HYTAC – Hybrid Techniques for Architecture Design

Hybrid Techniques for Architecture Design (HYTAC) is a teaching unit of the D-ARCH at ETH Zürich. It was founded in 2017 by Jonathan Benhamu to answer the question: How can technology support architectural design (Entwurf).

We realized that in architectural design, digital tools are often used reluctantly by established architects, as they were seen as a threat to conventional tools such as drawing on paper and hand-made models. Yet, we think that it must not be a decision between digital or manual tools. We believe the real strength for future architects lies in the combination of the two.

However, most digital tools are not devised for architectural design. In our teaching, we try to identify and re-use existing software and technologies and put them to use in the design process. We use 3D Printing, CAD software, photogrammetry, and augmented reality to gain new perspectives on designing. We reinterpret their functions to fit the needs of a contemporary architect. Digital tools enable us to quickly create many iterations of our design, removing our fearof losing time by exploring new concepts and improvements of our project. Our courses support the students to represent their ideas, thus unlocking their potential and creativity.

In the last five years we have constantly grown, collaborating with several chairs at the Department of Architecture. We are offering an elective course for Master Students in addition to introducing 380 first year students each year to various software and design techniques. Our team consists of one lecturer, a junior faculty and ten student assistants who excelled in previous HYTAC courses and thus enable us to reach the new students on a collegial level, passing on their motivation and expertise. We are all focused on improving the learning environment for our students and constantly pushing the limits of how architects can design.


ETH Zürich D-ARCH, HIL G47
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8049 Zürich
+41 78 611 05 93

Architect practicing in Switzerland for over 12 years, Jonathan is the Director of BENARICI GmbH, an architecture office focused on multi-team international collaborations and avant-garde design processes. After 3 years working as a teaching assistant at the Chair of Professor Andrea Deplazes at the ETH University in Zurich, he is now also a Dozent at the Department of Architecture in the “Hybrid Techniques for Architecture Design” teaching unit.
Jonathan is committed to creating simple workflows that bring analogue design processes and emerging technologies together.

From left to right: Foteini, Aaron, Fanny, Mona, William, Jonathan, Rino, Martin, Nicola, Chiara, Johannes, Francesco

Former Team Members: May Meier, Magdalena Haslinger, Daniel Epprecht, Helia Hamshidi, Tobias Peteler, Marin Lercher


All Rights Reserved

ETH Zürich
Eidgenösische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Departement Architektur

Prof. Andrea Deplazes
Departement Architektur

Photo credit

  • Aaron E. Wahl (Instagram)
  • Fanny Evéquoz
  • Mona Vogt
  • William Schaeppi