M1 Landscape Modeling

The course focuses on acquiring the necessary skills to model, analyze and produce topographic models in the design process. Both analog and digital techniques are used ranging from intuitive sand modeling to precise digital analysis. Starting with sand modeling, students learn how to capture these models in 3D and continue their topographic model digitally. Computer modeling techniques are then used to output their models on the various CNC machines available. Various other potentialities for topographical modeling are also explored for example showing the design process over time. The end result is the integration of modeling in the landscape design process, not just for final presentations but as a dynamic modeling, verification and rapid prototyping tool.


Instructor Ilmar Hurkxkens


Students:Jacqueline Frizi, Maki Hasegawa

jm_06Maki and Jacqueline worked on finding the balance between natural and man-made elements on the site. By noticing, that the vertical connections in the site are mostly man-made, they continued their work through parallel to the Linthcanal expansions of the natural element, such as a renaturalized green and water zone. Vertical dikes would control the water flow and collect the water from the smaller canals in this zone, in order to protect the agriculture zone from flooding and keep it productive.

The work process in Module 1 included a wide range of tools. From sand models in order to form some intuitional ideas to detailed milled models, texturing the different zones. Finally this team presented, some vertical sections with alternatives of the same main idea in sand and foam models

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Presentation Poster


M1_3 Qualities of Water Element

Sudents: Angelos Komninos, Argyro Theodoropoulou


By the end of Module 1, Angelos and Iro, were really interested in the way that the flooding phenomenon has formed decisively the topography of this area through the years. They presented a way to keep the land productive, by seeking alternative ways to protect the character of the area, such as massive wet areas near the Linth canal, which are able to collect flooding water while offering opportunities for the land and soil such as wet agriculture.

The work process, through massive use of sand models, helped them find the topographical borders of the wet area, mostly because of the flexibility of the material, and the repetitive testing of the different variations of their idea.

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Presentation Poster

M1_Controlling Chaos

Students: Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Gebhard Merk


Geby and Mohamed, dealt with the variant of landfill, in Module 1, in order to protect the urban space and the agricultural areas against flooding. By focusing between Uznach and Schmerikon, they proposed a new secure residential area and commercial space through the embankment of a continuously rising hill from the lake. This embankment would be constructed by the excavated material from Ricken tunnel.

This team milled a foam model that represented the situation of a hundred-year-flood, and combined it with an amount of sand that represented the excavated material, in order to form many variants of their proposal.

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Presentation Poster

M1_The Island

Students: Alexandre Roulin, Sofia Priftisa_07

At the Module 1 final exercise, Sofia and Alex focused on the design of an island in the site, as a safe place in case of a great flooding. As their design was influenced by the idea of water dynamics, they worked with various sand models, shaping the sand in the same way that the water would erode or accumulate alluvial deposit. Some alternatives of this island came up, following more the water lines.

A major concern was about the edges of the island, so the work process continued in a smaller scale, with a greater detail (milled model). Working in a smaller scale gave them the opportunity to show different kind of edges, varying from soft to hard edges.

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Presentation Poster