Sascha Delz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Doctor of Science, ETH Zurich Master of Architecture, ETH Zurich

Sascha Delz is an architect and researcher working at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and urban studies. He holds a Master's degree in Architecture and a Doctor of Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). Engaging with contemporary urbanization processes, his research focuses on how specific political-economic frameworks influence the manifestation of architecture, urban form and living environments. Addressing challenges of uneven development, asymmetric cooperation setups, and exclusive distribution of urban resources, he is particularly interested in advancing knowledge on more equitable and collaborative practices of urban production, as well as non-profit models of adequate and affordable housing.

Apart from his research efforts, Sascha has practiced as an architect in Zurich and New York and has been engaged in numerous teaching activities, instructing architectural, urban design and planning studios, conducting interdisciplinary research and design workshops, as well as directing lecture series, seminars and courses in urban research. He was a research fellow at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore as well as at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development of Addis Ababa University. As a postdoc, Sascha was coordinator of the newly established doctoral program in Landscape & Urban Studies at the Department of Architecture of ETH Zurich.

His writings have been published in a diversity of books, journals and magazines such as International Development Policy or Trialog. He is the co-author and co-editor of the recently published book Housing the Co-op – A Micro-Political Manifesto and is currently working on publishing his dissertation, which addresses the challenges of urban transformation under the influence of international development cooperation in Ethiopia.

As an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, Sascha focuses on collective and co-operative models for urban housing, infrastructure, and services that can potentially create more inclusive and sustainable urban environments.

Currently Teaching
  • 529
    Urban Housing-Programs, Precedents and Recent Case Studies
    Urban Housing-Programs, Precedents and Recent Case Studies

    In search of adequate and affordable housing models, this seminar addresses the challenge of equitable housing provision from the perspective of collective action and collective housing. We will look at pragmatic solutions and utopian visions, investigate innovative approaches at the architectural and organizational level, and speculate on how one could transform existing frameworks of housing production towards more inclusive systems.


    Against the backdrop of prevalent housing crises in Los Angeles, the United States and around the world, this seminar will discuss collective housing as an essential component for both social and environmental equity for people from all social and income backgrounds. While on an organizational level, collective housing models offer great potentials to deliver social and spatial justice through more affordable, adequate and equitable financial and ownership structures, collective housing schemes also offer a variety of possibilities to contribute to a more sustainable built environment through densification and a more efficient use of resources. Transforming existing forms of housing and housing policies towards more sustainable and inclusive architectural propositions and housing systems are considered a core task for a more equitable future.


    Along these lines, ARCH-529 will be transformed as well. In its new iteration as ‘Collective Urban Housing – Innovative Programs, Pragmatic Precedents and Visionary Recent Case Studies’, the seminar will introduce relevant models and examples of collective housing, discuss complementary texts and theories, and, through a series of research and writing exercises, start to create a collection of collective housing that can be shared beyond the seminar and ultimately show socially and environmentally sustainable ideas and solutions for future dwelling scenarios.

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