team - online group photo
Constanze Kummer (Dipl.-Ing.)
PhD Candidate I History and Theory of Architecture
- Gottschalkstraße 24
- Gottschalk 24, Torhaus B, Raum 2110
Constanze Kummer studied architecture and urban planning at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduation, she worked in various architectural offices in Switzerland on new construction and remodeling projects in the field of residential construction. During this time she completed a Master of Advanced Studies in History and Theory of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. For her thesis at ETH Zurich, she investigated urban development strategies in Belfast after the end of the Northern Ireland conflict. Since October 2020, Constanze Kummer has been a research associate and doctoral candidate at the University of Kassel in the department of history and theory of architecture.
Constanze Kummer's research focuses on modernist architecture and urbanism. The focus is on how political, economic, social and cultural-historical contexts are reflected and represented in the built environment. She is particularly interested in industrial housing and furniture construction in the GDR. She will devote more time to this topic in her dissertation.
Kummer, Constanze, Die Stadt als Handlung. Kommunales Praktikum und Planungscamp, in: Kegler, Harald, Constanze Kummer, Benjamin Eckel and Wiebke Reinert (ed.), Stadtwende Halle, Kassel 2022.
Eckel, Benjamin, und Constanze Kummer, Die Wende in der Stadt. Bürgerschaftliches Engagement und stadtplanerische Prozesse in Halberstadt und Meißen, in: Breßler, Jana, Harald Engler, Harald Kegler, Constanze Kummer, Detlef Kurth, Jannik Noeske, Wiebke Reinert and Max Welch Guerra (ed.), Stadtwende. Bürgerengagement und Altstadterneuerung in der DDR und Ostdeutschland, Berlin 2022, S. 224–234.
Collaboration in the research project on Swiss women architects as part of the MAS program at ETH Zurich: www.schweizerarchitektinnen.ch/ (Homepage expected to be available from fall 2022)
"Die Platte als Chamäleon? Variable Plattenbauten im innerstädtischen Kontext in den 1980er Jahren", 17. Werkstattgespräch IRS Erkner (19.05.-20.05.2022), in collaboration with Benjamin Eckel
Aktuelles / Forschung
Participative processes in prefabricated housing construction in the GDR
Dissertation Constanze Kummer
Prefabricated housing construction in the GDR seems to be characterized by its rigid
modular system, yet references to variable floor plan design in prefabricated housing can be found in the literature of GDR planners. This paradox between the received idea of a standardized, inflexible building system and the possibility of individual design choices will be discussed in the dissertation. The aim is to rethink the concepts of 'standardization', 'variability', 'individuality' and 'participation' in the industrial housing of the GDR. In doing so, it is argued that planning processes are by no means exclusively based on mechanized top-down approaches, but on participatory processes that place the everyday lives of residents at the center of the architectural solution.
A central example and starting point of the dissertation is the experiment called 'Variables Wohnen'. It not only required new structural, architectural and interior design solutions, but also revealed unusual planning strategies within the GDR. Various experts, such as architects, furniture designers, sociologists, and medical professionals, as well as future residents, were selected to develop more flexible and diverse architectural housing solutions. This approach contrasts with the typical top-down decision-making within the GDR and is replaced by participatory planning processes.
Fachgebiet Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur
Biografie und Curriculum Vitae
2017 – 2020 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), studies: History and Theory of Architecture (GTA), degree: Master of Advanced Studies (MAS ETH GTA)
2008 – 2014 University of Stuttgart, studies: Architecture and Urban Planning, degree: Diplom-Ingenieurin (Dipl.-Ing.)
