News & Events
Dr. Nikolay Erofeev to present his research at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia of New York University on February 9. The talk will be hosted virtually and is open to public.
Alla Vronskaya to present at the Fifth Cottbus Workshop (online), devoted to Art and Architecture in the GDR, on January 27, 2023. For full program and the conference link please see here.
Alla Vronskaya's review of Architecture of Life. Soviet Modernism & the Human Sciences (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2022) has appeared at Arquitectura Viva.
Alla Vronskaya's review of Katherine Zubovich, Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin’s Capital (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020) has appeared at the new volume of Architectural History journal
She will give a talk, "The Talent-Meter: Space, Labor, and Architecture in Soviet Russia," within its lecture series "Designed Orders" at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main on December 1, 2022.
The exhibition "Women Renewing Havana" with photographies by Christine Heidrich will be opening on 20.10.2022 at 7 p.m. at the Foyer ASL Neubau, including guest lectures by Prof. Dr. Sylvia Claus (BTU Cottbus) and Prof. em. Dr. Mary Pepchinski (TU Dresden). Also, the website launch of our project-website "Women Building Socialism" (www.womenbuildingsocialism.org) will take place during this event.
The exhibition takes place for one month until 20.11.2022.
The lecture takes place at 16.09.2022 in Weimar, it is also accessible online. Registration: https://www.uni-weimar.de/de/universitaet/struktur/wissenschaftliche-einrichtungen/ihz/veranstaltungen/architecture-at-work/
The address of the event in Weimar and the Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants on 12 September. More on the workshop: https://www.uni-weimar.de/projekte/architecture-at-work/?fbclid=IwAR25516LV_QM9g3F88LEHoUJFyszDVueaeSgBkFMIvdEG9u7VoV5mQ07M00#about
Nikolay Erofeev, Constanze Kummer and Benjamin Eckel from our FG are also represented at the conference.
The article was publsihed in the open-access journal of European Architectural History Network (EAHN): https://journal.eahn.org/article/id/8287/
Alla Vronskaya has been awarded the visitorship to work on her second book, devoted to Soviet architecture's ties to state colonization efforts, including responses to geographic and climatic divesity.
Nikolay Erofeev started his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kassel, supported by a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship. Nikolay Erofeev is an architectural historian whose work focuses on socialist architecture, housing and urban planning. His book manuscript, ‘Experiment in concrete: Diversity and Debate in the Design of Soviet Housing, 1955-1990’, explores the design and production of Soviet housing at the intersection of architecture, planning and urban sociology.
Architecture's Scales: The Environment is a series of conversations convened by FG Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur in collaboration with FG Architekturtheorie und -wissenschaft (Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Meister), TU Darmstadt within the framework of the seminar "Architecture's Scales: The Environment." All lecutres will take place online at 18.30 CET.
May 10, 2022. The Planetary with Design Earth
Away from the national, the regional, and the global, the planetary has become the new dimension for architectural theory that accounts for the physical reality of the planet Earth, which humans cohabit with other species, and which they have geologically transformed within historically miniscule time.
May 24, 2022: The Material with Ateya Khorakiwala
Stone, steel, concrete, bamboo, mud—architecture is made of building materials. A study of materiality can reveal the deep, geological history of the stones the building is made of or of the fossils burned during its production; technologies used at the production of building materials and the construction of the buildings, alongside their history and politics; the global networks of extraction, supply, labor, and finance that enable construction; and sometimes conflicts between the building’s image and its construction technique.
June 7, 2022: The Global with Ayala Levin
Building is no longer—and has never been—a purely local endeavor. From supply chains to resource extraction, from colonial settlers to cultural appropriation, creating built structures is always embedded in global economic and ecological sets of practices and consequences.
June 21, 2022: The Object with Andres Jaque
Objects not only make up what we might call architecture, they re-calibrate how we see the built environments—quite literally. In Andres Jacque’s work on ultra-clear glass and its use in luxury apartment buildings, he untangles the connections between a material object, financial networks and the city.
June 28, 2022: The Molecular with Meredith Tenhoor and Jessica Varner
The built environment is made of stuff, and that stuff is again made of smaller stuff: particles, chemical compounds, and molecules. Be it paints, treatments, coatings or toxic ingredients of building material, the molecular scale is by no means innocent; in fact, the chain events triggered by toxics cross all scales from environmental pollution to reconstruction.
