House Series

The ALICE HOUSE series originate from the research projects ‘protostructure’ and the concepts of ‘adapted scaffolding’, including a PhD (Agathe Mignon, 2013–2019), several teaching formats, and diverse case studies in large-group design and build processes. It consists of a series of building-size installations, parallel cultural and scientific events, framed by exhibitions and publications.

The HOUSE series hypothesizes the capacity of large groups to design and build together larger installation artefacts as co-authors. The hypothesis presupposes the principle of ‘protostruc-ture’, in its conceptual and physical form, to federate design and construction processes and allow for a ‘negotiation of the space of social difference’ (Richard Sennett, Together, 2012). The HOUSE projects proof the agency of both individuals and groups, to concretize through deliberation complex ideas and spatial design in view of architectural projects responding to given or emerging functions.


– HOUSE 1 (Dietz, ALICE studios, EPFL campus, 2015-2016) authored by 227 individuals, was nominated for the prestigeous international Swiss Design Award and was winner in the category research.

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– HOUSE 2 (Dietz, ALICE studios, Zurich, 2016-2017) authored by 200 individuals, this House – a forum installation- was developed in close collaboration with the Zurich Art School (ZHdK) and the City of Zurich. In view of growing cities around the globe and the respective opportunities and questions regarding the quality of life in our urban societies, HOUSE 2 offers an approach to spatial appropriation by many in a collaborative and dialogical process. 

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– HOUSE 3 (Dietz, ALICE studios, Brussels, 2017-2018) authored by 150 first-year students in a little over 15 days. The collective prefabricated all the built elements in Lausanne and transported them in three shipping trucks to Belgium. The museum installation is heterogeneous, result of a multiplicity of contributions. 

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– HOUSE GARDEN (Dietz, ALICE studios, Evian, 2018-2019) authored by 150 first-year EPFL architecture students, installations and gardens around the Buvette d’Evian (France) are created  in response to a request from the French-speaking Switzerland chapter of the Swiss Architects’ Federation (FAS).  Students tested their designs on the Swiss side of the lake before construction, and the new designs aim to bring La Buvette back to life.

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A HOUSES Catalog

A comparative study through the protostructures developed over time

Analysis credits : Agathe Mignon ©2020