Geneva Seminar 2017

30 November 2017, 09:00 - 18:00   —  
The Eco-Century Project®
— Séminaires

Project presentation brochure




The COP21 held in Paris in December 2015 concluded with a historic agreement on the measures to be taken in the face of global warming, specifically indicating the urban challenge as one of the major worksites of the twenty-first century. Life sciences, experimental and exact sciences, human and social sciences collectively respond to this challenge by developing a new gnoseological action plan. The disciplines linked to spatial planning – architecture, town planning, construction and landscaping – cannot remain on the side-lines of this development that is often described as a “paradigm shift”: data, concepts and working methods evolve rapidly to meet urgent needs. A central problem is now emerging in laboratories, workshops and training facilities: the management of resources, which are becoming scarce at the same rate as the human ecological footprint increases. Make no mistake: fresh water, land, energy, raw materials are not just quantitative data to “save” when constructing our living environment, they are also complex value systems, indicators of life and well-being. In other words, urban civilization is called upon to invent new relationships between its ways of life and planetary resources.




The interdisciplinary research programme The Eco-Century Project invites (fundamental, applied) researchers to reframe concerns, invent methods of investigation and formulate possible answers to the complex questions that resource management brings about, directed not only at the production of inhabited space but also at its customs. Conceiving architecture, the city and landscapes through the prism of planetary resources amounts to questioning all environments – past, present and future – with new hypotheses, transformed vocabularies and devices that are innovative and perhaps still in their beginnings. Nevertheless, these “clumsy beginnings” of creation have always accompanied change and innovation, and many regard this prism as representative of the future of our intentions and creations.



  • How can we reconcile the hopes of a new life close to nature with our humanist project? How to transform the principles, manifestos and programmes which inspired the modernity of the 20th century into driving forces of the ecological transition? What are the characteristics of the new “sustainable utopias”?
  • How to orient and adapt the intelligence of architecture and urban planning to better respond to the increasingly acute and frequent disasters of our time? How can the disciplines of spatial transformation be renewed thanks to a project defined by the humanitarian emergencies of the 21st century?
  • If the 20th century started with a minimal response to social needs for a dignified life qualified under the term “Existenzminimum”, what will be the 21st century’s response to our needs for harmonious, measured and optimal relations with the environment? What will the architectural, urban and landscape qualities of our Existenzoptimum be?





  • 09:00: Introduction
  • 09:05: Short speech
    Sylvain FERRETTI, Secretary-General of the Office of Urbanism of the Geneva canton


Part 1



Part 2


  • 11:20:
    PROJET ATLAS – Sustainable development atlas for the alpine space
    Peter DROEGE, Architect, professor, Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development
  • 11:50:
    THE “HEALTHY CITY” as an unrealised potential Theory and didactics of concrete utopia design
    Stéphane SADOUX, Director of the Constructive Cultures Laboratory, National School of Architecture of Grenoble, University of Grenoble-Alpes


Part 3


  • 14:00:
    ATLAS ARCHITECTURAL of circular economy
    Marion GARDIER, State architect, Braillard Architects Foundation
    Coralie COUTELLEC, State architect, Braillard Architects Foundation
  • 14:40:
    SCENARIOS FOR A COLLABORATIVE CITY, sustainable utopia of the polycentric Ruhr region
    Alexander SCHMIDT, Architect, professor – Institute of City Planning + Urban Design, Universität Duisburg-Essen
    Marielly CASANOVA, Aurelio DAVID, Erida HOXDA and Justyna LUCZAK
  • 15:20:
    COMPOSITE METABOLIC LANDSCAPES: the case of the greater Luxembourg region
    Nikos KATSIKIS, Architecture postdoctoral researcher, University of Luxembourg


Part 4


  • 16:15:
    Philippe BONHÔTE, Architect, professor, Joint Master of Architecture, HES/GE – HEPIA Geneva
    Nadia CARLEVARO, Architect, DDC project coordinator
    Tedros YOSEF, Architect, HEPIA lecturer
  • 16:55:
    JAIPUR 2035: the place of water in urban heritagisation
    Rémi PAPILLAULT, Architect urban planner, professor, ENSA Toulouse
    Savitri JALAIS, Architect, assistant professor, ENSA Toulouse
  • 17:35: CONCLUSION
    Panos MANTZIARAS and
    Bernard DECLÈVE, Architect engineer, Professor in Urbanism Catholic university of Louvain, coordinator of the MetroLab Programme, Brussels.