Attention to human comfort and performance in the indoor built environment is growing worldwide due to the increased number of hours spent indoors and the space limitation in highly populated cities. The lack of comfort in the working space is strongly linked to health, performance, and efficiency of the occupants. It is well known that South Korea, particularly Seoul, has an extremely dense population and high amount of office employees working extensive hours. Oppositely, Switzerland is a country with a lower population, and it pays significant attention to the quality of life and balance between professional and personal life. The extreme working environment and cultural differences, traditions, and challenges of South Korea and Switzerland is fertile soil to brainstorm around the inside built environment issues. Korean dynamism and high potential for innovative solutions, on the one hand, and Swiss quality and strong positions in the research, on the other hand, are important inspirational sources for engineers and architects in both countries.



The strong traditions, wide use of advanced technologies and direction towards a sustainable society, that Switzerland and South Korea share, paves the way to the international cooperation between two countries to raise awareness about urbanism and related social issues and facilitate solutions inspired by different cultures and policies. Through the collaborative work of Swiss and Korean academicians and students from different disciplines such as architecture, engineering, computer science, sociology and psychology, this Academic Program in the form of Exchange Schools aims to comprehensively study the working environment in each country in conjunction with the local culture and architecture.



The Swiss academic team is comprised of educators from three Swiss institutions such as École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Haute école d’ingénierie et d’architecture de Fribourg (HEIA-FR), and University of Fribourg (UniFR). These institutions collaborate under the Smart Living Lab umbrella which is an interdisciplinary research platform that brings together researchers focusing on various aspects of the built environment aiming to address the challenges of future buildings collectively. The partnering three Korean institutions are EWHA Womans University, Hanyang University, and SungKyunKwan University (SKKU) that are well known in the field of architecture, architecture engineering research and education in South Korea and beyond. The Korean and Swiss academic educators are strongly supported by the Science and Technology Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Seoul and the Smart Living Lab.



The program will focus on the synergy of architectural design, human factors, and technologies in the office buildings and their combined effect on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and interaction of the occupants with the building



The joint pedagogical program in the framework of two-week long Exchange Schools, a Summer School 2019 in South Korea, and Winter School 2020 in Switzerland, will consist of lectures, workshops, and studios. All group project works will be closely associated with visits, performance assessments and interviews that are executed three selected case study buildings. The essential part of each Exchange School is the visit of 3 case study buildings by students and the analysis of the current state of the building design, operation, indoor comfort, occupant’s satisfaction, and behaviour by five different student groups. The main task of the student groups is to design a building assessment method, and to collect, process, and evaluate data from the existing buildings. Based on the findings the groups are asked to develop innovative solutions for the improvement of the built indoor environment, the satisfaction of the occupants with the building, and human-building interaction in the context of the diversity of occupants and architectural design across Switzerland and South Korea. The proposals should be based on proper analysis and evaluation of the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT).



The following Professors have committed their engagement with a series of two Exchange Schools within the framework of this Academic Exchange Program:

  • Swiss Academic Team (the Smart Living Lab team):
    • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne:  Prof. Dolaana Khovalyg, Prof. Dusan Licina
    • Haute école d’ingénierie et d’architecture de Fribourg: Prof. Raphaël Compagnon
    • University of Fribourg: Prof. Denis Lalanne
  • Korean Academic Team
    • Hanyang University: Prof. Sung-Taeg Nam, Prof. Rafael Luna
    • EWHA University: Prof. Yoonhie Lee
    • SungKyunKwan University: Prof. Thorsten Schuetze



  • Establishment of the long-term cooperation programme between the partners, facilitate the exchange of ideas among students and enhance creativity
  • Regular exchange of students between Swiss and Korean Universities on mutual basis.
  • Increased mutual knowledge of Swiss and Korean cultures and traditions in architecture, engineering, and technology
  • Reinforced Swiss scientific and cultural presence in the fields of architecture and construction in East-Asia and vice versa
  • Dissemination of the results of the two Exchange Schools – production of the short video (5-10 min) and publication of the illustrated book based on the contribution of students
  • Joint research topics originated from the meeting of different competencies among the academicians of the universities involved in the programme
  • Long-term research cooperation and scientific publications as a result of the joint research.