7th Bernardo Secchi Working Seminar 2024

HRC is pleased to launch the call for contributions to select participants for the 2024 edition!

October 28th – 29th, 2024
Geneva / Lausanne

Call for contribution
deadline: April 2nd, 2024, 12 am

Extended deadline: April 22nd, 2024, 12am


Space, life, and politics: Counter-projects and the Socio-Ecological Transition

Marking Bernardo Secchi’s 10th memorial anniversary, the JBS 2024 extends the reflection initiated in 2022, focusing on the ecological, social, and spatial transition of modern urbanized territories.
Delving into the interplay between socio-ecological Transition and radical adaptations in our practices, policies, and projects, the seminar aims to unravel the inherent tensions in navigating these complex dynamics.

As per Bernardo Secchi, European democratic culture forms the canvas for a “vaster biopolitical action”. This endeavour intricately shapes and transforms urban spaces with the goal of safeguarding, educating, and emancipating its people. Consequently, the planning and design of the 19th and 20th centuries are characterised as techno-scientific and creative extensions of this enduring tradition.
Today, this contemporary project concerning space and life, often pejoratively labelled “biopolitical” by Michel Foucault2, grapples with profound economic, social, and environmental challenges such as threats to ecosystems from excessive extraction, societal divisions, escalating spatial injustices, weakened economies, and global health risks. Redirecting designers’ focus on space, life, and politics becomes a pivotal approach to devise planning and design tools for a habitable, equitable, and healthy planet amidst these complexities. Enabling this socio-ecological and spatial transition necessitates a fresh start, marked by a fundamental conceptual shift favouring novel connections among space, life, and politics.

Hence, the seminar will delve into concerns such as socio-spatial conflicts, strategies for mitigating climate change, counteracting its impacts, and the emergence of new ecologies in modern urbanised regions. All these considerations pivot around the fundamental issue of design and its execution.

The seminar is organised into three main axes:

– Concrete utopias

– Counter-actions and activism

– Radical policies

Important dates

April 2nd, 2024, 12 am: submission of proposals
April 15th, 2024: announcement of selected proposals
June 3rd, 2024, 12 am: submission of final written contributions
October 22nd, 2024, 12 am: submission of final presentations
October 28th-29th, 2024: Bernardo Secchi Working Seminar

Organizing committee

Paola Viganò (HRC-EPFL)
Panos Mantziaras (FBA)
Tommaso Pietropolli (HRC-EPFL)
Hélène Gallezot (FBA)
Anna Karla de Almeida (HRC-EPFL)


Tommaso Pietropolli

[email protected]

[email protected]