TEN is a group of individuals made up of architectural historians, architects, designers, writers and makers from leading international research institutions based in Zurich, Switzerland. We come together outside the frame of our institutional research on a voluntary basis to develop interdependent and collaborative projects across the broad spectrum of cultural production, with a specific focus on self-initiated and non-profit design by research. Our research output includes public events, teaching programs resulting in publications and exhibitions, and a socially engaged architecture and design practice encompassing both theory and making. We strive as a collective to connect architectural research, pedagogy and public engagement. TEN has recently been nominated as a finalist in the architecture category for the Swiss Art Award of 2018.
The Maarten Delbeke Chair for the History and Theory of Architecture, gta, D-ARCH, ETH Zurich, is responsible for teaching and research in the history and theory of art and architecture before ca. 1850, in close consultation with the other Chairs of the gta. More in particular, we examine and test the relevance of this history in the context of a Department of Architecture, not with the aim of sustaining a narrowly defined operative view of history, nor of understanding the present merely as the result of a long history, but of complicating the understanding of architecture and its meaning, agency and legitimacy by means of an intricate reading of its past. Historical architecture inspires enthusiasm about the built environment precisely when historical distance is at once recognized and overcome in the close encounter with the various artefacts that populate our present or were present in our past. Given the multi-faceted relationship of buildings with time and history, an engagement with historical architecture seems indispensable to develop a balanced reading of the built environment, to grasp the formal and material elements that constitute architecture, and to grasp what constitutes the very domain of architecture.
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