 100,000 m2, the energy problem, as well as constructive and programmatic issues change radically.

The need to construct large, dense and mixed, in order to construct sustainable, having to confront architectural and urban issues of the new scale require appropriate approaches and methodologies. This is what ComplexDesign intends to offer to PhD students. It also aims to meet a growing demand for academic and professional plans in highly qualified and complex projects.

« Integrated Design, Architecture, Sustainability »

This area of research meets the objective of further integration of sustainability issues in architecture, as well as the wish to reinforce the exchange and the synergies with different institutes of l’ENAC.
To this end, developed as IDEAS (Integrated Design, Architecture, Sustainability) this theme is partly based on an interdisciplinary teaching within EDAR doctoral school, in the form of seminars and workshops, and secondly on a structured network of EPFL PhD students whose thesis contributes to this theme. Besides, it is in line with a Minor which has been developed for the Master cycle on the same subject.
More information about laboratories and specific research topics is available here.

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