Dr. Nikolay Erofeev

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter | Postdoc | Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur

Gottschalkstraße 24
34127 Kassel
Gottschalk 24, Torhaus B, Raum 2110



Vita  (Dr. Nikolay Erofeev)

Nikolay Erofeev 

Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Kassel, Department of Architecture, State planning and Landscape design


I am a historian of Soviet urban development. I am interested in urban history and mass housing, socialist architecture, and planning. In particular, I look at Soviet construction projects and development assistance to the Global South. My forthcoming book ‘Experiments in Concrete: Manufacturing Prefabricated Housing in the Soviet Union’ explores the understudied architectural story of the ‘bureaucratic modernism’ of prefabricated housing. In contrast to a rather simplistic view of standardised housing development as the ‘end’ of architecutre, and a takeover of the profession by construction experts, the book reconstructs a complex and uneven history, as the housing drive became central to the formation of late-Soviet design culture, construction industry and urban sociology.


I am currently working on a new project that focuses on urbanisation processes in socialist Mongolia. The project explores how exchanges with the Soviet Union, Eastern European states and China fundamentally reshaped the urban space and daily life in Mongolia. The project establishes a multidisciplinary framework to explore the experiences of local and foreign specialists, workers, and citizens alike, engaged in transnational construction projects. More broadly, the project seeks to provide new understandings about the urbanisation 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.


I have received my D.Phil (PhD) in History from the University of Oxford in 2020 and a specialist degree in the History of Art from Moscow State University in 2014. I was a postdoc at Department of Urban Studies at the University of Basel and at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at New York University.


My fellowship at the University of Kassel has been possible due to the support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Previously I have benefited from generous scholarships from the Hill Foundation at Oxford and the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, among others.



N. Erofeev, ‘Complementary Assistance: Exchanges Between Mongolia, the Soviet Union, China, and Poland during the Cold War.’ Cold War History (2024).


N. Erofeev, ‘Building the Space of Internationalism: Socialist Assistance to Mongolia in the 1950s-70s.’ In Rethinking Socialist Space, edited by Marcus Cola and Paul Betts (London: Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming, 2024).


N. Erofeev, ‘Late-Soviet Collective Housing: Self-Help Construction and Self-Management in Youth Residential Complex Housing Movement’ Journal of Urban History (2024)


N. Erofeev, ‘Shabashniki.’ In The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 3: A Hitchhikers Guide to Informal Problem-Solving in Human Life, ed. by Alena Ledeneva (London: UCL Press, 2024), 325-29.


N. Erofeev, ‘“Camus est petit, Rozanov est grand”: Soviet housing production and technological transfer from France.’ in Panel Master: the Raymond Camus Story, ed. by Natalia Solopova (Berlin: DOM Publishers, forthcoming)


N. Erofeev and Ł. Stanek, ‘Integrate, Adapt, Collaborate: Concerns of Comecon’s Technical Assistance to Mongolia During the Cold War.’ In Between Solidarity and Economic Constraints, ed. by C. Bernhardt, A.Butter and M. Motylinska, 43-72 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2023)


N. Erofeev and Ł. Stanek, ‘Integrate, Adapt, Collaborate: Comecon Architecture in Socialist Mongolia’ ABE Journal 19 (2021)

N. Erofeev ‘Cybernetics & Standardization: Revisiting a Soviet Vision for Better Urbanism’ Strelka MAG 10/04 (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), 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)

N. Erofeev and M. Sapunova, 'Urban Standard and Norm and Their (Post)-Socialist Transformation', Urban Studies and Practices, 3/4 (2018), pp. 7-11


DPhil Dissertation

Erofeev, Nikolay. "Experiment in the Architecture of Soviet Mass Housing, 1956–1990."D.Phil thesis, Oxford University, History faculty, 2020.


Book Reviews

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.