Manufacturing the Future

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During the third edition of ETH Week, entitled Manufacturing the Future, we encourage all participants, students, professors, staff, and external experts, to put technology in the context of a far reaching discussion that impacts the society we live in, the economy we work in, and the environment we are going to leave to future generations.

ETH Week 2017: Manufacturing the Future

This year, we will focus on ‘manufacturing’, a topic central to engineering, science and management. Manufacturing is a crucial component of Swiss competitiveness in global markets. Spanning from the nano to the human scale, from health to construction, and from environmental to social needs, manufacturing is relevant to all study programmes at ETH. The question of ‘how we make things’ relates to each and every one of us at the most personal level, and represents a defining feature of us as humans.

As an important sector of the Swiss economy, manufacturing is highly impacted by a number of disruptive technologies triggering exciting (as well as contentious) societal questions. Will we still need factories for production? What if our products become our raw materials? How will our working conditions change, and our relationship to smart machines evolve, as technology advances further? How can we design future products and manufacturing processes that solve environmental problems, rather than exacerbating them?

We will structure the topic along three inter-connected, overlapping subtopics. In order to foster disruptive thinking and interdisciplinarity for all participants involved, each subtopic will be shaped as a dialogue focusing on synergies among professors from different departments, allowing challenges and emerging opportunities for the future of manufacturing to be identified.

Factories and Products


Mirko Meboldt, Fabio Gramazio

Mirko Meboldt of D-MAVT and Fabio Gramazio of D-ARCH will discuss questions along the lines of: How do we design the factories of the future? What would design be like if objects were made of a single part?

Human-Machine Partnerships


Gudela Grote, Andreas Krause

Gudela Grote of D-MTEC and Andreas Krause of D-INFK will introduce the topic dealing with: What if the best robot in the factory is the tech-augmented worker? How will the digitalised world impact human decision making?

Materials and Resources


André Studart, Ingo Burgert

André Studart of D-MATL and Ingo Burgert of D-BAUG will raise: Can we design our products to become our raw materials? What can we learn from ‘design by nature’ as principles to ‘design for nature’?

Further departments and professors, as well as over 30 external partners, will be involved for formats like the knowledge fair, excursions and the inspiration nights. We aim to design an inclusive and positive event, where students learn the state-of-the-art from professors and where professors learn from the critical attitude, enthusiasm and drive of the students, to rethink and redesign the world we live in today, so that the emerging new tools can positively change the world, as the calculator and the computer did one generation ago.



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Sun Jun 25 16:39:56 CEST 2017
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