ILEK Stuttgart – Alternativen Konstruieren

ILEK Dirk Hebel

Public lecture of Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the Institut für Leichtbau Entwerfen und Konstruieren ILEK in Stuttgart on October 12, 2015 at 17:30pm.

6 hours, 1 minute, and 7 days


As part of the design studio “School Project Cambodia”, 34 students of ETH completed in the first week of the new semester a pavillion structure out of bamboo. Here, material properties and construction detailing questions stood in the foreground of the investigation. The students had 6 hours for a small design competition, 1 minute to present their ideas and 7 days to build two of the designs, after the group voted for the ones to be realized. Eike Roswaag, Andrea Klinge and Emmanuel Heringer helped the students with their knowledge and expertice and gave also lectures on school projects the group realized in various locations around the globe.

Top Science Award for Alireza Javadian

Alireza award

Aliriza Javadian, PhD student in the Hebel Research Group at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, wins top distinguished award in the 2015 Singapore Challenge: The Science of Future Cities for his research on Advanced Fiber Composite Materials. The Singapore Scientific Challenge 2015 is jointly organised by A*STAR, NUS, NTU, SMU and SUTD as part of A*STAR’s Science@50 initiative to mark a half-century of excellent science in Singapore on her 50th birthday. It seeks to promote engagements and collaborations amongst the wider scientific community and to raise the level of scientific thought leadership in Singapore.

World Architecture Festival 2015, Singapore


Two public lectures by Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the occasion of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore on November 04 and November 05 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. From the organizers: “World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest international architectural event. It includes the biggest architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to delegates and international juries. This year’s programme 50:50 will examine how architecture and urbanism have changed during the last 50 years, how predictions have been fulfilled or denied, and how we think will change in the next 50 years.”

Sand – ein Baumaterial mit Zukunft?


Public lecture by Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the occasion of the exhibition “Wie Sand am Meer”, ERES-Stiftung München, on October 08, 2015. “Der Rohstoff Sand scheint unerschöpflich. Doch verschlingen heute vor allem Stahlbetonbauten der Megacities, Straßenbau und Landgewinnung solche Mengen, dass Bausand zur knappen Ressource wird. Durch die wachsende Nachfrage lohnt es sich inzwischen, Sand zu stehlen und zu schmuggeln. Insbesondere in Entwicklungsländern wird unkontrolliert abgebaut, Strände werden abgetragen, Flüsse geschürft und Meeresböden ausgebaggert. Engagiert und kenntnisreich geht die Münchner Künstlerin Stefanie Zoche verschiedensten Facetten dieses Themas nach. In eindringlichen Bildern und überraschender Formensprache formuliert sie die Gedankenlosigkeit und Widersprüchlichkeit unseres Umgangs mit der kostbaren Ressource Sand. Ein Großteil der gezeigten Skulpturen, Installationen und Videoarbeiten sind im Auftrag der ERES-Stiftung entstanden. Mit dem Projekt setzt die Stiftung ihren Ausstellungszyklus zum Thema Anthropozän fort und lenkt den Blick auf einen bislang wenig beachteten Aspekt des menschlichen Eingriffs in Geo- und Biosphäre.” (Bild und Text: Stephanie Zoche)

focusTerra – lecture series


Public lecture by Asst. Professor Dirk E. Hebel, September 23, 2015, 6pm. “Mineralische Rohstoffe bilden die Grundlage unseres täglichen Lebens. Ihre Verfügbarkeit ist für uns selbstverständlich, und der weltweite Verbrauch nimmt stetig zu. Was sind die langfristigen Folgen unserer zunehmenden Nutzung nicht erneuerbarer Rohstoffe? Welche Herausforderungen kommen auf uns zu?”

World Bamboo Congress


Keynote speech by Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the World Bamboo Congress in South Korea on September 20th, 2015. From the organizers: “In the last 20 years, the WBC as a series of Sessions & Demonstrations has grown to attract participants from more than 30 countries around the world, including world-renowned experts in bamboo design, construction, and architecture. For any professional that works with this amazing natural resource — whether a botanist, biologist, horticulturist, architect, artist, designer, businessperson, government representative, non-profit organization, or economist, the WBC has been an ideal opportunity to meet and develop collaborations in research and development, project or business development, while at the same time, advancing the social and environmental goals derived from the various applications of bamboo.”

World Sustainability Forum


Public lecture by Asst. Prof Dirk E. Hebel at the fifth World Sustainability Forum in Basel, Switzerland on September 7th, 2015. From the organizers: “The 5th World Sustainability Forum aims to be a platform for researchers to present and engage with research-relevant stakeholders on issues relating to sustainability. We seek to contribute to policy-relevant, change-oriented, and transdisciplinary research and collaboration from science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences.”

