Existenzminimum: 90 years since the 2nd CIAM


Lecturer(s) :

Mantziaras Panos
Ortelli Luca
Viganò Paola





Cette année uniquement


Bilingual course (French/English)


The Laboratory of Urbanism, Habitat Research Center EPFL and the Braillard Architectural Foundation, in the framework of The Eco-Century Project®, organise conjunctly the 5th Bernardo Secchi Working Seminar.


The 5th Bernardo Secchi Working Seminar is jointly organised by three entities : the Braillard Architectural Foundation in the framework of its research and culture program entitled The Eco-Century Project; the Habitat Research Center of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne; the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy of the Graduate lnstitute Geneva. This serninar b'ilds on the momentum created by the commemoration of the Declaration of La Sarraz.

90 years ago, the second International Congress on Modern Architecture (CIAM, Frankfurt am Main, 1929) set the objectives of a minimal level of dignified life for the urban populations under the term Existenzminimum. Today we face anew the same questions on the necessary conditions for the inhabitability of the urban areas. On one hand, because the recurrent social claims remind us that no right can be taken for granted without civic vigilance; on the other hand, because the ceiling of consumable resources - also known as the "overshoot day" - is accepted by widespread consensus, both among experts and civil society; finally, because the city and the local level of governance are the basis from where to start to revitalise our democracies. Therefore, the art of planning, inextricably interwoven with the art of governance, establishes itself as the search of a balance, of an equilibrium, of an optimal. framework that we might freely label existenzoptimum, as was clearly demonstrated by the British economist Kate R_awoith in her recent best-seller(1).
(1) « La théorie du Donut : l'économie de demain en 7 principes », Kate Raworth, traduction de Laurent Bury, Éditions Pion, 2018. «Doughnut Economies:· Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist», Kate Raworth, Cornerstone Editions, 2018.


Urbanism, design oriented knowledge, action-oriented design

Acquis de formation

A la fin de ce cours l'étudiant doit être capable de:


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In the programs

Reference week

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