Urban Change Over Time

Urban Change Over Time

The Photographic Observation of Schlieren 2005–2020 Reveals How Switzerland Is Changing

A unique visual study of spatial change in Switzerland since 2005


  • May 2023   approx. CHF 79.00 | eur 77.00


Title Information

Edited by Meret Wandeler, Ulrich Görlich, and Caspar Schärer

1st edition

, 2023

2 volumes in slipcase, hardback

approx. 640 pages, 760 color illustrations

22.5 x 30 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-140-4

In cooperation with Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK / IFCAR


The long-term Photographic Observation Schlieren is a much-recognized unique research project that documents urban development in Switzerland. Over a period of fifteen years, a photographic record of building activity and urbanization processes was conducted to demonstrate how these are altering the character of a typical Swiss suburban community. The chosen example was the town of Schlieren, bordering the city of Zurich to the west, whose population grew from 13,000 to 20,000 residents during the observation period of 2005–20. At Sixty-three locations throughout Schlieren, pictures were taken under identical conditions every two years that show the changes in the spatial interplay of buildings, streets, and green spaces. Simultaneously, series of topical detailed photographs were produced that focus on individual objects and tell of the appropriation, design, and aesthetics of habitats, such as store fronts, building entrances, playgrounds, parking entrances, etc.

This two-volume book brings together the results of this spectacular research. The Archive volume features the entire body of the eight images taken at each of the sixty-three sites to visualize the deep changes Schlieren has undergone during these fifteen years. The Essays volume combines the topical image series with essays that offer in-depth examination of the study’s subject, detailed analyses and interpretations, and interviews by expert authors from various disciplines.


Meret Wandeler is a Zurich-based photographer and artist who has conducted several artistic research projects on spatial development in Switzerland.


Ulrich Görlich is an artist and former head of the Master of Fine Arts program at Zurich University of the Art ZHdK.


Caspar Schärer is a Zurich-based architect and writer who also serves as secretary general of the Federation of Swiss Architects (BSA).


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors