Empower Design Studio

The design studio focused on the development of a functioning and replicable housing prototype for a real site in an informal settlement of Cape Town, South Africa. The studio responded to the need for dignified, affordable housing and leveraged the potential of modular construction, strategic urban planning, community capacity building and industry systems. Each student individually developed a prototype through all scales – from connection details to urban plans – and undertook a holistic series of topics – including material studies, passive strategies, economic models, and scale mockups. Taken together, these projects formed an overall body of research, which manifested itself in a built prototype in Cape Town.
During the seminar week trip to Cape Town, students worked directly with community members to map and enumerate their settlement of approximately 70 households to empower the residents into forming a legitimate body to negotiate with the city.

Design Studio and Seminar Week coordinator and tutor
With: Hannes Gutberlet, Katerina Kourkoula

Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich

Students: Thierry Johl, Kai Peter, Thibaud Sullinger, Michael Thoma, Axel Chevroulet, Thijs van der Lely, Martin Wey, Michelle Brand, Meloek Mlihi, Andreas Reif, Paul Emmanuel, Quentin Andreotti, Emma Flores, Isidro Martinez, Andrea Gonzalez, Donia Jornod, Marie Page, Christina Fusco, Vincent Fourel, Sophie Herzog, David Hausler, Alexandra Meuche, Charlotte Rudolf, Isabel Ruttlimann

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