Zürich, Switzerland


Markus Schaefer


Strelka Press

Available here:

Switzerland – Deep Urbanism for an Age of Disruption

“Switzerland – Deep Urbanism for an Age of Disruption”  has been published by Strelka Press, with a foreword by Anastassia Smirnova. The book builds on a course taught in the Advanced Urban Design program at the National Research University & Strelka Institute in Moscow. It describes the role of urbanism in Switzerland, following our National Exposition project. It uses this starting point to sketch a theory of “Deep Urbanism”, a complex systems approach to what cities are and how they interact with a territory, illustrated with the very specific case of Switzerland.

“We perceive urbanity as space, but we live it as interaction. Cities are catalysts for such interactions, stabilizing our relationships through infrastructures and institutions, spaces and stories. Technological progress increases the network depth and speed of interactions, which in turn fuels innovation and progress. The result is self-reinforcing growth and, globally, the ever more-rapid transformation of nature into culture with all the risks this entails. Cities are not static and autonomous. Cities have depth.

This essay, therefore, does not frame the discipline of urbanism as just a design profession that deals with urban spaces and building typologies, and sometimes with history, laws, regulations or land economy. Rather, it proposes a complex system science which I call “Deep Urbanism” and which I define as the discipline of the relationships – the connections and connectedness – that generate a complex system of people and their material, technological and symbolic culture acting on a territory with its specific emergent dynamics and externalities.”



Primary School Christoph Merian, Basel, 2019 –
Current phase: construction project

Airport Engadine, St. Moritz, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary design

Mobility Hub, Zug, 2019 –
Future Parking Facility with retail component
Current phase: execution

Station Square and Roof, Herisau 2015 –
Current phase: public vote

MEWA-Areal, Wädenswil, 2018 –
Transformation Project from the former industrial estate to the mixed-use development with housing
Current phase: framework plan

Viererfeld, Bern, 2018 –
Current phase: on hold

Office Renovation, Zug, 2020 –
Current phase: execution

House Renovation, Zug, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Cooperative Housing, Wetzikon, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Urban Design

Salina Raurica / Salinenhofquartier, Pratteln, 2018 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Metalli, Zug, 2017 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Tech Cluster Zug, 2015 –
Current state: transformation plan

Elbinselquartier Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, 2015 –
Current state: design guidelines

Bahnstadt Nürtingen, 2017 –
Current state: design manual

Urban Space Development Concept for SBB Basel Station, 2018 –
Current state: public consultation

KNZ Wil West, Thurgau / St. Gallen, 2011 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Bell-Areal, Kriens, 2020 –
Current state: competition

Station Area Dietikon, 2019 –
Current state: study with recommendation for further development

Areal Dübendorf, 2020 –
Current state: study

Areal Oerlikon, 2020 –
Current state: study

Areal Dierikon, 2015 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Station Herisau, 2013 –
Current state: areal development

Innovation Park Bergedorf, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework

Seetalstrasse Meierhöfli Emmen, 2020 –
Current state: test planing

Klosterareal Pluggendorf, Münster, 2020 –
Current state: workshop + competition

ZHA, Boulevard, Hönggerberg Campus, 2020 –
Current state : ongoing (with Studio Vulkan)

Herrliberg-Feldmeilen station, 2020 –
Current state: study

Urban System Research

cividi gmbh – civic data intelligence, 2019 –
Digital tools for the analogue city
Current state: ongoing

The Industrious City – Book Publication, 2017 –
(Lars Müller Publishers)
Published in fall 2020

Workplace Area Development, Winterthur, 2019 –
Current state: ongoing

Network strategy 2040 and
future public transport 2050, Zurich, 2020 –
Current state: ongoing (with IBV Hüsler)


Zürich office

Flüelastrasse 10, 8048 Zürich, Switzerland (Google Maps)
T. +41 43 243 6313 F. +41 43 243 6315

Kyoto office

Jimukinoueda bldg. 603, 21 Sakaicho, Gojo-Takakurakado, Shimogyoku, Kyoto 600-819, Japan
T. +81 75 744 1503