Open Fields Lunches 2024

A New Cycle of Meetings on Urbanization and Interdisciplinarity

A New Cycle of Meetings on Urbanization and Interdisciplinarity

Spring Open Fields Lunches

The Habitat Research Center is pleased to ‘open’ its three research fields to discussion during three lunch seminars: Healthy HabitatsProductive Habitats and Landscape Habitats.

Offering opportunities for interdisciplinary discussions around urbanization, the Open Fields Lunches aim to foster new collaborations within the EPFL scientific community.

Each meeting will be moderated by a member of the HRC or its affiliated laboratories, and will consist of a presentation by an international expert in the field, followed by presentations by two EPFL researchers interested in sharing and discussing their research. The seminar will conclude with a debate open to all the lunch participants.

How to participate

If you are interested in presenting your research during one of the three lunches, submit your contribution by sending a short abstract and title (max. 200 words) to [email protected]
Presentations should be no longer than 12-15 minutes.

Important dates

Landscape Habitats       Tuesday 9th April 2024    
Deadline to submit proposals: 19th March 2024

Healthy Habitats       Tuesday 7th May 2024      
Deadline to submit proposals: 16th April 2024

Productive Habitats       Tuesday 4th June 2024      
Deadline to submit proposals: 12th May 2024


Open Field Lunches 2024 proposed topics 

Cultural Landscapes

In the ongoing socio-ecological transition occurring globally, it is vital to consider the social, cultural, and environmental dimensions of a place. Currently, territories worldwide are experiencing a significant phase of urbanization, which brings the study of human-climate interactions within cultural landscapes to the forefront as a critical area of research. During this seminar, an additional area of interest is understanding how cities, in different contexts, are integrating the cultural and aesthetic elements of landscapes, and creating impactful infrastructures across broad areas while transforming the nature of the city’s landscape and its territorial extent.

Moreover, foregrounding this dynamic relationship between humans, land, urban fabric, and climate while examining cultural landscapes, can provide a unique and valuable perspective. This approach could facilitate a comprehensive investigation of how planning can enhance the resilience and self-sufficiency of cities in relation to their territories and their cultural heritage. Part of this exploration involves examining the evolution of aesthetic norms in response to changes in climate, societal dynamics, and the usage of these cultural landscapes.

Healthy Habitats in a broken planet: how to Design with care and for whom?

 Defining what health habitats entail is challenging as there are multiple variables to address in moving towards healthier spaces. The spatial dimensions certainly contribute especially if supported by programmatic interventions. Designing Healthy Habitats requires both engaging spaces through multiple scales over time and mapping risk factors at all socio-ecological levels.

This leads to the question: healthy habitats, for whom? Under the planetary pressure of Transitioning, designing with care is paramount. How to design Healthy Habitats while sharing the responsibility for caring for our world. The series/lunch focuses on exploring what healthy habits entail and the contribution of design practices in fostering healthy habitats.

Material and Societal Change

The Productive Habitats Open Field Lunch 2024 invites EPFL scholars to explore the production of space and its patterns of material extraction and consumption, and questions whether design can evolve beyond conventional methods to achieve ecological balance and a just transition. How does the construction industry respond to today’s critical socio-ecological issues? And how do design practices deal with this issue?

The Habitat Research Center invites scholars for an interdisciplinary dialogue focusing on the use and management of resources as a paradigm shift of the socio-ecological transition. The intricate linkages between resource utilization and societal well-being offer a foundational perspective on how our consumption patterns must evolve to ensure a thriving, low-carbon society.