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The chair of Prof. Dr. Josep Lluis Mateo at the ETH Zurich was running from 2002 until 2014. In the following archive you find information about the work produced during this period.

On Teaching

Our mission is, of course, to teach people how to design: to imagine in physical terms a new reality and, furthermore, to be able to make it possible – to build it. My interest is more methodological and abstract – more instrumental than stylistic – and is situated between awareness of the students’ freedom of choice (we, the teachers, ask the questions; they, the students, provide the answers) and the need to provide the instruments and the appropriate framework for their action.

As I see it, the practice of architecture centers on the idea-matter dialectic. In architecture, the two terms are intrinsically interrelated in a very specific way. Accordingly, our students are faced with the task of introducing solid matter into ideal abstraction, using the logic of the supporting structure as the principle of order for the project, or imagining light as a material for constructing space, thereby relating the physical world of sensible experience to the abstraction of the idea. In this process, it is also important to highlight both the need for pragmatism and the fire that emanates from its apparent opposite: the anticipatory delirium of the constructor of the future. Without this fire, architecture loses its value. Finally, one of the things it is possible (but difficult) for the teacher to transmit is enthusiasm: a lively interest in knowledge and discovery. This is what we try to do.

Josep Lluis Mateo July 2012

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