Photography_The reality of an image lecture by Corina Rüegg

Landscape Video & Photography module started with a intense workshop, where we had the opportunity to film on site during Friday and Saturday and discuss with Suzanne Hoffer the main storyboard of each team’s video project. Another great input about how we percieve space through photographs was given today by Corina Rüegg ( , followed by great discussions between her and the rest of the MAS LA students.


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M4 Workshop with Luis Fraguada

The MAS LA students, just finished a three-days workshop with our guest tutor, Luis Fraguada,  as the start of Module 4.

We worked with Luis’ plug in for Grasshopper, Ghowl,, and we had an introduction to arduino and the use of the different sensors for collecting data. Another site visit, with the testing of the sensors concluded our three days workshop with Luis.

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Marc Wilson & Patrick Sykes: The Last Stand

Timing is everything in Marc Wilson’s photographs. “You maybe get ten minutes,” he says, “before the sun has come up above the horizon but you have some light, a very soft grey and blue.” The landscapes he shoots are similarly precarious. Wilson’s series The Last Stand documents the remains of coastal fortifications that lined Northern Europe during the Second World War — bunkers swallowed by the sea, pillboxes barely clinging to land, buildings ripped from their foundations and wrecked on the rocks — from Allied positions on England’s east coast and the far tip of the Northern Isles, to the once German-occupied archipelago of the Channel Islands and the remains of the Atlantikwall, the colossal Nazi defense network which stretched from Norway to Spain.


The series draws attention to places that were once vital to world affairs and have since been left to ruin, their histories obscured or forcibly erased. One photograph, taken in Wissant, France, depicts a bunker that was later declared a safety hazard and demolished by the local government. Wilson is adamant that the sites should be left untouched. He understands the desire to break with the past, he says, “but if you start removing all the physical reminders, then we’ll have no history left. I don’t think they should be preserved as such, but they need to be protected from a secondary human interaction. That natural process of time is important.”

That protective impulse is evident in his compositions. In addition to the early-morning light, which flattens out any dramatic shadows, Wilson’s preference for using a large format camera helps to naturalize the elements in the frame. More importantly, the fortifications are always framed in their surroundings: they are never abstracted as pure architecture, and there are no interior views. After selecting a subject, he says, “I’d try and get as far back from it as I could, so I could see it as much within its environment as possible, then walk back towards it until I’d found the right composition where the object sat in the landscape.” At Arromanches les bains, Normandy — heart of the D-Day landings — he stood further back, “to show more respect.”

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Wilson’s images invite the viewer to revisit the scene and plot the traces between the built and unbuilt elements, quietly posing the question of what took place there. The line between natural and unnatural — already camouflaged by architects who designed the defenses to blend in with the landscape — has been progressively blurred over time, and Wilson’s photographs are studies of buildings that have taken on features of their surroundings: a forest bunker in Lossiemouth, Scotland, is overrun by dappled moss; a pillbox in nearby Findhorn is invaded by algae; the bricks of an outpost at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, England, are weathered by a sea that does not discriminate between the fortification and the rock on which it stands. Perhaps most troubling is the possibility that it was all for nothing. Borders will be drawn, defended and abandoned for as long as human conflict exists, but the passage of time, as revealed in nature’s slow, disinterested advance, renders the effort to defend them insignificant.

We talk about the ethics of aestheticizing decay. Is there not a risk in making something beautiful out of something terrible? “If someone photographs something that’s decaying for purely visual reasons then I don’t see the point of it,” Wilson says, “because you’re ignoring the history of the place, and if anything is ruined or abandoned then there’s always going to be a history to it.” His aim, rather, is to produce “constant, never-changing visual triggers” — stills only in the photographic sense — which evoke a larger history.

