Beyond the Grid, 2009


Ludger Hovestadt

A retrospective of experimental works and prototypical projects, from 2000 to 2009, which clearly shows that we have only scratched the surface of digital technology's potential for concrete applications in architecture. The related new way of thinking about architectural elements transcends the paradigms of grid­thinking, precision, and efficiency. It is the practical demonstration of a self­conception, which renders digital computation seminal as a basis for a new and productive way to negotiate the idea of architecture, and this in real projects, between the initial appointment and the final result. The digitally mediated visibility of the becoming of architecture leads to the possibility of a non­predetermined yet still controllable diversity—one that integrates criteria and plans, processes and built architecture in a superordinate architectonic of continuous specification. Space for individual creativity emerges beyond the structure of the grid elicited by a generative force that tames the power of digital archives, instead of submitting to it.



Eds. Vera Bühlmann, Ludger Hovestadt

Technology is not simply technology, it changes character over time. We suggest there is a twin story to it. We call it metalithicum and postulate that it has always accompanied that of technology. It concerns the symbolics of the forms and schemes humans are applying for accommodating themselves within their environment. We assume that the protagonists of this twin story, the symbolics of those forms and schemes, are also not simply what they are but change character over time. From this perspective, Printed Physics looks at the technological and economical developments with which the physical characteristics of materials can be symbolically programmed, for example in the field of photovoltaics or in electronics more generally. These devices are being industrially produced by printing procedures. It is no exaggeration to call this a veritable printing revolution, although, unlike in Gutenbergs day, the printed products represent, primarily, their own functionality. They demonstrate what they can do in a technological, operative way.

This book is the first volume of the Applied Virtuality book series based on the metalithicum conferences organized twice a year, where distinguished personalities from a broad range of architecture-related fields come together to discuss particular technological developments that are economically significant and philosophically interesting. The conferences are organized by by the Laboratory of Applied Virtuality, at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich.

With contributions by Hans-Dieter Bahr, Vera Bühlmann, Helmut Geisert, Ludger Hovestadt, Hans Poser and Klaus Wassermann a.o.


Prespecifics, 2008


Eds. Vera Bühlmann, Martin Wiedmer

Some Comparatistic Investigations on Research in Design and Art.

In a rhizomatic kaleidoscope perspective from game design and jurisprudence meet with perspectives from marketing and architecture, anthropology, philosophy, theory of the financial markets and urbanism, car design and mathematics, critical and strategic design. The book features contributions, statements, and conversations amongst others with Gregg Lynn, Christopher P. Peterka, Wolfgang Weingart, Marcel Alexander Niggli, Christian Labonte, Fiona Raby and Anthony Dunne, Christian Doelker, Philipp Sarasin, Raymond Guidot, Eric Zimmerman, Manfred Fasseler.


CAAD. Books

Space Time Play, 2007


Eds. Friedrich von Borries, Steffen P. Walz, Matthias Böttger

The richly illustrated texts in "Space Time Play" cover a wide range of gamespaces: from milestone video and computer games to virtual metropolises to digitally-overlaid physical spaces. As a comprehensive and interdisciplinary compendium, "Space Time Play" explores the architectural history of computer games and the future of ludic space. More than 140 experts from game studies and the game industry, from architecture and urban planning, have contributed essays, game reviews and interviews. The games examined range from commercial products to artistic projects and from scientific experiments to spatial design and planning tools.

"Space Time Play" is not just meant for architects, designers and gamers, but for all those who take an interest in the culture of digital games and the spaces within and modeled after them. Let's play!

© ETH Zürich, CAAD, 01.2012










Grand Urban Rules, 2009


Alex Lehnerer

Grand Urban Rules offers a compilation and discussion of significant urban rules that have been invented and implemented by European, North American, and Asian cities. Not only does the reader get an overview of the functionality and repercussions of these rule sets, but also gains insight into the context and situation of specific cities through the lens of rule-based governance. Based on a database of approximately 100 relevant urban rules that have been created and researched at the ETH in Zurich, these rules describe built form with regard to physical characteristics, qualities and consequences as well as the distribution of program, density, urban performance and aesthetics.

Architecture and Information, Feb. 2012

MAS 2012 cover

Ludger Hovestadt

Beyond the Grid. A New Plateau!

The next big thing is not parametrics. It's not a new geometry. It is more than that. The stances of Ghery, Eisenman, Libeskind, UNstudio, Hadid and others are pointing the direction. We get a taste of what lies beyond. Just as from the aesthetical exercises of HdeM or Zumthor.

We have left the certainty of geometry, logic and arithmetic. The substrate of the new metalevel is symbolic.

We don't want to follow the reductionist functional view in architecture. We don't like the uncommitted structuralist attitude toward the global challenges. We want to start cultivating the new plateau. To widen the perspective. We want to be pioneers in learning to construct within the symbolic, seriously.

The MAS class opens a forum, establishes a network and works on practical experiments.

An extended book about the program of the Master of Advanced Studies at the CAAD, ETH Zürich.