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Maxime Zaugg is an architect and doctoral candidate at the Chair of History and Theory of Urban Design Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete at ETH Zürich and lecturer for the History and Theory of Urban Design at the Department of Architecture ZHAW, IUL (Institute Urban Landscape). His project entitled “Exploring Urban Models” examines how strong performative and participative capacities have enabled urban scale models to play a key role in urban planning, focusing particularly on the period from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. Maxime Zaugg teaches at ETH Zurich at the Bachelor and Masters level the Research Studio (Fachsemester) and the Master Thesis Studio. He founded the practice STUDIO (2017) which mediates between architecture and the city applying different media and tools and contributes to competitions, urban research, workshops, and realizations.


- Agadir : Building the Modern Afropolis. Tom Avermaete and Maxime Zaugg. Park Books, Zürich. 2022

- DU Magazin 910 | December/January 2021/22, Städtebau, Die Rückkehr des grossen Plans, ISBN:978-3-907315-09-5, Edited by Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete. Luca Can und Maxime Zaugg, Die Werkzeuge einer neuen Wirklichkeit.

- GTA PAPERS issue no. 4 (2021): THE CORNICE / DAS GESIMS; Le Corbusier and the Cornice. Maxime Zaugg, 2021

- GTA PAPERS special edition: Social Distance, Spatial specificities of the balcony: between exposure &enclosure. In Collaboration with the Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design. Collaborative Article. 2021

- Tom Avermaete, Sara Frikech, Maaike Goedkoop, Hamish Lonergan, Hans Teerds, Maxime Zaugg "The Balcony. A Zurich Lexicon”, A Zurich Lexicon (Zurich: Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design/Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (GTA), 2021).


In the Eye of the Beholder: New Techniques of Representation for Public Urban Scale Models at the international conference "Are You a Model?". Darmstadt, 2-4 November 2022. 

‘Stadtplanung geht uns alle an’ (urban planning concerns us all) and Berlin’s Vitrinen from 1957-1960 at the SAH 2022 Annual International Conferenc, April 27–May 1 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

- The Projet Urbain of Euralille : Urban Scale Models and the Public, Conference ‘Histories of Urban Design: Global Trajectories and Local Realities’ 15-17 November 2021, ETH Zurich

- “The Emergence of Urban Design and the Public Agency of the Maquette“. Society of Architectural Historians SAH 2021 Annual Conference. 14-18 April 2021.

Invited Lectures and Events:

- Guided Tour at Grafische Sammlung ETH Zürich. The Hidden Horizontal: Cornices in Art and Architecture. October 2021.

-Master Studio Urban Project at the Institute for Urban Landscape, Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) with Prof. Dr. Andri Gerber and Prof. Reto Pfenninger. June 2021

- Colloquium Writing Model Histories with Prof. Dr. Thea Brejzek, Prof. Dr. Mari Lending, Dr. Matthew Wells, Prof. Dr. Janina Gosseye and Prof. Dr. Tom Averamete. May 2021

- “The Balcony: Means of Exploring an Urban Element” Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Technology & Architecture. February 2021.

- Guest Lecture for TACK Konvolutt 3 preparation seminar: Mediation, modelling and Practice in Architecture and Urbanism. Title: Urban Scale Models and l’Affaire des Halles, from 1960-2010. October 2020.


2020-Present: Doctoral Candidate at the Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design, gta, ETH Zurich

2020-2022: Active member and from 2021 President of the AAA (Association of Assistants at the Department of Architecture) at ETH Zurich

2020-2021: Representative and coordinator of the gta-Invites lecture series, ETH Zurich

Awards and Fellowships:

-Gill Family Foundation Fellowship for the SAH 2021 74th Annual International Virtual Conference.


PhD Research:

Exploring Urban Models: The Projets Urbains and the Performance of the “Maquette”, 1960s – 1990s

Ph.D. project at the Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design, gta, ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete, Prof Dr. Thea Brejzek and Prof. Dr. Janina Gosseye

Little research exists on urban models. In existing scholarship, they are often lumped together with architectural models. Although urban models certainly possess characteristics that are similar to those of architectural models, they also differ. The key difference, this research project hypothesizes, is that in urban models, the performative capacity of the model takes precedence over its semiotic and compositional functions. The research project furthermore posits that this performative capacity of urban models – i.e. its ability to negotiate between various actors, regulatory requirements, functional demands, political ambitions, etc. over longer periods of time – intensified from the 1960s on with the shift of paradigm in urban planning and during the 1980s, when the Projets Urbains grew in popularity. Derived from participative urban strategies and the structural changes in urban development, the Projets Urbains offered an alternative to top-down master-planning by favouring more punctual and strategic urban interventions. The strong cooperative character of this type of urban development heavily influenced contemporary planning and design methods and led to a ‘golden age’ for urban models – an age when their performative capacities were used to their full potential. This project examines how this strong performative capacity has enabled urban models to play a key role in urban planning, focusing particularly on the period from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.

Lecturer for the History and Theory of Urban Design IUL/Institute Urban Landscape ZHAW



The Urban Scale Model of the Project of Les Halles. Paris, 1968. (Photo by Georges Melet/Paris Match) © Getty Images

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