News & Events

Online Lecture Series: KIT - Kassel forum on the history and theory of the built environment III: The object

Lecture series of Kassel university together with Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Lectures will  be held online in english language. Please contact FG Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur ( for the weblink.


Thursday, June 13, 18 :30, Tijana Vujosevic, ”The Aesthetic Object”

Dr. Tijana Vujosevic is assistant professor of architecture at the University of British Columbia. She was a co-curator of the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2023, with the project addressing the Canadian housing crisis – Not for Sale! She is the author of Modernism and the Making of the Soviet New Man (Manchester University Press, 2017).


Friday, June 14, 18:30. Rafico Ruiz, “The Curatorial Object”

Dr. Rafico Ruiz is Associate Director for Research at the Canadian Center for Architecture and the author of Slow Disturbance: Infrastructural Mediation on the Settler Colonial Resource Frontier (Duke University Press, 2021).


Thursday, June 27, 18 :30, Teresa Fankhänel, « The Architecture Model »

Dr. Teresa Fankhänel is Associate Curator at Michigan State University Broad Art Museum. She was formerly curator at the Architecture Museum in Munich (Germany).


Wednesday, July 3, 10 :30, Jiat-Hwee Chang, “The Thermal Object”

Dr. Jiat-Hwee Chang is Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore and a Research Leader of the STS (Science, Technology and Society) Cluster at the Asia Research Institute. He is the author of A Genealogy of Tropical Architecture: Colonial Networks, Nature and Technoscience (Routledge, 2016).


Thursday, July 11, 18:30 , S.E. Eisterer and Ana Maria Leon, “Resistant Objects”

Dr. Ana Maria Leon is associate professor of architecture at Harvard University and the author of Modernity for the Masses: Antonio Bonet’s Dreams for Buenos Aires (University of Texas Press, 2021). She is a co-founder of several collectives laboring to broaden the reach of architectural history, including Nuestro Norte es el Sur and the Settler Colonial City Project.

Dr. S. E. Eisterer is assistant professor for Architectural History and Theory at the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

Institute of Architecture is part of new research training group

Under the title “Organizing Architectures”, the new research training group investigates the interdependencies of architectures and social processes. Besides the two main locations at the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory and the University of Kassel are involved in the research project.

Rather than viewing architecture solely as a product of individual creativity, the research training group examines buildings as products and catalysts of modern networks, institutions and discourses. The twelve researchers are from the fields of architectural history, social sciences, cultural studies, law and history as well as architecture and urban planning.

“This change of optics enables a new methodological approach, which makes architectural history the subject of an interdisciplinary investigation,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Alla Vronskaya from the field of expertise of History and Theory of Architecture  at the Department of Architecture Urban Planning Landscape Architecture and Planning at the University of Kassel. In the field of Architectural Humanities – which is dedicated to historical and cultural architectural processes and practices – the research group thus contributes to academic reorientation and internationalization. Locally, it creates a research link between the universities in southern and northern Hesse.

The research training group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for an initial period of five years from November 1, 2024. The first spokesperson is professor Carsten Ruhl from the Institute of Art History (German: Kunstgeschichtliches Institut) at Goethe University; the deputy spokesperson is Sybille Frank, professor of Urban and Spatial Sociology at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Alla Vronskaya will present her current research at e-flux in New York on March 5, 2024

On December 17-21, 2023, Alla Vronskaya will participate in final studio presentations at Kuwait University College of Architecture as the external reviewer

Modernism on the Frontier: Architecture and Projective Geography in the Interwar Soviet Union

A colloquium presented by Alla Vronskaya, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow

Image: Ivan Leonidov, Competition project for Magnitogorsk (Soviet Union), 1930

Thursday, November 30
4:00-5:30 p.m (GMT-5) / 22:00-23:30 (CET/GMT+1)
West Building Lecture Hall, The Center of Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Washinton D.C. and Virtual


In the mid-1920s, a new approach to geography gained traction in the Soviet Union: unlike Humboldtian geography, which was engaged in classifying natural zones, the economic geography of Nikolay Baransky became preoccupied with defining natural regions. Moreover, offered at the moment of a rapid transition of Soviet economy to centralized planning, Baransky’s geography was not analytical but projective: it aspired to not only analyze but to design regions. Although overlooked today, this geography proved to be fundamental for Soviet architecture during the intense debate about the future of socialist urbanism in the context of building new industrial cities around infrastructural nodes and deposits of natural resources. My presentation will examine this entanglement between extractive industrialism, centralized planning, geographic knowledge, and architecture c. 1930, focusing on such concepts as the linear city and the settlement complex, developed by Nikolay Milyutin and Alexander Rozenberg. It will also link these discussions to the first Soviet theories of the standardization of architecture, which these architects furthered around the same time. A short-lived episode in geography, Baransky’s approach proved to have long-lasting effects on architecture and urbanism, informing later, Cold-War urban planning in the Soviet Union and beyond.



Alla Vronskaya appointed Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA)

Alla Vronskaya appointed Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, where she will work on her second book manuscript, tentatively titled “Environmental Colonization: Architecture, Climate, and Geography in the Cold War Soviet Union.”

For further information please click here:


Prof. Alla Vronskaya at panel discussion "Made by Women" in Berlin

As part of a panel discussion, Prof. Alla Vronskaya will talk about women in architecture and design in socialism on 13.07.2023 from 14:00-18:00 at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin.

