Watch the film made at this year’s TW and meet the speakers, tutors and participants of this extraordinary project.
“The ecological transition is an indispensable step towards the resolution of the climate emergency.“
“City wisdom became almost entirely centered on the problems of human relationships, in contrast to the wisdom of any natural tribal group, where relationships with the rest of the animate and inanimate world are still given due place.”
“A multidisciplinary reading is a cross-reference consideration of all the fields that are involved in the ecological struggle.”
Cities and regions, communities and individuals: we all brace for a radical transformation of our lifestyles, to address the Climate Emergency. Precisely those of us who shape our living spaces – architects, urban planners, engineers, administrators, scholars and the private sector – fully aspire to a new project for the 21st century.
The Braillard Architects Foundation calls on new generations of stakeholders to participate in the Transition Workshop™: an intensive and comprehensive interdisciplinary training framework focused on architecture, urbanism and landscape. Come and join us to invent together the design tools for the ecological transition, and to develop innovative strategies in the face of future challenges.
Methods andResilienceDecarbonization content
The Transition Workshop offers a new educational framework to accelerate the ecological transition of the built realm. It aims to:
- Deepen the knowledge on the built environment and its sustainable development.
- Develop and transmit design tools and methods for decarbonizing and resilient cities.
- Train a new generation of professionals to face the climate emergency.
- The Ecological Transition requires a new approach to the planning and design of time-space sequences. These will have to combine nature, culture(s) and habitat(s) as new vectors of transformation.
CONTEXT & VISION | Since 2020, the Fondation Braillard Architectes (FBA) organizes the international Transition Workshop™, with our partners: Canton of Geneva, City of Geneva, University of Geneva, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG).
Cities and regions are key factors in the environmental crisis.
To meet the challenge of the ecological transition, a new professional generation is called upon to act with motivation and imagination.
To support it, the Braillard Architects Foundation offers with the Transition Workshop an innovative training cycle developed within its program The Eco-Century Project, at the crossroads of architecture, urban planning, landscape, environmental sciences and human and social sciences.
The FBA certificate introduces you to the dynamic network of the Transition Fellows and paves the way to successful professional careers.
STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK | The Transition Workshop™ creates an innovative educational framework to accelerate the ecological transition of cities by training a new generation of architects, designers and policy makers.
The educational framework of the workshop is:
- Conceived within the framework of The Eco-Century Project® which calls for a radical renewal of the principles, methods, theories and tools of urban planning to address the ecological imperative,
- Is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations,
- Set in the ideal framework of the Greater Geneva region for the study of environmental action through architectural, urban and landscape design,
- Developed in the excellent educational ecosystem of Lake Geneva and Switzerland,
- Based on a network of important public and private partners.
The Transition Workshop is designed as a learning experience for cross-scalar strategies, focused on stakeholder cooperation and tangible results, at the cutting edge of design, technology and collective action.
Contents and scales
- Theory and best practices of architectural, urban and landscape projects
- Environmental management
- Economy and city development
- Anthropology and sociology of habitats
- Buildings and neighbourhoods
- Cities and metropolitan regions
Stakeholders and local authorities are making their study cases and knowledge available in terms of:
- Construction methods and materials
- Landscape and biodiversity protection
- Production/consumption of energy, water and other resources
- Infrastructure and mobility models
- Urban lifestyles: work, leisure, culture
- Urban agriculture, permaculture and gardening
- Citizen participation, community building
The Transition Workshop 2023 offers to:
- Master’s students: a concise introduction to the issues and dimensions of ecological transition by design,
- Doctoral students: a cross-disciplinary overview of data and tools for the analysis of climate emergencies in the built environment,
- Young professionals: new tools for the design of the ecological transition at all scales,
- Municipal and regional administrators: strategic foresight and auditing frameworks for the zero carbon trajectories of cities.
Carmen De Jong
Guillaume de Morsier
The workshop is held in two parts:
4 sessions, from March to June
offers knowledge bundles in the form of courses and seminars.
