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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 and

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

Expected outcome

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.


Graham Alabaster

Chief Geneva Office at UNHabitat

Dominique Bourg

Philosopher, Honorary Professor University of Lausanne (UNIL) - Member of the ECP scientific council

Duncan Baker-Brown

Architect, Founder at BakerBrown – School of Architecture and Design – University of Brighton

Sarah Barth

Architect, Atelier für Architektologie

Tobias Brosch

Associate Professor – Consumer Decision and Sustainable Behavior Lab – University of Geneva

Carmen De Jong

Professor of hydrology, University of Strasbourg

Peter Droege

Urban designer, urban sustainability expert - director of the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development

Sylvain Ferretti

Director General, Office de l'urbanisme, Canton of Geneva

François Gemenne

Director of the Hugo Observatory at the University of Liège, teacher at Sciences-Po and the Sorbonne

Camille Gilloots

Project Manager, Competence Centre for Sustainability, UNIL

Gregory Giuliani

Head of the Digital Earth Unit (GRID-Geneva) & Senior Lecturer in Earth Observations - University of Geneva

Susanna Hecht

Professor, International History and Politics - IHEID

Andrea Gritti

Professeur Associé - Department of Architecture and Urban Studies du Politecnico di Milano.

Alexandre Hedjazi

Lecturer – Institute of Environmental Sciences – University of Geneva

Pierre Hollmuller

Lecturer / Scientific Assistant, Department F.-A. Forel of Environmental and Water Sciences – Faculty of Sciences – University of Geneva

Sonia Lavadinho

Founding director of Bfluid foresight research

Anthony Lehmann

Associate professor, Institute for Environmental Sciences – University of Geneva

René Longet

Sustainable Development Expert

Winy Maas

Architect, founder & partner of MVRDV architecture agency, Rotterdam

Michel Meyer

Head of Geothermal Development (sig)

Guillaume de Morsier

Architect, urban planer, co-founder de Kunik de Morsier, Lausanne CH

Panos Mantziaras

Director, Fondation Braillard Architectes

Yupar Myint

Head of Entrepreneurship, Impulse – for tech innovators, Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge

Robert Sadleir

Economist, founder of Bureau Haus ltd. – ECP scientific council member

Marlyne Sahakian

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Geneva

Martin Schlaepfer

Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity and Sustainability, University of Geneva

Dirk Sijmons

Landscape architect, founder of H+N+S Landscape Architects

Werner Sobek

Engineer, architecte, University of Stuttgart

Michèle Tranda-Pittion

Doctor in architecture and urban planing, University of Geneva

Benjamin Villard

Project manager, Delegate for the ecological transition and the agglomeration project

Paola Viganò

Architect, urban planer, director of Habitat Research Center (EPFL), professor at IUAV Venice

Marjolein Visser

Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Mathis Wackernagel

Founder & President of Global Footprint Network – ECP scientific council member

Gwenaëlle Zunino

Research fellow, School of architecture of Nancy

Design Studio

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.

Theory Masterclass

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.

Inter disciplinarity
Evolving knowledge

The courses offer a concise introduction to the challenges, the latest theoretical advances and the most recent data on the transition through four themes:

  1. The challenges of the ecological transition
  2. Parameters & Dimensions
  3. The Human Factor
  4. 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.

1. Introduction : The challenge of the transition project

02 Mar. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Panos Mantziaras
Agriculture & Food Systems: Food ecology for would-be food enabling urbanists
02 Mar. 2023, 11:00 – 16:00 | Marjolein Visser
Living in the Era of Persistent Overshoot: What will become valuable?
02 Mar. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Mathis Wackernagel
The urgency of ecological transition
03 Mar. 2023, 09:00 – 13:00 | Dominique Bourg
Hydrological Transitions for Mountain Metropolises
03 Mar. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Carmen De Jong
Geopolitics in the Age of the Anthropocene
03 Mar. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | François Gemenne
Le Grand Genève et l'écologie
04 Mar. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Sylvain Ferretti
Coordination session
04 Mar. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Panos Mantziaras

2. Parameters & decisions

From ecosystem services to sustainable development
30 Mar. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Anthony Lehmann
Global warming mapping
30 Mar. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Gregory Giuliani
Practical advice for incorporating biodiversity and climate into projects and plans
30 Mar. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Martin Schlaepfer
The Doughnut of the Grand Genève, a guiding tool for coordinated cross-border political action towards the ecological transition.
30 Mar. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Camille Gilloots
The parameters of natural solutions
31 Mar. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Alexandre Hedjazi
Energy systems: from resource to use, challenges and opportunities
31 Mar. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Pierre Hollmuller
The basic metrics for decarbonation and resilience in the urban realm
31 Mar. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Panos Mantziaras
A history of the environmental crises
31 Mar. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Susanna Hecht
The geo-resources of the Greater Geneva
01 Apr. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Michel Meyer
Coordination session
01 Apr. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Panos Mantziaras

3. The human factor

Behavioral perspectives for sustainable action: psychological barriers and levers
04 May. 2023, 09:00 – 13:00 | Tobias Brosch
Citizenship in the antropocene
04 May. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Dirk Sijmons
Mobility spaces in the ecological transition
04 May. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Sonia Lavadinho
Personal transformation and creating change for real-world transition
05 May. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Robert Sadleir
Sustainable well-being in cities: an approach based on practices and needs for more sustainable consumption
05 May. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Marlyne Sahakian
The economics of ecological transition
05 May. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Robert Sadleir
The role of social capital in the incubation of new ventures: Cambridge (UK) experience
05 May. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Yupar Myint
René Longet Conference
06 May. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | René Longet
Coordination session
06 May. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Panos Mantziaras

4. The building factor

Design for planetary deep decarbonization
01 Jun. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Peter Droege
The ecological transition of the horizontal metropolis. The greater Geneva case
01 Jun. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Paola Viganò
UN-Habitat strategies for a sustainable and just urban world
01 Jun. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Graham Alabaster
Towards Ecotopia: how urbanism can lead to a carbon positive world
01 Jun. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Winy Maas
Design in the age of emergency
02 Jun. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Duncan Baker-Brown
Reinvention of modernity
02 Jun. 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 | Sarah Barth
Build for more with less – and without emissions
02 Jun. 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 | Werner Sobek
The architectural archeology of the ecological transition
02 Jun. 2023, 16:00 – 18:00 | Andrea Gritti
Presentation of the Geneva site chosen for the Design Studio
03 Jun. 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 | Panos Mantziaras
Coordination session
03 Jun. 2022, 11:00 – 13:00 | Panos Mantziaras

Design Studio

Regenerative city
Biosourced architecture

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.

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™.

Public Relations
Historian - Archivist
Executive Assistant
Mélodie SIMON
Communication Manager
Gwenaëlle ZUNINO
Project Manager

Our partners

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.

Theory Masterclass:
4 modules
2,5 days/module
Design Studio:
10 intense design days
2 consecutive weeks