Technology Meets Architecture: Towards Collective Cities

On Monday, August 19th, the open talk and reception “Technology meets Architecture – Towards Collective Cities: Swiss-Korean contribution for sustainable co-working spaces” took place at the Embassy of Switzerland in Seoul. The event was hosted by the Science and Technology office to an audience of about 84, among professors, students, architects, companies and researchers.

The event celebrated the beginning of the Seoul Biennale in Architecture and Urbanism (SBAU) and the exchange program ARC-HEST – “Architecture for human environment with smart technologies” initiated by the Science and Technology Office and fruit of one year of constant work of professors from Swiss and Korean universities.
30 selected talents form EPFL, University of Fribourg, HEIA Fribourg, EWHA University, Hanyang University and SKKU will work on the concept of comfort in the working space in Seoul. The same students will also attend the second part of the program, a winter school in Fribourg, Switzerland next February.

After a welcoming message by Daniel Derzic, the Chargé d’Affaires a.i, Embassy of Switzerland, and a short introduction of the ARC-HEST program and STO activities by Laura Acosta, Project Manager at Science and Technology Office, the open talk started.
Prof. Rafael Luna from Hanyang University and Seoul Biennale curator shared an interesting glimpse into the topic of cities of the SBAU.

The heart of the open talk was an overview of the collective contribution from all 10 professors involved in the program, a perfect showcase of the diversity of backgrounds such as architecture, computer science, civil/environmental engineering and business and their harmonious integration.

In the second part, Ms. Ko from FastFive presented the now and future of co-environments, addressing the preference of millennials shifting towards shared co-working spaces.
The open talk closed with a contribution from Martin Gonzenbach, director of Smart Living Lab and EPFL Fribourg, about collective design in education, research and practice.

The networking moment at the end of the open talk facilitated the interaction between the speakers and the audience and the establishments of new contacts for future fruitful cooperation in the beautiful evening lighted courtyard.

The Science and Technology Office Seoul and the Embassy of Switzerland thank all the participants and the sponsors – FastFive, Geberit Korea and Sensirion – for the support to the program.


The closing ceremony for the ARC-HEST program and EPFL Material Sciences students’ MX on Tour  took place together on Friday, August 30 at the Embassy of Switzerland.

All six groups of ARC-HEST students shared their final presentation based on their architectural research and analysis on Korean co-working spaces and juries including the professors of the program evaluated and provided feedbacks for each team.

The participants of both programs also shared their own experiences over the past weeks in Korea. The closing ceremony then ended with a great networking.