Seminar Week - Mobilising for Change

Invitation letter

Subject: seminar week HS21
Date: 1 September 2021

Dear Student,

Urban transformation is intricately tied to power. If you want to create positive change through design, and mobilise people, it is crucial to understand power structures and how to navigate them.

Therefore we invite you to join us for a playful week of excursions, discussions and rehearsals, culminating in a theatrical role playing game. Together we will discover and discuss the impact of power hierarchies and dynamics on the ways in which we design and develop our environments.

During the seminar week, which lasts from Monday 25 until Friday 29 October, we will visit a range of urban transformation and adaptive infrastructure projects that exemplify complex power structures. We will meet different actors involved in the making of these projects: activists, politicians, civil servants, architects, residents and others. It will give us a unique glimpse into the personal motives and the various persuasion and negotiation techniques of those involved.

We will be guided by Andrea Reimer, a power expert and a former city council member and deputy mayor of Vancouver, who will help us to discover, express and strengthen our own power and ability to mobilise others. The week will be concluded with an experimental role playing game in an attempt to collectively pre-enact a future urban redevelopment in Zürich from a variety of perspectives and positions of power. For this occasion we will turn our Design in Dialogue Lab into a theatre stage.

The program takes place in and around Zurich. It will include a number of excursions, bike trips, train rides, collective dinners, a theater visit, film screenings and a collective performance. It also includes a day trip to Bern, the political heart of Switzerland. At the end of the week you will be better able to recognize and anticipate power dynamics and different forms of democracy and decision making.

You will also be better equipped to talk about power and use it to create change in the real world.

We look forward to exploring the potential of power with you.

Sincerely, on behalf of NEWROPE,

Lukas Fink and Michiel van Iersel

Einhausung Schwamendingen, Zürich (source: Baublatt/Ben Kron)


– Announcement
– Seminar Week HS21 - Mobilising for Change
– 25 - 29 October 2021
– Zürich & Bern
– Open to ETH students
– Number of participants: 16-24
– Price category: A
– Contact: Lukas Fink