Unmasking Space

For and by Students

This semester, Unmasking Space will engage in a critical exploration of architecture and architectural education beyond its façade of neutrality. Architecture is not merely a backdrop to human activity but an actor that shapes our environments and behaviors. It often operates as an instrument of control and a delineator of freedom – from the stark functionality of checkpoints and border controls to the subtle biases in everyday living spaces.

Looking into case studies, we will delve into the hidden layers of architecture, revealing how the built environment can privilege or hinder various groups based on their gender, race, and class. What was perceived as “innocent” in architecture? Why is it not innocent? Who is it built for/against? How can we see beyond the façade of innocence?

As the first recurring student-led course at the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich, Unmasking Space has been actively working to question, expand, and rethink the content and methodologies of the official curriculum. To recognize students' voices from below, to disturb and make noises, to challenge the established values, and to engage in epistemic disobedience.

Last spring, the course brought in knowledge from students and student initiatives across Europe, Africa, and North America while experimenting with a range of informal teaching formats in and outside of the classroom.

This student-led course is facilitated by the Dept. of the Ongoing.

instagram @unmaskingspace
email unmaskingspace@arch.ethz.ch
course website with reader unmasking.space
image credits: Unmasking Space; Bundesamt für Kultur