Event description

The discussion between architects, policy makers, designers and technologists dive into the issues raised by the “How to Build a House: Architectural Research in the Digital Age” exhibition at swissnex san francisco.

The exhibition presents the DFAB HOUSE in Switzerland, one of the first houses to be built almost entirely by digital methods, robots and 3D printers.

If this vision has suddenly become a concrete reality, how will architecture and construction change?

What does it mean for a thriving city such as San Francisco?

Does it provide solutions for the housing crisis, for climate change and more integrative, collaborative design and fabrication processes?

Will these new methods of how to build a house not only be sustainable, social and functional but also lead to hitherto unknown, yet beautiful results?

This evening is about the strong claims and the critical assessment confronting research in the field of architecture and digital fabrication from the labs of ETH Zurich within the reality of San Francisco and the building culture of the Bay Area.


Peter Testa

Peter Testa is Founding Partner of Testa & Weiser and Senior Design Faculty at SCI-Arc. At Testa & Weiser, he leads a wide range of projects for some of the world’s most innovative companies and cultural institutions. His work is exhibited worldwide including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing, and is part of the permanent collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). His work is regularly published in art, architecture, design, engineering, and scientific journals as well as newspapers including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Times of London. Before establishing Testa & Weiser, he was Principal-in-Charge with Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza. He was Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University GSAPP (1991-97) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1997-02) where he directed the EDG research group, a collaboration across Architecture, AI Lab, and Media Lab.

Hannes Mayer

Hannes MayerHannes Mayer is an architect, Senior Researcher and member of the board at Gramazio Kohler Research and directs the Master program in Architecture and Digital Fabrication. Prior to joining GKR, he was Professor for Architectural Design and Research at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) as well as University of Westminster, London. In Parallel, he was the director and editor-in-chief of the review for architecture archithese before launching his own architecture magazine, manege für architektur.

Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder is a staff writer for The Atlantic’s CityLab, where she writes about affordable and innovative housing projects, labor issues, and how technology is changing the way people live in cities—in California, and beyond. She’s also a graduate of Yale University, where she conducted archival research on the construction of public housing in New Haven, Connecticut.


Register for Opening Night Party June 20th.