Fall '17

Action! On The Real City

Observe. Record. Edit.

Elective Course

  • Start 25.09.2017
  • ETH Zurich, ONA / Oerlikon
  • Professor Alfredo Brillembourg & Professor Hubert Klumpner
    Clearhos Eduardo Papanicolaou
  • ECTS Credits: 2
  • Mondays: 10:00 - 12:00
  • Research Partner: Polytechnic University of Valencia, Prof. Eva Álvarez, Prof. Carlos Gómez


Through a combination of practical exercises in video and audio techniques in parallel with the study of seminal observation-driven texts like ‘The Social Life of Small Urban Places’ (Whyte) and ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ (Ventouri and Brown), this course aims to equip students with the basic tools and core principles to create short but complex portraits of urban space.

This approach will be applied to the case study of Oerlikon, an area that has undergone multiple transformations in scale and typology over time, resulting in a mosaic of mixed industry, high and low-density housing, mobility infrastructures, and cultural fabrics.

Using widely available recording tools and editing software, students will develop short video or audio works of about 3-5 minutes.

An optional Architecture and Urbanism Film Series running in parallel to this course will provide an opportunity for interested students to triangulate their learning with viewings of classic and experimental documentary work.