Participation is free of charge, registration is not required. For more information please click here: MADE BY WOMEN - Ein Tribut an die Frauen in Architektur und Design des Sozialismus (

Lecture from Prof. Vronskaya at Life-Building-Workshop

Alla Vronskaya will give her lecture entitled "Architecture of Life: Soviet Modernism and the Science of Man" on 07.07.2023 as part of the workshop "Life-Building. On Metabolic Structures, Energetic Art and Dynamic Architecture in the Early Soviet Era" at the FU Berlin.

Further information on this event: "Life-Building. On Metabolic Structures, Energetic Art, and Dynamic Architecture in the Early Soviet Period": Workshop • Culture • Institute for East European Studies (

The event starts at 2 p.m.

Lecture from Prof. Vronskaya at the conference "Infrastrukturen/Infrastructures" at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

On 06.07.2023, Alla Vronskaya will give a lecture on "The Infrastructure of the Region in Soviet Territorial Planning" at the conference "Infrastrukturen/Infrastructures" at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Alla Vronskaya and Nikolay Erofeev participate at EAHN conference in Helsinki

For more information on this event please click here: Instruments of Occupation | States in Between | University of Helsinki

Online lecture series "Architecture's Scales: (Post) globalization"

Online lecture series in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Anna-Maria Meister, chair of Architecture Theory, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

All lectures begin at 18:30 and will be given in English. Please contact Sekretariat Fachgebiet GTA (smx00583[at]uni-kassel[dot]de) to receive the link.


May 4, 2023: Diaspora with Prof. Dr. Min Kyung Lee, Bryn Mawr College, USA

May 25, 2023: Globalization with Prof. Dr. Kenny Cupers, University of Basel, Switzerland

June 15, 2023: Settlement with Dr. Hollyamber Kennedy, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

June 22, 2023: Community with Prof. Dr. Alfredo Thiermann, EPFL, Switzerland

June 29, 2023: Displacement with Prof. Dr. Samia Henni, Cornell University, USA

July 6, 2023: Cosmopolitanism with Dr. Ines Weizman, Royal College of Art, UK


On March 15, 2023, at 6 p.m. Alla Vronskaya will present her work as the inaugural event of the new lecture series in architectural history and theory, "Neighbours – Lectures on History & Theory of Architecture," convened by professors Pier Vittorio Aureli, Christophe van Gerrewey, Sarah Nichols, and Alfredo Thiermann, at EPFL Lausanne.

More information


On March 2-3, 2023, Alla Vronskaya will speak at the Womxn in Design and Architecture symbosium at Princeton University, USA, devoted to the work of Montenegrin/Yugoslav architect Svetlana Kana Radević:

More information


On February 28, 2023, Alla Vronskaya to present her work at the Collins/Kaufmann Forum for Modern Architectural History at Columbia University, New York.

More information

New publication

Alla Vronskaya's article “Affective Productivism: Betty Glan in the Soviet Union,” is published in gta Papers, the journal of the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture (gta) of ETH Zurich: gta Papers, Nr.7, "Care", ed. by Adam Jasper, Torsten Lange, and Gabrielle Schaad, Zürich: gta Verlag, 2022.

More information


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.

More information


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.

Re­view pub­lished

Alla Vronskaya's review of Architecture of Life. Soviet Modernism & the Human Sciences (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2022) has appeared at Arquitectura Viva.

To the review

Re­view pub­lished

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

To the review

Alla Vronskaya joins the Center for Critical Studies in Architecture, Theory, and Media research network

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.

More informations

Exhibition opening and website-launch on 20.10.2022 at ASL Neubau

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" ( will take place during this event.

The exhibition takes place for one month until 20.11.2022.

Alla Vron­skaya is giv­ing the key­note lec­ture “To­wards a Gender An­thro­po­logy of Ar­chi­tec­tural Work” at AAW-Con­fer­ence in Wei­mar

The lecture takes place at 16.09.2022 in Weimar, it is also accessible online. Registration:

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:


Nikolay Erofeev, Constanze Kummer and Benjamin Eckel from our FG are also represented at the conference.

Art­icle "Mod­ern­ism and Mo­bil­iz­a­tion: From Viktor Sokol­sky’s Eco­nomic Prin­ciple to In­ter­war Ar­chi­tec­tural Plan­ning" from Alla Vron­skaya pub­lished

The article was publsihed in the open-access journal of European Architectural History Network (EAHN):

Alla Vronskaya has been awarded visitorship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA, for the summer of 2022

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.

We wel­come Nikolay Erofeev at our FG His­tory and The­ory of Ar­chi­tec­ture

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 - Lecture Series in the Summer Semester 2022

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"

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

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jan H. Bemmann on 27.01.2022, at 7 p.m. via Zoom


It's our great pleasure to announce that Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jan H. 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

Article about the historical building Rahnestraße 10 in Zeitz published


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.

Publication I "Ar­chi­tec­tu­re of Life: So­viet Mo­der­nism and the Hu­man Sci­en­ces"

11//2021//Al­la Vronska­ya's book will be published in 2022

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.

Bibliography on Soviet architecture published

10//2021// Alla Vroskaya's bibliography in Kevin D. Murphy's "Oxford Bibilographies"

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.

Es­say "Creo­le Me­tro­lo­gy" published

10//2021//Me­gan Eard­ley

In October 2021, Megan Eardley published an Essay about "Creole Metrology" via the platform e-flux. A related article was also released via "Grey Room", published by the MIT  >> Click here 

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.

News re­lease about the pro­ject "Se­­cond World Se­­cond Sex" at the Ar­chi­tek­tur­blatt

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


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.