ETH Winter School 2016 – Application open

Winter School Jan16

The E4D winter school 2016 aims to develop an integrated vision to a global challenge of today’s construction industry. The programme revolves around the so-far untapped resource desert sand and the question of how to activate its potential as an alternative building material for future cities. Invited experts from around the world will share their knowledge and give insights in their field of research. Participants will not only learn the theoretic background of this resource but experiment with current and future technologies to transform desert sand. Through three workshops (i) bio-cementation, (ii) sintering and (iii) 3D printing, the acquired knowledge will be tested and applied.

The E4D Winter School 2016 is organised in collaboration with ETH Global and the TU Berlin Campus in El Gouna, Egypt.

Further information and detailed program can be found here. Applicants please follow this link.

Sand, Bamboo and Waste research exhibited at BodenSchätzeWerte


On August 24, focusTerra opened its new exhibition entitled “BodenSchätzeWerte” or Earth’s Treasures at the ETH Zurich NO Building. Focusing on the past and future’s use of our earth’s resources, the exhibition also features several research topics of the Assistant Professorship for Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel.

From the curator:
Mineral resources play a fundamental role in our daily lives. We take their availability for granted and their worldwide consumption is steadily on the rise. What are the long-term consequences of our increasing use of non-renewable resources? What challenges lie ahead for us?

This exhibition is about the formation, mining and use of mineral resources, and how we deal with products we no longer need. What can we do to ensure that resources are extracted in an economical, environmentally friendly and socially responsible way and that they are used and reused for as long and as efficiently as possible?

The exhibition will be on display from 25th August 2015 until 28th February 2016.
More information can be found here.

Fall Semester 2015: Village School Project Cambodia

In the Fall Semester 2015, the design studio of Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel will be planning a school in rural Cambodia within an existing village structure, about two hours north of the capital Phnom Penh. The school consists of several classrooms, a cafeteria, an auditorium as well as medical and infrastructural buildings.

For further information please visit here.
To inscribe into the design studio, please click here (ETH intranet).

Spring Semester 2015 – Resource Switzerland

On 26th May 2015 the Final Presentations took place in the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel’s Design Studio. Guest critiques, including Bijoy Jain, Jürgen Mayer H, Steven Spier, Stefan Hörner and Philippe Block joined for the full day event and shared their valuable expertise.

In the Spring Semester 2015 the students were introduced to a broad number of Swiss resources. In collaboration with professional craftsmen they investigated the architectonic potential of specific building materials. Context, material and constructive principles followed a clear causality and ended in the design of an atelier or a different spatial arrangement of a similar scale, for the respective craftsman. On the basis of a built 1:1 extract we finally test the validity of the project.

It is the declared aim of the course to teach responsibility in the use of material resources and for the hereof deviated principles of construction. Decisions of design should not only result from aesthetic points of view, but bring up questions regarding availability of materials, skills, talents, responsibility for sustainable resources, functionality and respect for social and cultural settings and the traditional comprehension of handicraft, joining principles and production technologies.

Photo credits: Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel/ Wojciech Zawarski

Welcome to Philippe, Davide and Simon

New team members

The Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel welcomes its new team members for the Fall Semester 2015: Philippe Jorisch is joining the teaching team at the ETH Zürich in Switzerland, Davide Fracasso and Simon Lee will be researching at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore.

CNN: FCL Singapore developes ideas to steal from


Future Cities: Singapore focuses on the exceptionally forward-looking urban approach of the island nation to learn about the challenges of planning for future generations.

(CNN) Singapore is small, hot and heavily populated — the 5.5 million residents of the tropical city-state live in less than 750 square kilometres of land. And population is expected to reach 6.9 million by 2030. Despite these challenges, Singapore continues to be amongst the most liveable and economically successful cities in the word, with a GDP equaling that of leading European countries. With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities already (a figure projected to reach 70% by 2050), Singapore — where everyone is a city dweller — is setting trends for rapidly urbanizing countries worldwide. …

With high-density living comes high-density waste. But Singapore has been organized with its refuse management systems, not only by collecting it efficiently but even employing it to make more land. “They don’t have the space to store waste,” says Dirk Hebel, from the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability. …

Due to its close proximity to the equator, Singapore’s climate is hot and humid, with temperatures averaging above 30 degrees Celsius and little variation throughout the year. The built-up nature of the city increases temperatures further through the ‘heat island’ effect — caused by buildings blocking air flow, transport emissions and long-wave radiation heating up the island nation. As a result, a lot of the city’s energy expenditure goes towards cooling people down. “Up to 60% of Singapore’s electricity is for buildings,” says Arno Schlüter, Professor of Architecture and building systems, also with the Future Cities Laboratory. Most buildings use electricity to cool-down and dehumidify public and work spaces. “Singapore is a noisy city due to all the [cooling] units on the wall,” says Schlüter.

