Coursebooks 2018-2019


Studio MA1 (Gugger)


Lecturer(s) :

Gugger Harry
Maçães E Costa Bárbara




It is not allowed to withdraw from this subject after the registration deadline.


Orientation: G Urban Nature


This teaching unit aims to experiment with the medium of cartography as a means of spatial representation, and as a tool for reading, understanding and changing the territory.



Maps are visual tools for thinking about the world at many scales. They shape scientific hypotheses, organize political and military power, limit the boundaries of private property, and reflect cultural ideas about nature and the landscape. To the extent that our world-views inform our perceptions, maps have the power to actually make the territories they represent and construct the subjects that gaze upon them. Throughout Western modernity, cartographic reason has mediated this epistemology preponderantly. Cartesian perspectives lineated the world with respect to a fixed anthropocentric subject position and `God's eye views' surveyed the world from an abstract elevated `nowhere.' Cartography became the enterprise concerned with the analysis and measurement of the res extensa, that is, the management of nature as resource and neutral background for architecture. In today's context of ecological crisis, this course aims to promote `ways of seeing' the land that convey a decentering of this human-architectural sovereignty.

Environmental Objects:

The word environment comes from the French environer, meaning `to surround, enclose, encircle.' The word object comes from the Latin objectum, meaning `thing lying before, opposite' the mind or sight. The environment is the milieu, the mid-space, the medium in-between. The object limits a place and occupies a position. To think of architecture as an `environmental object' means to question this opposition and thus disrupt the longstanding trope of architecture as the foreground of nature, the autonomous landmark dominating the land. To map environmental objects is to render visible the entanglements between architecture and its territorial environments, thus reimagining a discipline that amplifies its context, attunes to it and renders it conscious.


Cartography, drawing, landscape, territory, palimpsest, environmental objects.

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

UE J: Territoire et Paysage (Cogato Lanza, Pattaroni, Barcelloni Corte, Cavallieri)

UE K: Architecture et durabilité: études de performance (Andersen, Rey, Kämpfen, Bolomey)

UE N :  Art and architecture: constructing the view II (Schaerer)

Architecture et construction de la ville II (Gilot)

Economie spatiale et régionale (Dessemontet)

Urbanisme et territoires (Ruzicka)

Images de la nature (Mauron Layaz, Ourednik).

Important concepts to start the course

Basic hand sketching skills appreciated but not mandatory. General concepts: palimpsest; territorial networks; landscape structures; mapping as reading; mapping as speculative fiction.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

Transversal skills

Teaching methods

Theoretical content will be provided through a series of lectures and practical assignments will be assisted by weekly desk critiques and intermediate reviews. Classes will occasionally include the close reading of historical maps and the analysis of texts or passages on cartography/landscape. Special focus will be given to hand drawing, AI, CAD and GIS assistance may also happen uppon request. The final submittal of the U.E. will consist of all the work produced during the semester.

Expected student activities

One of the classes will be a trip to a botanical garden.

Assessment methods

Continuous assessment. 

Intermediate exercises and desk critiques: 50% of grade. 

Review of final work: 30% of grade.

Visual Journal: 20% of grade.


Office hours Yes
Assistants No
Forum No



AKERMAN, James R. and KARROW JR, Robert W., eds., 2007. Maps: Finding Our Place in the World. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

CASEY, Edwars S, 2002. Representing Place: landscape painting and maps. Minneapolis: University of Minesota Press.

COSGROVE, Denis, ed., 1999. Mappings (Critical Views). London: Reaktion.

CORBOZ, André, 2001. Le Territoire Comme Palimpseste et Aurtres Essais. Paris: Les Éditions de L'Imprimeur

DEMOS, T. J., 2017. Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

ECO, Umberto, 2013. The Book Of Legendary Lands. New York: Rizzoli.

GHOSN, Rania and JAZAIRY, El Hadi, 2018. Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment. Barcelona: Actar.

HARLEY, J. B., 2002. The New Nature Of Maps: Essays in the History of Cartography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

HESSLER, John, 2015. Map: Exploring the World. London and New York: Phaidon Press.

KURGAN, Laura, 2013. Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics. Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books.

PONTE, Alessandra, 2014. "Maps and Territories" in The House of Light and Entropy. London: AA Publications.

THROWER, Norman J. W., 2008. Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

TURCHI, Peter, 2004. Maps Of The Imagination: the writer as cartographer. San Antonio: Trinity University Press.


Prerequisite for

Atelier Gugger (LABA)

In the programs

    • Semester
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
    • Subject examined
      Studio MA1 (Gugger)
    • Lecture
      3 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
    • Exercises
      1 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
    • Semester
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
    • Subject examined
      Studio MA1 (Gugger)
    • Lecture
      3 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
    • Exercises
      1 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
  • AR Exchange, 2018-2019, Autumn semester
    • Semester
    • Exam form
       During the semester
    • Credits
    • Subject examined
      Studio MA1 (Gugger)
    • Lecture
      2 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks
    • Project
      4 Hour(s) per week x 14 weeks

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German