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A brief overview of A/S publications is given below. For a comprehensive list of our scientific publications, please refer to the left panel.


Cover of Expanding Boundaries

Expanding Boundaries

Systems Thinking in the

Built Environment




Guillaume Habert, Arno Schlueter (eds.)
vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich, 2016
Open Access Online Publication
ISBN: 978-3-7281-3774-6

Consuming over 40% of total primary energy, the built environment is in the centre of worldwide strategies and measures towards a more sustainable future. To provide resilient solutions, a simple optimisation of individual technologies will not be sufficient. In contrast, whole system thinking reveals and exploits connections between parts. Each system interacts with others on different scales (materials, components, buildings, cities) and domains (ecology, economy and social). Whole-system designers optimise the performance of such systems by understanding interconnections and identifying synergies. The more complete the design integration, the better the result.

In this book, the reader will find the proceedings of the 2016 Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Regional Conference in Zurich. Papers have been written by academics and practitioners from all continents to bring forth the latest understanding on systems thinking in the built environment.

Take a peek inside the book on the vdf website.

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Cover of Adaptive Systems Lab

Adaptive Systems Lab



edited by Chair of Architecture and Building Systems (formerly SuAT)
Arno Schlueter, Dino Rossi
ETH Zurich, 2014

The book can be obtained directly from the chair at the price of CHF 25. Please contact .

The Adaptive Systems Lab, a research laboratory of the Professorship of Architecture and Building Systems (formerly SuAT), searches and identifies emerging technology that bears the potential for meaningful contributions towards a more sustainable built environment. The technology of interest yields not at incremental improvements but entirely new paradigms and applications.

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Cover of Taiki-Cho

Taiki-Cho: Transient Boundaries


edited by Chair of Architecture and Building Systems (formerly SuAT)
Arno Schlueter, Michele Leidi, Sasha Cisar, Anja Willmann
ETH Zurich, 2013

The book can be obtained directly from the chair at the price of CHF 25. Please contact .

What defines a 'next generation sustainable house' on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, close to the small town of Taiki Cho, after a devastating tsunami and the resulting energy crisis? As invited participants of an international university competition these questions were posed to architecture students in our seminar at ETH Zurich. The resulting project presented here - Transient Boundaries - is what we consider symbiotic architecture. Transient Boundaries was one of the three competition finalists and was awarded the 'Award of Excellence.'

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Cover of Torre David

Torre David: Informal Vertical Communities


edited by Urban-Think Tank
Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner
Photos: Iwan Baan
Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2012

with a contribution from Arno Schlueter and Jimeno A. Fonseca:

Torre David, a 45-story skyscraper in Caracas, has remained uncompleted since the Venezuelan economy collapsed in 1994. Today, it is the improvised home to more than 750 families living in an extra-legal and tenuous squat, that some have called a 'vertical slum.' Urban-Think Tank spent a year studying the physical and social organization of this ruin-become home. The book documents the residents’ occupation of the tower and how, in the absence of formal infrastructure, they organize themselves to provide for daily needs, with a hair salon, a gym, grocery shops, and more. The authors of this thought-provoking work investigate informal vertical communities and the architecture that supports them and issue a call for action: to see in informal settlements a potential for innovation and experimentation, with the goal of putting design in service to a more equitable and sustainable future.

Take a peek inside the book on the Lars Müller Publishers website.

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Cover of Glatt!

Glatt! Manifest für eine Stadt im Werden



edited by Sascha Roesler and Architektengruppe Krokodil
Park Books, Zurich, 2012

with a contribution from Arno Schlueter and Anja Willmann:
"Stadt der Netze - Energie"

Glatt! Manifest für eine Stadt im Werden takes the development of the Zurich agglomeration Glattal to exemplify the continuous urban sprawl in Switzerland. But how could rural areas be protected? With a clear differentiation between urban and rural areas, a heightened densification of urban areas, and greater variety and flexibility of using space – leading to a new, contemporary type of city. For this purpose, we do not need exemplary cities planned on a tabula rasa or as a greenfield development. Instead, existing places, infrastructures, industrial and service areas have to be developed further in site-specific manner, complemented by programs that are currently misisng. This requires ambitous planning on a large scale and the adjustment of building laws and guidelines. Continuing the legacy of writings such as achtung: die Schweiz, published in 1955 by Lucius Burckhardt, Max Frisch and Markus Kutter, Glatt! also sketches the political processes that would be necessary for a sensible future development. The book contains short, incisive writings, images, visualizations, diagrams, and mapping material.

Take a peek inside the book on the Park Books website.

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