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When Paul Virilio walked sections of the Atlantikwall for his book Bunker Archaeology(1994), he noted a fundamental shift in military design. Until World War II, he wrote, “Fortifications had always been oriented toward a specific, staked-out objective: the defense of a passageway, a pass, steps, valleys, or ports.” Along the Atlantikwall, however, “You could walk day after day along the seaside and never once lose sight of these concrete altars built to face the void of the oceanic horizon. The immensity of this project is what defies common sense; total war was revealed here in mythic dimension.” Wilson’s photographs play on the pathos of this mythic dimension. Fixed, monolithic, but without solid foundation, many of his concrete altars face at least half a frame of empty expanse — sea or sky. They have been left behind by the war they waged — yet their melancholy watch continues.

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The shifting landscape can impede that lookout only temporarily. Should the bunkers become submerged in water or subsumed by sand, Wilson says, “They’ll always be there; we just won’t have access to them. And in twenty, thirty years, they may reappear, as the water levels go down, as the sand dunes shift. So you could have these bits of memory and history constantly peeking out again and then disappearing — a beautiful idea.”

— Patrick Sykes

WS3 _Design Input

After the end of our second three-day Design Input Workshop, with FrédéricRossano, the MAS LA student team had a presentation about the Final Synthesis projects, with Christof Girot and the rest of the teaching team. The diversity of the projects was very interesting and the feedback from the teaching team was extremely helpfull.

So lets continue the hard work till July!

Sofia Prifti, Jacqueline Frizi

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Mohamed Abdel Wahab

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Argyro Theodoropoulou, Angelos Komninos

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Maki Hasegawa, Gebhard Merk

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Gaganjit Singh

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Alexandre Roulin, George Sarmaniotis

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In Landscapes Photography

Today, photographer Petros Koublis, presents this magnificent work called “In Landscapes” where nature takes on a dimension of peace with a beauty frozen in time. Almost all of these pictures were taken just 50 kms from Athens to highlight the timeless face of Greek political decline beauty. Photographs of breathtaking beauty to discover below.


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                                                                                     _ Mohamed Abdel  Wahabmoe

Mohamed Abdel Wahab was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1991. He studied Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport where he graduated with excellence. During his studies he contributed to the Architectural Magazine and entered a World Architecture competition and was one of the thirty winners. During the summers between the years 2010 and 2012 he worked as an intern in Sweden, Egypt and Switzerland respectively.

He is currently part of the MAS LA student team and his goal is to contribute to the fields of landscape and architecture all over the world.

_Jacqueline Frizizak

Jacqueline Frizi, was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1988. She completed her five year education as an Architect Engineer, in the Technical University of Crete, with a grade of excellence.  In parallel to her studies she had been working on two different research programs, as well as taking part in several architecture design exhibitions, workshops and competitions. After finishing her studies she worked as an architect in Greece, gaining practical experience.

She received a scholarship for the MAS program, by the Geisendorf Foundation for Architecture and is currently part of the MAS LA student team.

_Maki Hasegawamaki

 Maki Hasegawa, graduated Tokyo University of Agriculture in Landscape Architecture and worked as a landscape architect, civil engineer, surveyor and project manager at big construction sites in Japan for 5 years. She also used to work with JICA [Japanese International Cooperation Agency] as a landscape architect in Tanzania for 2 years. Some of her projects have been realizing now. Taking advantage of long experience in Africa and MAS LA program, she really would like to contribute to sustainable development in landscape architecture in the future.

_Angelos Komninosangelos

Angelos Komninos was born in Athens, Greece in 1987. He got his master’s  degree from the National Technical University of Athens,  after studying  architecture for five years. He then worked for one year as a freelance architect in Greece, taking part in several  architectural competitions . He has received an award for the best diploma project of the year 2012 (from “Greek Architects” e-magazine ) and honorable mention for the design of public space and landmark design in the coastal front of Thessaloniki (working team with Argyro Theodoropoulou and Panos Tsamalis).

He currently lives in Zurich, studying at the ETH, in the Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture.

_Gebhard Merkgeby

Gebhard Patrick Merk was born in Switzerland in 1981.He studied Geomatik-Ing. at ETH and later on he completed a Master of Science, also at ETH. Since then he has been working in multiple fields such as Engineering Surveying, Structural and Geo-Monitoring, UAV Mapping, Scanning, Industrial Metrology, Spatial and Landscape planning.

