The Making Of

Dept. of the Ongoing

The Making Of is a series of podcast conversations that accompany the making of the Dept. of the Ongoing. For a first series of episodes, entitled School, we trust in what’s already present in our institution: we invite students, assistants, researchers, professors active in different departments of D-ARCH to talk about their work and practice, as the common ground on which we can collectively conceive and construct the Dept. of the Ongoing as a shared platform.

Season 1. Episode 3. Soundings and Spatial Storytelling

Ludwig Berger is a landscape sound artist and educator. In his compositions, installations and performances, he enables intimate and playful sonic encounters with plants, animals, buildings and geological entities. In his musical work, Berger produces sonic eco-fictions with processed and synthetic sounds. He studied electroacoustic composition at the University of Music Weimar and Musicology, Art History and Literature at the University of Eichstätt. As a sound researcher and teacher at the Institute for Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich from 2015-2022, Berger studied the sonic dimension of Japanese gardens, alpine glaciers and urban landscapes. He has composed sound and music for award-winning films and theatre pieces and curates the landscape sound festival "Sonic Topologies" in Zurich and the experimental music label Vertical Music.

Michael Hoi Ming Du is one of the initiators of SEKUNDOS, a group of students from ETH D-arch who are working on a study of identities morphologies through the format of music and sounds. Their aim is to recognize pluralities and emphasize singularities. In recent years Michael has been interested in how social gatherings, sonic memories, and improvisational performances influence architecture and spatiality, and have made performances and installation works to explore these topics.

Season 1. Episode 2.  Architectural Wor()ds Within the Undercommons

In this episode, hosts of The Making Of School, Khensani de Klerk and Els Silvrants-Barclay introduce us to the new seminar (German: Wahlfach) that they have initiated through the Dept. Of the Ongoing called ’Architectural Wor(l)ds within the Undercommons’. In doing so, they narrate their introductory performance lecture, which included a collective reading in person of the introduction to the Undercommons (The Wild Beyond by Jack Halberstam), p. 5-12.

Halberstam, Jack. The Wild Beyond by Jack Halberstam. in Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. The Undercommons : Fugitive Planning & Black Study. 2013. p. 5-12
Hill Collins, Patricia. Black Feminist Thought. 2000
Miljački, Ana, Gooden, Mario & Lewis, Paul. I Would Prefer Not To: Live Broadcast. (2022).
Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. "On Nonscalability: The Living World is not Amenable to Precision Nested Scales" Common Knowledge (New York, N.Y.) 25.1-3 (2019): 143-62.
Russell, Legacy. Glitch Feminism. La Vergne: Verso, 2020.

Season 1. Episode 1. Academia?! Practice, Theory and Activism 

In this episode, spatial practitioners Faiq Mari, Santiago del Hierro, Khensani de Klerk and Els Silvrants-Barclay discuss the challenges, contradictions and opportunities that emerge when activism is entangled within academic research. They explore and share ways to navigate their engagements for bettering the communities they exist in through their activist lives, while at the same time feeding a systemic currency of reputation of the institutions they work in. How can academic research leverage access to resources for continued activism to occur, without instrumentalising or merely ‘performing’ it? Can activism offer another way to put architectural 'theory' in practice? 

Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. The Undercommons : Fugitive Planning & Black Study. 2013.
Hill Collins, Patricia. Black Feminist Thought. 2000


Faiq Mari is an architect, educator, and researcher. His work explores architecture’s potential as a tool for social and political investigation and action. Faiq’s research studies the spatiality of Zionist colonialism in Palestine, as well as Palestinian anticolonial and socioeconomic struggle. He is an editor of the magazine, Arab Urbanism. Faiq is currently a doctoral fellow at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta) at ETH Zürich. Prior to joining the gta Faiq practiced architecture and taught at Birzeit and Al-Quds universities in Palestine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Birzeit University and a master’s degree in architecture history and theory from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

Santiago del Hierro is an Ecuadorian architect and researcher based in The Hague and Zurich. Since 2008, his work has focused on the geopolitics of the Andean Amazon. As a doctoral fellow at ETH Zurich, he is currently researching the potential connections between intercultural higher education and forest conservation. Santiago holds a master’s in architecture from Yale University, where he attended as a Fulbright scholar. Between 2009 and 2010, he was a design researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht and between 2011 and 2017, he taught at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, where he developed and coordinated the Urban and Territorial Design Masters program.

Season 1. Episode 0. ‘Well, we’re here. Here we are now’

In this preview episode, hosts of The Making Of… Khensani de Klerk and Els Silvrants-Barclay have a first conversation introducing the podcast show. The premise draws from what Fred Moten mentions in conversation with Stefano Harney in their book The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013) where they enter their classroom as teachers in saying ‘Well, we’re here. Here we are now’. They do not start the class, but rather acknowledge that learning, or what they explicitly call (and we follow in calling), study, is already happening. Study, that is being together in a speculative practice in movement where we walk with others and talk about ideas across bodies, space and things. We start the podcast show by ‘not calling the class to order’, by celebrating the buzz of voices in the room that we invite you to join in over this first season. In not calling the class to order, and in joining that subversion of the word study, we discuss other terms that we often use during study, to welcome you to study with us. As a site of discussion, The Making Of… is a space for constant revision, updating, adding - it is ongoing. In the spirit of this ongoingness, we expose the volatility of it all - think of how we are assembling, gleaning, creating, beyonding.

Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. The Undercommons : Fugitive Planning & Black Study. 2013.
Lorde, Audre. The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. 2000. Print.
Menna Agha, and Léopold Lambert. "OUTRAGE." The Architectural Review 1477 (2020): 6. Web.
Sara Ahmed. Complaint. Duke UP, 2021. Print. 


Khensani de Klerk is an architectural researcher, designer and performer from Johannesburg. She is the founder of Matri-Archi(tecture), an intersectional collective based between South Africa and Switzerland that aims at empowering African women as a network dedicated to African spatial education. She is a co-coordinator of the Department of the Ongoing and an educator the Chair of Affective Architectures at the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zürich.

Els Silvrants-Barclay is a curator, researcher and activist. She is coordinator of Permanent, a practice-based research project that draws upon anti-speculative models from the commons- and cooperative economy to develop an infrastructure for affordable artist studios, housing and community spaces in Brussels. She is a co-coordinator of the Department of the Ongoing and an educator the Chair of Affective Architectures at the Department of Architecture at the ETH Zürich.