Constructing the future: Symposium on architecture, design and engineering

 Mr. Alfredo Brillembourg from Urban Think Tank  one of the panelists The Ambassador of Switzerland to India  H.E Linus Von Castelmur welcoming the guests at the symposium

In the framework of the ‘Year of Swiss Architecture, Design and Engineering in India 2013-2014’, a symposium on various aspects of architecture, design and engineering, titled ‘Constructing the future’, was organized  on 13th November 2013 at C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre  New Delhi. The symposium will continue on 14th and 15th November as well. 


The symposium featured presentations and discussions with experts from Switzerland – like Hubertus Adam, Alfredo Brillembourg, Emanuel Christ, Andrea Deplazes, Matias Echanove, Meret Ernst and Ariel Huber – as well as panelists from India – including Anupam Bansal, Itu Chaudhuri, Puru Das, Ashok B. Lall, Kaiwan Mehta, Zeenat Niazi, Yatin Pandya and Rahul Srivastava. Several engineers from both countries were also a part of the event, among which famous Indian engineer Mahendra Raj.


The symposium aimed at increasing exchanges and collaborations between Switzerland and India. It  focussed on topics ranging from urbanization in megacities, low cost housing, sustainable construction, energy efficient buildings, collective identity through design, to a new deontology for planning and building cities. Participation at the symposium  was open to architects, urban planners, designers, engineers, builders, artists, scholars, students and the general audience as well.


Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York in 1961. He received his Bachelor of Art and Architecture in 1984 and his Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. In 1992, he received a second architecture degree from the Central University of Venezuela and began his independent practice in architecture. In 1993 he founded Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) in Caracas, Venezuela. Since 1994 he has been a member of the Venezuelan Architects and Engineers Association and has been a guest professor at the University Jose Maria Vargas, the University Simon Bolivar and the Central University of Venezuela. Starting in 2007, Brillembourg has been a guest professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, where he co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab) with Hubert Klumpner. Along with Hubert Klumpner, Brillembourg holds the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. As co-principle of U-TT, Brillembourg has received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, the 2011 Holcim Gold Award for Latin Americathe 2012 Holcim Global Silver Award for innovative contributions to ecological design practices and the 2012 Golden Lion Award in the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale.


Deplazes studied architecture at the ETH in Zurich and graduated in 1988 with Fabio Reinhart . Together with Valentin Bearth 1988 he founded the architectural firm Bearth + Deplazes Architekten AG . In the same year he received his diploma and was then working as a lecturer for the HTW in Chur. In 1994, Deplazes is a member of the SIA and heard two years later also the Federation of Swiss Architects (BSA). Deplazes 1997 leaves the position at the HTL and changes as a professor of architecture and design to ETH . 2005 to 2007 he was Head of the Department of Architecture at the ETH.

Deplazes lives and works in Zurich and Chur.


 The team made many designs for private homes, the outstanding projects of the office Bearth + Deplazes Architekten AG , however, include ( selection):

Teacher training , Chur (1997 )

Künstlerhaus market Oberndorf, Oberndorf market (1998 )

House Meuli , vial ( -2001 )

SIA Haus AG , Zurich (2004 )

Serletta Park , St. Moritz ( 2004)

Weingut Gantenbein, vial (2007 )




He has studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), the EPF Lausanne, and at the HdK Berlin. He was the head of teaching at ETH Studio Basel between 2000 and 2005. In 1998, he established his own office with Christoph Gantenbein. He realized a number of residential projects and is involved in various large-scale city developments and in several urban planning schemes. One of the main current projects of Christ & Gantenbein is the renovation and extension of the Swiss National Museum. Concurrently with his work for Christ & Gantenbein, Emanuel Christ taught at the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen and the Academia di Architettura Mendrisio. He is teaching as a guest lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 2008/2009.


Since 1988 he is as consulting engineer in responsible position with Wenaeser & Wolfensberger Ltd, Zurich and Bollinger&Grohmann Ltd, Frankfurt. In 1995 he founded withDr. P. Lüchinger the consulting company Dr. Lüchinger+Meyer Ltd.

He is a member of the executive and president of the administrative board. He realised a number of projects of housing, industry and bridge construction works in Switzerland as well as on the European field.Special attention is focussed on the conception of structures in teamwork together with architects succeeding in numerous national and international design competitions. Special references

Concern the development of innovative structures such as glass structures. Daniel Meyer is a member of the Swiss association of architects and engineers (SIA) and since 2009 an insider and since 2013 vice president of the board of directors.