From Caracas to Zurich: interdisciplinary design for social architecture


A conference by Alfredo Brillembourg

Jeudi, 25 Février, 2016
18:30 to 20:00

Venue: University of Geneva, Uni Carl-Vogt, 66 bd Carl-Vogt, Room B001

The rapid and complex expansion of the cities brings up new issues and challenges, notably in terms of architecture, urban planning and sustainable development. Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) was founded in Venezuela in 1993, with the aim to explore design as a strategy for sustainable urban development throughout the world by delivering innovative yet practical solutions through combined skills of architects, civil engineers, environmental planners, landscape architects and communication specialists. They work in global contexts by creating bridges between first world industry and emerging nations and informal urban areas. They focus on the education and development of a new generation of professionals, who will transform the cities in the 21st Century.

Partnership and dialogue between stakeholders – communities, governments and industry partners – are at the heart of their process. This conference and the following roundtable will underline this essential aspect as a key for sustainable urban architecture. The different related issues will be highlighted through the presentation of several U-TT’s examples – from Caracas to Zurich – bringing to the forefront how knowledge transfer from the Global South to the North can impact contemporary cities and the many challenges they are confronted with.

Main speaker:

Alfredo Brillembourg graduated as architect from Columbia University New York in 1986 and founded Urban-Think Tank in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1993. He has been guest professor in several universities (USA and Venezuela), lecturer at conferences around the world and he founded the S.L.U.M Lab with Hubert Klumpner in 2007 in New York. Since May 2010, he has held the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich.


Isabelle Milbert, Professor of anthropology and sociology of development at IHEID
Pierre Martinot-Lagarde, Special adviser at ILO
Alexandra Thorer, Architect at Urban Sociology Lab (EPFL)


A3 poster