2012 – 2013 University of Massachusetts Amherst, studies: Architecture + Design Graduate Program
10/2020 - 10/2023 University of Kassel, Department of History and Theory of Architecture, task: research assistant and PhD candidate. Also research assistant in the project „Second World, Second Sex“ and research assistant in the project „Stadtwende“ (collaboration of University of Kassel, University of Weimar, TU Kaiserslautern and IRS Erkner)
08/2015 - 06/2020 Architecture offices in Switzerland
Nikolay Erofeev is an architectural historian whose work focuses on socialist architecture and urban planning. His research looks at mass housing, using it as a lens with which to explore various facets of socialist society – such as architectural aspects of prefabrication systems, the analysis of labor relations, technical assistance projects in the Global South and the late-socialist destinies of avant-garde projects. In his book manuscript, ‘Experiment in concrete: Diversity and Debate in the Design of Soviet Housing, 1955-1990,’ he explores the understudied architectural story of the ‘bureaucratic modernism’ of prefabricated housing. In contrast to a rather simplistic view of standardized housing as an ‘end of architecture’ and a complete takeover of the profession by construction experts, the book reconstructs a vibrant, complex and uneven history, as the housing drive became central for the formation of late-Soviet design culture, construction industry and urban sociology.
Erofeev received his D.Phil (PhD) in History from the University of Oxford in 2020 and his specialist degree in the History of Art from Moscow State University in 2014. Erofeev previously had fellowships at the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Basel and at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University. Erofeev also had academic appointments at Manchester Metropolitan University where he taught Master of Architecture dissertations. Erofeev’s fellowship at the University of Kassel is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Grant. His research was previously also supported by Hill Foundation and the Swiss Government Excellence scholarships, among others. Erofeev published on the history of socialist architecture in edited volumes and peer-review journals.
Dr. Erofeev's research project focuses on the urbanization processes in socialist Mongolia. During the Cold War, Mongolia received significant technical assistance from various socialist countries, including the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern European states, with the aim of economic development and urbanistion of the country. International exchanges with these countries brought about unprecedented transnational circulations of people, goods, technologies, and expertise to Mongolia. The project explores how these exchanges fundamentally reshaped urban space and daily life in Mongolia. The projects established a multidisciplinary framework to look at construction and planning projects in Mongolia between architectural and architecture and planning history, urban studies, labor history, and anthropology. It explores the decisions and actions of local and foreign actors—from top leaders to master architects —and describes the experiences of Mongolian specialists, workers, and citizens alike, engaged in transnational construction projects. It looks how the high-minded vision of internationalism translated into planning decisions, the realities at construction sites, and everyday life in Mongolia. More broadly, the project seeks to provide new understanding about the urbanization processes in the Global South during the Cold War and sheds light on the complexities and dynamics of transnational cooperation in shaping the built environment. Dr. Erofeev's project is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship
N. Erofeev and Ł. Stanek, ‘Concerns of multilateral socialist assistance to Mongolia during the Cold War’ in M. Motylinska, A. Butter, C. Bernhardt (eds.) A. Between Solidarity and Economic Constraints (De Gruyter, 2022) [forthcoming]
N. Erofeev and Ł. Stanek, ‘Integrate, Adapt, Collaborate: Comecon Architecture in Socialist Mongolia’ ABE Journal 19 (2021), DOI: 10.4000/abe.12604
N. Erofeev ‘Review: Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin's Capital, By Katherine Zubovich’ Social History, 46/3 (2021), p.336-338.
Erofeev, N. ‘Cybernetics & Standardization: Revisiting a Soviet Vision for Better Urbanism’ Strelka MAG (04.10.2021).
N. Erofeev ‘The I-464 Housing Delivery System: technological transfers from France to Moscow, from Moscow to Alma-Ata, from Alma-Ata to Havana’ Project Russia, 96 (2021), p. 239-64.
N. Erofeev 'The I-464 Housing Delivery System: A Tool for Urban Modernisation in the Socialist World and Beyond' Fabrications, 29/2 (2019), doi:10.1080/10331867.2019.1611255
N. Erofeev and M. Sapunova, 'Urban Standard and Norm and Their (Post)-Socialist Transformation', Urban Studies and Practices, 3/4 (2018), pp. 7-11
Wheat’s research interests highlight cross-cultural and transnational aspects of architecture and design in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her dissertation, titled “Harem Mystique: Popular Architecture and the Orient ca. 1900,” explores the appropriation and commercialization of Islamic motifs in European and American popular architecture from approximately 1880-1933. She particularly examines how the spatial image of the Ottoman imperial harem was simultaneously commodified for profit and strategically used by some to challenge gendered conceptions of space.