His work “Field to Internet: Anytime and Anywhere” – Optimized processes in structural health monitoring systems of natural and man-made structures” has been published.

 _Sofia Priftisofia

Sofia Prifti was born in Athens, Greece in 1985. She studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. In 2008, as  an exchange student at Ecole Superieure d’ Architecture de Versailles, she worked on her thesis project “Rue de Belleville”. She is currently attending the Mas in Landscape Arcitecture at the ETH University, for which she has received a scholarship from the Geisendorf Foundation for Architecture.

_Alexandre Roulinalex

Alexandre Roulin was born in 1978 in Switzerland. After finishing high school he learned gardening and went to the university of applied sciences of Geneva to study landscape architecture. After the first two semesters he switched to the university of Rapperswil, where he obtained his diploma in 2006. He then worked two years as a freelancer and joined metron Bern AG in 2009, where he still is working as a landscape architect.

His motivations for joining the MAS are to learn the newest technics of landscape simulation and visualization and to improve his design skills. Working part time and studying at the same time keep his weeks very busy but very exciting, too.

_Gaganjit Singhgagan

Gaganjit Singh is an architect from India, interested in illustrations, sculpture and computation.

_George Sarmaniotisgeorge

George Sarmaniotis, was born in Larisa, Greece in 1981. He completed a Master in Architecture in the University of Thessaly. After his degree, he worked as a freelance architect in Greece, between the years 2006-2008. Later on he expanded his working experience as an architect, in the design department at Eco synthesis construction and development in Nicosia, Cyprus (2008-2013). In parallel to his work, he attended an MBA program in the Open  University of Cyprus.

_Argyro Theodoropoulouiro

Argyro Theodoropoulou was born in Heraklion , Greece in 1987. In 2012 she earned her master in Architecture-Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens [NTUA], with the grade of 8,78 /10.  In 2010 she studied as an exchange student in Technical University of Madrid [E.T.S.A.M.], where she worked for her personal research, under the supervision of Manuel De Prada, on the architectural work of Rafael Moneo.  Since she graduated, she participated in several workshops and architectural competitions, winning honorable mention for the design of public space and landmark design in the coastal front of the city of Thessaloniki ,(working team: Komninos Angelos, Tsamalis Panagiotis, Argyro Theodoropoulou).

She currently lives in Zurich, studing in the ETH in Master of Advanced studies in Landscape architecture.

WS2_Design Input

The MAS LA team, had the great opportunity to make a three-days  workshop with Frédéric Rossano. Though role-playing exercises, sketches and inspiring presentations by Frédéric, we worked with traditional designing methods and formed our first design ideas for the site.IMG_1739

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M2 Landscape Visualization

The course aims to empower the designer to integrate visualization techniques into all levels of the design process, enabling communication, prototyping, and atmospheric simulation from sketch design to final presentation. An emphasis on flexible and non-destructive workflows allows designers and collaborators to maximize both the quality and efficiency of design output. An introduction to the strengths of combining various software packages leads directly to the practical application of these tools to project-oriented outcomes. An additional focus is on techniques to optimize and streamline these tools for design and workflow processes.


Instructor James Melsom

M6 Final Synthesis

The goal of the final synthesis is the experimental use and combination of all tools within an individual project.We challenge the students to go beyond the boundaries of conventional domains and test the tools in analysis, design, and visualization. The programs and different CAAD/CAAM techniques, which the students have become acquainted with in the different modules, complement each other and should be applied and recombined to explore new design methodologies in their final project. The concluding module acts as a test case for the questions or agenda which have been defined during the MAS LA teaching year. A number of discussion/presentation deadlines during the MAS LA serve to test the individual questions or agenda. During the final working phase the students will be supervised with one-on-one weekly meetings.

Instructor MAS LA teaching team + invited guests