Workshop from 10th to 21st July
invites the participants to elaborate a spatial project in teamwork format on a specific Geneva site.
The Theory Masterclass comprises 80 hours of courses and seminars delivered by renowned experts in a variety of fields: climate change, biodiversity, resources, energy, water management, food systems, psychology, sociology, economics, demographics, architecture, urbanism, regional planning, landscape, etc.
The courses offer a concise introduction to the challenges, the latest theoretical advances and the most recent data on the transition through four themes:
- The challenges of the ecological transition
- Parameters & Dimensions
- The Human Factor
- The Building Factor
The Transition Workshop™ aims to create a sense of community. Therefore, all courses and seminars are organized to be delivered on-site (in Geneva) or online, with the physical presence of all participants strongly recommended.
The participation and successful completion of the Theory Masterclass equals 4 ECTS.
1. Introduction : The challenge of the transition project
The urgency of ecological transition
Slow down first: the built world as the key to a thriving planet
Agriculture & Food Systems: Food ecology for would-be food enabling urbanists
Geopolitics in the Age of the Anthropocene
Le Grand Genève et l'écologie
2. Parameters & decisions
From ecosystem services to sustainable development
Global warming mapping
Practical advice for incorporating biodiversity and climate into projects and plans
The Doughnut of the Grand Genève, a guiding tool for coordinated cross-border political action towards the ecological transition.
The parameters of natural solutions
Energy systems: from resource to use, challenges and opportunities
Objectifs du développement durable
A history of the environmental crises
The geo-resources of the Greater Geneva
3. The human factor
Behavioral perspectives for sustainable action: psychological barriers and levers
Citizenship in the antropocene
Mobility spaces in the ecological transition
Personal transformation and creating change for real-world transition
The economics of ecological transition
Sustainable wellbeing in cities: a practice and needs-based approach to more sustainable consumption
The role of social capital in the incubation of new ventures: Cambridge (UK) experience
René Longet Conference
4. The building factor
Design for planetary deep decarbonization
The ecological transition of the horizontal metropolis. The greater Geneva case
Towards Ecotopia: how urbanism can lead to a carbon positive world
The architectural archeology of the ecological transition
Design in the age of emergency
Reinvention of modernity
Build for more with less – and without emissions
UN-Habitat strategies for a sustainable and just urban world
Presentation of the Geneva site chosen for the Design Studio
Based in Geneva, an international and cross-border metropolis sensitive to environmental issues, the Design Studio offers participants the opportunity to work as a team on a topical subject, in interaction with Geneva’s local and cantonal authorities.
TW23 | Ecological Densities
This year, the chosen site is located at the crossroads of three municipalities, near Geneva airport. The challenge will be to imagine the future of this district, through the prism of ecological transition.
Since four years, through project sites in the international framework of the Canton of Geneva, we actively respond to the need for responsible, rapid and informed action to transform buildings and cities into lean, resilient places, for biodiversity, solidarity and creativity. Design and construction methods are radically revisited in an open, collaborative and visionary way.
It takes place in the facilities of the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) – the Canton of Geneva’s energy provider and key partner of the Braillard Foundation – from 10th to 21st July 2023. These venues are located in the Geneva city-center, thus giving the participants access to one of the most friendly urban ambiences worldwide.
The participation and successful completion of the Design Studio equals 4 ECTS.
Who we are
The Braillard Architects Foundation was created in Geneva in 1987 to house the archives of the architects Maurice, Pierre and Charles Braillard and to support quality architecture and urbanism. Since 2015, the Foundation has been pursuing its research-and-culture program The Eco-Century Project®, under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Program. Within it, we develop the intensive and innovative Transition Workshop™.
Historian - Archivist
The Transition Workshop 2023 is realized within the framework of the multi-year research and cultural program The Eco-Century Project® of the Braillard Architects Foundation, under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Program, with the partnership of: Canton of Geneva, Federation of Swiss Architects (FAS), Swiss Federation of Urban Planners (FSU), Patrimoine Suisse Genève and Rentes genevoises. This programme examines the relationship between spatial planning disciplines and planetary resources.