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


Nikolay Erofeev’s 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, and development assistance to the Global South. 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 complex and uneven history, as the housing drive became central for the formation of late-Soviet design culture, construction industry and urban sociology.


Erofeev's research project focuses on the urbanisation processes in socialist Mongolia during the Cold War. The project explores how these exchanges between Mongolia, Soviet Union, China, and Eastern European states fundamentally reshaped urban space and daily life in the country. The projects established a multidisciplinary framework to look at construction and planning projects in Mongolia between architecture and planning history, urban studies, and labor history. It explores the experiences of local and foreign specialists, workers, and citizens alike, engaged in transnational construction projects. More broadly, the project seeks to provide new understanding 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.


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.



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 (forthcoming, 2024).

N. Erofeev, ‘Shabashniki.’ In Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 3, edited by Alena Ledeneva (London: UCL Press, 2024).

N. Erofeev, ‘“Camus est petit, Rozanov est grand”: Soviet housing production and technological transfer from France.’ In Panel Master: the Raymond Camus Story, edited by Natalia Solopova (Dom Publishers, 2024)

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, edited 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), 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.

N. Erofeev ‘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