May 30–Jul 28, 2023

Positions: Transcalar Prospects in Climate Crisis

EPFL Architecture
SG 1211 (SG Building) Station 15, Lausanne 1015 Map
Mon–Fri 9:30 am–5:30 pm, Sat 2–6 pm

With last year’s exhibition “Positions” focusing on architecture studios, EPFL Architecture initiated a new format that aims to provide an insight into the department’s multifaceted culture. As education and research in architecture are closely interwoven, “Positions” will this year highlight research activities conducted at EPFL Architecture, and will run in parallel with the “End of Year Show” featuring studios and projets de master exhibitions and juries.
The exhibition that shall take place in the Archizoom gallery in the summer months will invite a national and international public to discover research undertaken at EPFL Architecture.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is Transcalar Prospects in Climate Crisis.
The accelerating climate change challenges our discipline, as the building industry accounted for 37% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021 according to the 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction released during COP27. With the post-pandemic rebound, the sector’s global energy consumption and CO2 emissions have reached an all-time high, and we are therefore not on the path to decarbonization by 2050. The urge for solutions puts our discipline under growing pressure, and requires from architects to position themselves: how should we respond to the fact that architecture, broadly speaking, causes ecological harm? What are our discipline’s capacities and abilities for immediate action or long-term policies? What can research in architecture question, affect, and promote in terms of design process, horizon of references, or aesthetic experience? How can disciplinary and transdisciplinary skills, tools and methodologies contribute to ENAC’s three main strategic axes, Climate Change, Urbanization, and Digitalization?

Against this background, EPFL Architecture convenes laboratories, professors and PhD students, independent researchers and design activists at EPFL to share their perspectives at different scales, from material scale to buildings to cities and territories. This transcalar survey of ideas and methods for addressing issues like material uses, land and soil degradation, environmental justice or circular economy, intends to bring together various vantage points from fields such as construction, theory, sociology, history, aesthetics, and urbanism, in order to question what technical solutions, architectural typologies or urban practices may be able to allow for new prospects in view of the climate emergency.