Nold Egenter, dipl. architect ETH-Z, ethnologist and architectural anthropologist (* 1938, Muttenz/Basel, Switzerland), occasional lecturer at the University of Zurich (ethnology), former researcher at ETH-Zuerich (gta, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture), ETH-Lausanne (Aubry, didactive Architectural Ethnology Program), occasional visiting lecturer at architectural schools (CEPT-Ahmedabad, Oslo, Helsinki) and director of the 'Documentation Office for Fundamental Studies in Building Theory', Zuerich.
Before and after graduation (1967) research into planning and urbanism at the >Swiss Federal Institute of Technology< (ORL-Institute), (1968/9) one year teaching activities (Calif. State Polytechnic Univ., San Luis Obispo), 1969 scholarship of the Japanese Ministery of Education (MOMBUSHO); 1969-1979 research in Japan (Kyoto University) into semantic architecture of Japanese village-Shinto rituals (ujigami). 1979/80 Research at the >Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture< (ETH-Z). 1980 Publication of research done in Japan: >Built Form as Sign and Symbol< . Lecturer at the Ethnological Seminar of the Univ. of Zurich: 1983 on 'Research into the village cultures of Japan. Preliminaries for a structural ergology', 1984/5 on 'The Ainu - Remains of the hunters/collector's culture at the northern edge of Japanese national expansion'; Winter 1985/6 4 months of field- and library research on the Ainu (mainly Sapporo and Asahigawa, Hokkaido, Japan). Since 1986 mainly research and publications in connection with the >Documentation Office for Fundamental Studies in Building Theory< (since 1979). Besides, since 1986 research into architectural ethnology: The Ainu - House and settlement and the traditional concept of space. Dwelling and Architecture on the level of a hunters/collectors culture . Besides, since 1989 consulting editor with Paul Oliver's >Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World< (3 vols., in preparation). Mainly in this context and in connection with the buildup of a >Documentation and Research-Centre for Vernacular Architecture< since 1990 research-collaboration with Frederic Aubry, Architectural Department, Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, Switzerland. Since 1992 working on publication of 8 volumes 'Architectural Anthropology - Research Series' 1 - 8 (1992f.), 'Semantic and Symbolic Architecture' (1995), 'Shin no mihashira' (in print) and other publications (Editions Structura Mundi, Lausanne). Since1992 buildup of research office in Ahmedabad, India: Indian Rural Settlement Survey Institute (IRSSI) in cooperation with Miki and Madhavi Desai (CEPT, Ahmedabad).
Membership in the following associations:
AAA (American Anthropological Association) - AISE/IASSP (Association Internationale de la Semiotique de l'Espace) - DGA (German Society for Asian Studies) - EDRA (Environmental Design Research Association) - IASTE (International Assoc. for the Study of Traditional Environment), INORA (International Committee on Rock Art) - IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) - PAPER (People and Physical Environment Research) - SEG (Swiss Ethnological Society) - SGR (Swiss Society for the History of Religions) - SGS (Swiss Society for Symbol Research) - SGS (Swiss Society for Semiotics) - SGV (Swiss Society for Folklore Studies)
Publications : since 1979 numerous publications in various disciplines of the humanities: japanology, ethnology, archaeology, architectural theory, philosophy, semiotics, history of religions (see Complete Bibliography).
Note: it is relatively rare today that architectural studies are acknowledged by scientific disciplines of the humanities. The book 'Semantic and Symbolic Architecture' (1995) received the following evaluations:
And the book 'The present Relevance of the Primitive in Architecture' (vol 1 of 'Architectural Anthropology - Research Series):
- Mircea Eliade: "A very important work."
- R. J. Zwi Werblowsky (Univ. of Jerusalem): Egenter "teaches historians of religion to re-think their own matter-of-course axiomas and assumptions." (In: >Numen<, June 1990).
- Arnold Niederer (Univ. of Zurich): "...this study will still be read in 100 years from now."
- Kenneth E. Foote (Geography, Univ. of Texas at Austin): "Egenter's...fervent appeal may serve as a rallying cry for all scholars concerned with the systematic study of architecture as a fundamental element of human behavior." (The Semiotic Review of Books, vol. 5.2, 5/94)
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