In addition to topics related to orientalism, feminist, and spatial theory, Wheat is also interested in global modernisms, the diaspora of German speaking architects and designers before and during the Second World War, the interplay of scientific and spiritual understandings of European modernisms, architectural ethnography in the nineteenth century, histories of industrial architecture, and alternative methods for researching women’s interventions in the built environment before 1900.
Wheat has earned two B.A. degrees in Art History and German Studies from Georgia State University, an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism with a focus on design history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an M.A. in the History of Art with a focus on the history of architecture from the University of Michigan.
She has worked at Kulturprojekte in Berlin and the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago. Her research has been supported by the Freie Universität’s Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies Fellowship, the Max Kade Foundation Scholarship, among others.
Megan Eardley studies the intersections of architecture, science and technology, and political philosophy in southern Africa in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her current research examines how the South African mining industry shaped models and concepts of life in deep space during the Cold War. While attending to histories of labor, race, and gender, she foregrounds questions about measurement, the language of standards, and the future of 'the human' in environments that are hostile to biological life. In recent years, her work has been supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the History of Science Society, as well as the Canadian Center for Architecture. In 2020-2021, Megan is a PhD Candidate in Architectural History and Theory at Princeton University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand.
David Rothfuss (B.A., B.Sc.) graduated in Theatre Studies and History of Arts at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Currently he is writing his masters thesis in the field of Landscape Architecture in Kassel about strategies and methods of intervention and disruption of and in urban space inbetween the concepts of activism, iconoclasm and sabotage. As a member of the interdisciplinary „Urbane Xtopien" project (xtopien.org, 2020-2023) funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung, he contributed in questions of spatial aesthetic processes and issues relating to architecture and open space and worked on several xtopian experiments with partners such as documenta fifteen, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Staatstheater Kassel or Museum für Sepulkralkultur Kassel. Beyond former engangement at Staatstheater Karlsruhe, in his current artistic practice, he aims at reconfiguring spaces via performative strategies.
He supports the whole chair through various tasks.
Publications and contributions:
J. Jossin, A. Voigt, T. Godlewski, R. Beecroft, M. Arnold, F. Bernstein, S. Messerschmidt, D. Rothfuss, S. Multhaup, I. Olshausen, M. Aweh, M. Lafratta, U. Amrehn (2023): Toolbox für Xtopien. Neue Werkzeuge für Zukunftsgestalter:innen. kassel university press.
A. Voigt, D. Rothfuss, J. Jossin (2023): Freiraum für Übermorgen. Das transformative Potential spielerischen Visionierens. In: K. Singer, K. Schmidt, M. Neuburger (Eds.) (2023): Artographies. Kreativ-künstlerische Zugänge zu einer machtkritischen Raumforschung. transcript, Bielefeld.
N. Becker, D. Rothfuss, G. Thole (2022): humus.raum. In: UniKasselTransfer (Eds.) (2022): Wissensspeicher. Eine Ausstellung mit 100 Ideen für eine nachhaltigerere Zukunft. kassel university press.
D. Rothfuss (2021): Gelebte Realität in virtuellen Freiräumen. In: S. Hennecke / D. Münderlein (Eds.) (2021): Freiraum in der Krise?! Eine Bestandsaufnahme in Zeiten der Covid-19-Pandemie. kassel university press.
D. Rothfuss (2020): Paris Nouveau. Über den avantgardistischen Umbau einer Metropole. In: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Garten und Landschaft (Eds.) (2020): Gärten im Klimawandel. Herausforderungen, Konzepte, Perspektiven. Georg, München.
Philip Stöcker supports the work linked to the lecture GdgU (Geschichte der gebauten Umwelt).