The historical origins of ETH Wohnforum - ETH CASE

ETH Wohnforum was established in 1990 by Prof. Alexander Henz (Professorial Chair for Architecture and Planning), Prof. Dr. Markus Brändle-Ströh (social psychology) and Susanne Gysi (lecturer in social work). The foundation was associated with the interdisciplinary research project “Habitation Horizon 2000/Wohnen 2000”, financed by the Presidents of the ETH Board and conducted by ETH Lausanne and ETH Zurich (Bassand/Henz, 1988). This project also contained a “sketch idea for a contact forum for housing issues” covering socially relevant research topics and the indicators for a transfer of knowledge between the fields of research, teaching and practice. The current focal points and working methods of ETH Wohnforum still largely correspond to the initial concept of 1988.

In 1992 the ETHZ Research Commission gave their approval for the first ETH Wohnforum project “Sonnenhalb, Schattenhalb: Wohngeschichten und Wohnsituationen von Frauen in der Schweiz” (Hugentobler/Gysi, 1996).

Following the retirement of Prof. Alexander Henz in 1998, as of January 2000 Prof. Dietmar Eberle, Professor for Architecture and Design, headed the ETH Wohnforum. Based on an application to the Board it was possible to subsequently increase basic funding for the ETH Wohnforum and to secure staff continuity. 

In 2007 the name ETH Wohnforum was supplemented with the English title ETH CASE (Centre for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment).