The work of Ilmar Hurkxkens focusses on form and processes of natural granular materials using advanced landscape surveying, modelling, and fabrication techniques. He studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology, graduating in 2009 with honorable mention for the design of a linear city and sea dike that combines architecture with flood control. Since 2010 he is teaching at the Chair of Landscape Architecture of Professor Christophe Girot at the ETH Zurich where he is coordinator of the DesignLab and is active in the Landscape Visualization and Modeling Lab. He received the Young Researcher Award at the international conference Thinking the Contemporary Landscape in Herrenhausen, Germany in 2013. In collaboration with James Melsom he founded LANDSKIP in 2015, a laboratory centered on the production and deployment of new technologies to create innovative instruments for landscape transformation. As co-editor of Pamphlet 19, he assesed the importants of field instruments for landscape design. He won the 2018 Digital Culture Work Contributions award of Migros-Kulturprozent in collaboration with Fabian Bircher as Ungenau Robotics. His own firm Studio Ilmar Hurkxkens is currently working on landscape architectural projects in Switzerland, Netherlands and Greece. In 2020 he was nominated for the ETH Medal for his dissertation investigating the potential of robotic landscape fabrication following topological methods in landscape architecture as a PhD researcher of the NCCR Digital Fabrication.


ETH Medal Nomination
September 2020 
Nominated for the Silver Medal of the ETH Zurich for outstanding doctoral theses
“Robotic Landscapes: Topological Approaches to Terrain, Design, and Fabrication”


Robotic Landscapes: Topological Approaches to Terrain, Design, and Fabrication
September 2020 DISSERTATION
NCCR Digital Fabrication ETH Zurich, on the recommendation of:
Prof. Christophe Girot (Supervisor)
Prof. Marco Hutter (Co-Supervisor)
Prof. Matthias Kohler (Co-Supervisor)


Robotic Embankment Prototype
Ilmar Hurkxkens, Dominic Jud, Marco Hutter, Christophe Girot
Chair of Landscape Architecture, Prof. Christophe Girot, ETH Zurich
Robotic Systems Lab, Prof. Marco Hutter, ETH Zurich
NCCR Digital Fabrication, ETH Zurich


Informing Topology: Performative Landscapes with Rapid Mass Movement Simulation
Ilmar Hurkxkens, Benedikt Kowalewski, and Christophe Girot
In: JoDLA. Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture


Shifting Sands: Designing Robotic Formation Processes for Dynamic Beach Nourishment
February 2020 MASTERCLASS
Ilmar Hurkxkens with Dave Pigram and James Melsom
School of Architecture, University of Technology Sydney