“In the Future, There Will Be No Waste …”


Full House on May 30th at the ETH Zurich Pavilion in New York, as it hosted a public panel discussion with Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, Prof. Philippe Block, Asst. Prof. David Benjamin and Asst. Prof. Mark Wasiuta. The panel, hosted by the AIA Center for Architecture New York Chapter, brought an overwhelming response to the pavilion.

The IDEAS CITY Festival theme for 2015, The Invisible City, borrows from Italo Calvino’s classic novel exploring the invisible constructs that holds a city together. Two panels pursued this theme further by asking “What cultural practices define the future smart city, and where can we chart the boundaries between design methodology and ethical practice?” The first panel explored how material cycles and waste management can be further integrated into design practice. The second panel asked “How invisible ecologies can be represented and made visible and urgent?”

Meet the Future – a tour through the ETH Zurich Pavilion


On May 30th, Felix Heisel gave a public guided tour through the ETH Zurich Pavilion, and the connected exhibit of 25 building materials produced from waste.

ETH Zurich Pavilion Construction

Watch the ETH Zurich Pavilion being built.

ETH Alumni Meeting at ETH Zurich Pavilion

Panel_ETH Alumni

Daniel E. Schaufelberger, Werner Kaufmann, Lorenzo Pagnamenta, Anna Torriani, Ray Schaeffer, Felix Heisel, and Jürg Brunnschweiler

Entitled The invisible Feedback Loop: Architects, Infrastructure, and Public Space, the ETH Zurich Alumni invited its New York members to a panel discussion on Thursday 28th May at the ETH Zurich Pavilion. Architects, and Urban Planners are in constant dialogue with the evolving  needs and expectations of public space. Moderated by Dr. Werner Kaufmann, Co-Chair ETHZ Alumni New York Chapter, the speakers Felix Heisel, Anna Torriani, Lorenzo Pagnamenta, and Ray Schaeffer briefly described their contribution to the civic realm, their investigations, their ideas, the results and/or proposed solutions. The event was opened by Dr. Jürg Brunnschweiler, Director ETH Global, Zürich.

ETH Zurich Pavilion now open for the public

ETH Zurich Pavilion: New York NY, Image (c) Albert Vecerka/Esto ETH Zurich Pavilion: New York NY, Image (c) Albert Vecerka/Esto

On May 27th, the ETH Zurich Pavilion was officially opened by Ambassador André Schaller, Consul General of Switzerland in New York, Juerg Brunnschweiler, Director of ETH Global, and Felix Heisel, project architect of the ETH Zurich Pavilion. The Pavilion will now be open to the public from May 28-30, 11am to 10pm daily. Please come by and join us for the exciting program.

Building from Waste: swissnex San Francisco highlights


In April 2015 swissnex San Francisco together with Chair of Architecture and Construction at ETH Zurich organized a one week event called ‘Building From Waste’. During this time everyone interested in the issues of rethinking the use of waste could participate in a series of presentations, a panel discussion, a hands-on workshop and an exhibition.

ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 3


On the eve of Construction Day 3, the first shell of the ETH Zurich Pavilion is closed and lighting experiments are taking advantage of the dusk.

ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 2


Construction Day 2 of the ETH Zurich Pavilion concluded with the first few ReWall arches go up and span over the First Street Green. Stay tuned!

ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 1


On May 22nd, construction of the ETH Zurich Pavilion started at the First Street Green in New York City. The stacking of the recycled pallets was concluded with the installation of the parametric triangular footings for arches made from reused beverage cartons. Within the next 3 days, the team from the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel and the Block Research Group will conclude a 90 m2 pavilion in time for the IDEAS CITY Festival starting on Thursday 28th May 2015.

Official IDEAS CITY Program out now!


ETH Zurich brings a cutting-edge artifact of the future to the East Village: a pavilion created from waste materials. Recasting “trash” as a valuable asset, ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion will redefine the notion of waste, acknowledging its value as a resource from which new cities can rise. Read more about the events of next week here.

“In the future, there will be no waste…”


May 30th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
First Street Garden, Houston Street and 2nd Avenue, ETH Zurich Pavilion, New York City

The American Institute of Architects NY engage ETH Zurich’s Dirk E. Hebel and Philippe Block in a conversation with NY architects David Benjamin and Mark Wasiuta, Columbia University on cultural practices that define smart cities. The panel discussion will be held underneath the ETH Zurich pavilion and is part of the IDEAS CITY Festival program.

Register free here