July 5, 2022: The Urban with Dalal Alsayer and Megan Eardley
The Anthropocene has changed our relationship with cities. It subverted traditional, human-centric notions of time and scale, juxtaposing them to geological, infinitely greater ways of understanding the city and of the relationship between the city and the planet.
Megan Eardley and Alla Vronskaya will co-chair the panel "(Anti-)architectures of Colonization During the Cold War" at the Society of Architectural Historians virtual conference on September 20–22, 2023. For the call for papers, please see
It's our great pleasure to announce that Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jan H. Bemmann (https://www.vfgarch.uni-bonn.de/de/personen-1/jan-bemmann) will give a lecture, titled “Von mobilen Camps zur permanenten Hauptstadt – Die mongolischen Khane und der Städtebau auf dem Mongolischen Plateau“, about his recent research in the topic of urbanism in the Mongolian Empire and it's capital Karakorum.
For further informations about his research please see:
The lecture will be held in German language.
To receive the zoom-link please contact Dorothea Blank here: dorotheablank[at]web[dot]de
In the now published Saale-Unstrut Yearbook 2022, our research assistant Benjamin Eckel is also represented with an architectural and cultural history contribution on the building Rahnestraße 10 in Zeitz. The yearbook is published by the "Saale-Unstrut-Verein für Kulturgeschichte und Naturkunde e.V." via the Mitteldeutscher Verlag. The article deals with the history of the building's construction and use and also examines the immediate surroundings in the (architecturally) historically important Rahnestraße. Local actors and current problems are also highlighted.
Project "Second World, Second Sex: Women in Architecture under Socialism (Online Repository)" receives funding of the Hesse Ministry of Science and Art
We are delighted to announce that our project "Second World, Second Sex: Women in Architecture under Socialism (Online Repository)" received a grant of the Hesse Ministry of Science and Art through the program "Dimensionen der Kategorie Geschlecht - Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung in Hessen." In the course of the next 18 months, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Tijana Vujosevic (University of British Columbia, Canada) we will work on creating an online repository of primary sources and reference material related to the activity of female architects in the countries of state socialism.
This project explores the role and position of women in architecture in non-liberal socialist contexts during the twentieth century. These contexts include Russia and the Soviet Union before the Second World War; as well as the countries of the Soviet bloc, including the GDR, and the countries that remained outside of the bloc but nevertheless declared their adherence to socialism, such as Yugoslavia and China, during the Cold War. Challenging the received vision of socialist architecture as a male field, we bring a feminist perspective into this sub-field of architectural history, from which it has so far been missing. We aim to answer the following questions: How did socialism, including but not limited to paternalistic state programs, affect female architects‘ professional and personal lives? What were the effects of national, cultural, and regional specificity in different socialist countries? And what could we learn from that experience today? By answering these questions, we aim to bring to light the often neglected legacy of female architects under socialism and to analyze the entanglement of gender, politics, and architecture in twentieth-century non-liberal socialist societies.
Sarah Wheat receives DAAD short term research award
Sarah Wheat receives the short term research award by the DAAD. About her project she says:
With DAAD funding I will conduct archival research and site visits in Germany related to the third chapter of my dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alla Vronskaya at Kassel University. The research project investigates the intersection of Islamic applied art on display in museums and notions of femininity and masculinity in the popular mass culture of late industrial Germany. I explore how commercial entertainment venues such as cafés, clubs, hotels, cinemas, and more, exploited the gendered sensorial and atmospheric qualities associated with Islamic interiors and interpret these design choices as mapping onto changing power and gender relations in the region. By considering museums and commercial spaces together I will show how both forms of popular architecture catered to audiences that were changing and growing quickly due to political, economical, technological, and cultural changes. This research project contributes to my dissertation which, as a whole, examines how images of Ottoman/Islamic architecture, art, and culture were represented, reproduced, distorted, and refracted in the liminal, everyday spaces of early twentieth century Germany and the United States.
The project "Second World Second Sex", funded by the Hessische Minsiterium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, had it's first news release at the Architekturblatt. We are very happy about the start of the project and also about the growing publicity.
You can read the full news release here: Architekturblatt | Onlineprojekt macht Architektinnen im Sozialismus sichtbar
Alla Vronskaya's book "Architecture of Life: Soviet Modernism and the Human Sciences" will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in Spring 2022 and is pre-orderable now.
Alla Vronskaya's commented bibliography on Soviet architecture was published in Kevin D. Murphy's "Oxford Bibilographies: Architecture, Planning and Preservation". Here you can find further informations about the article from Alla Vronskaya.