Prof. Dr. Pia Fricker

Professor, Dr.

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Artistic and research interests

Pia Fricker serves as Professor and Vice Head of the Department of Architecture at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland. She holds the Professorship of Computational Methodologies in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism and directs the interdisciplinary Urban Studies and Planning Programme at the Department of Architecture. Pia Fricker’s research and teaching link urban design and landscape architecture to the field of digital design culture through the lens of emerging technologies.

Her research is actively collaborating with other Departments at Aalto University, international academic partners (ETH Zurich, The Singapore University of Technology and Design - SUTD, Hafencity University Hamburg) as well as with professional partners on a national and international level.

She is currently leading research projects in data-driven design methods for dynamic urban landscapes and in the field of immersive, collaborative design environments, featuring a new reading and interaction of ecosystem datasets in the realm of Mixed Reality.

Pia Fricker holds a PhD in Architecture and a postgraduate degree in Computer Aided Architectural Design from ETH Zurich, a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Architecture, specialising in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture from the Technical University of Karlsruhe.  

Prior to her current position, she was Director of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture ­– Landscape Architecture Design Simulation – at ETH Zurich, Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Christophe Girot from 2009-2015.

Pia Fricker is a member of the editorial board of the JoDLA (Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture), the Scientific Program Committee of the DLA conference, the peer review committees of ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) and eCAADe (Education and research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe), as well as expert peer reviewer for the International Journal of Architectural Computing, Landscape and Urban Planning Journal, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, and the Journal of Architecture and Urbanism. Pia Fricker has published extensively, and her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the National Design Centre Singapore, the National Library of Singapore, at EMMA - Museum of Modern Art, as well as a part of Helsinki Design Week.

In addition to her academic work, she works as a consultant to municipalities and large-scale landscape and urban projects in the area of digitalization, with special focus on adaptive urban development.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctoral Degree: Dr. sc. ETH Zürich, The Relevance of Computational Design Thinking in Landscape Architecture - A Pedagogy of Data-Informed Design Processes Across Scales, ETH Zurich

Award Date: 27 Jan 2021

Postgraduate Degree in Didactics and Pedagogy, ETH Zurich

Award Date: 20 Nov 2011

Master of Advanced Studies in Computer Aided Architectural Design (MAS.CAAD.ETHZ):, The Endless Space Pavilion - ESGPav, Prof. Ludger Hovestadt, Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design, Dept. for Architecture, ETH Zurich (CH), ETH Zurich

Award Date: 31 Aug 2003

MSc Arch, Architectural Degree (M.Sc. Arch - Dipl.Ing), topic: HafenCity Hamburg, supervisor Prof. Dr. Günther Uhlig, Prof. Henri Bava, specification in urban design and landscape architecture, University of Karlsruhe

Award Date: 31 Jul 2001


  • Urban Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Water Urbanism
  • Parametric Design
  • Algorithmic Design
  • Data-Driven Design
  • Big Data
  • Atmospheric qualities in space and multisensory approach in spatial design
  • Interaction between space and objects
  • Responsive systems and environments
  • Emerging models of digital representation
  • Critical interrogations of the digital and analogue
  • Generative Artitificial Intelligence


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