Traces of the Hidden

Ungraspable ALICE





Merleau-Ponty, ProtoStructure, prefabrication, collaboration


What we call visible is (…) the surface of a depth, a cross section upon a massive being. — Maurice Merleau-Ponty

If, as stated by the French philosopher Guillaume Blanc [2], the visible is sewn to the invisible, while reading the projects developed by students, we should be able to read traces of the hidden, the structure which made them possible. We will therefore focus on HOUSE 1, an experimental collaborative project designed and built by 227 first-year architecture students by the end of the spring semester 2016 in the XXX university campus.

How to Cite

Lupi, L. P., & Dietz, D. (2019). Traces of the Hidden: Ungraspable ALICE. EAAE Annual Conference Proceedings, 104–109.



Author Biographies

Laura P. Lupi, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Laura P. Lupi has been teaching architectural design for 4 years in the realm of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) within the ALICE laboratory, where she is currently pursuing research on pedagogical innovation and excellence in teaching architecture at undergraduate and graduate levels. She holds an International PhD in Project Design -informed by Prof. Philip Ursprung- since February 2016. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holder, she was Guest Researcher at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (AAM) in 2013–2014, where she had studied with Peter Zumthor in 2002–2003.

Dieter Dietz, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Dieter Dietz is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) and director of ALICE (Atelier de la conception de l’espace) at EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne). He was educated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (Arch. Degree 1991) and studied architectural design with Diller/Scofidio at the Cooper Union in New York. He is currently working with the ALICE team on several pedagogical and research projects at diverse scales with laboratories inside and outside EPFL.


Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible, Claude Lefort. Translated by Alphonso Lingis (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968). P. 136.

Guillaume le Blanc, ‘Conclusion. Le Visible et l’invisible,’ in L’invisibilité Sociale, Pratiques Théoriques (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2009). P. 194. ‘Le premier n’est jamais totalement donné car il est suspendu au second, qui en assure cependant la possibilité. Le visible est donc cousu à l’invisible’

Agathe Mignon, ‘Proto-Structure,’ in All About Space 2. HOUSE 1 CATALOGUE (Zurich: Park Books, 2017). p. 112

Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981). p. 314

Guillaume le Blanc, ‘Conclusion. Le Visible et l’invisible.’