Architecture Theory


Turning Back Inside? Ethnographies of Interiors (2023)

Turning Back Inside? Ethnographies of Interiors (2023)

The recent pandemic and climate change with effects on a global scale overturn the logic of a clear distinction between outside and inside on a local level – which is one of the mainstays of housing the world. The conference Turning back inside. Ethnographies of Interiors aims to create a shared moment of reflection on the concept of interiors: are they only the spaces that human beings inhabit and that allow a certain degree of ownership, protection, intimacy? How are private and public workspaces being rearticulated? Or is it not the environmental and cohabited space, hitherto kept outside as nature, that critical zone that changes the very logic of the interior and re-appropriates it as the environmental space of multispecies relations? How do ethnographic methods draw the boundary between what matters and what does not, studying spatial realities from an ‘inside’ point of view versus critical distance, and their logics of tidiness and messiness? The conference aims to discuss these questions through the lens of ethnographic research applied to architecture, discussing the potential of ethnographic methods by accessing the most diverse interiors, investigating their structuring logics, and re-examining their relationships with the supposed exteriors.

The Great Transformation (2023)

The Great Transformation (2023)

The conference/workshop The Great Transformation. Typology and Morphology in the Anthropocene takes a critical look at the changing conditions of typology and urban morphology as central architectural concepts for the creation of a meaningful human environment. It examines how and whether the changing concept of environment will lead to a typological transformation of existing urban morphology. Changing demographics, new concepts of living and housing, public transportation, biodiversity and human and animal conviviality are all factors that have an immediate effect on typology and urban morphology.

PLEČNIK NOW ! Exploring Public Space and Urban Porosity (2022)

PLEČNIK NOW ! Exploring Public Space and Urban Porosity (2022)

On the occasion of the 150th birthday of the Czech architect Jože Plečnik, the Institute of Architecture at the TU Berlin is organising the international symposium "PLEČNIK NOW! Exploring Public Space and Urban Porosity." It will be held in cooperation with and with the financial support of the Slovenian cultural centre SKICA Berlin. An accompanying exhibition of contemporary photographs by Czech photographer Adam Štěch will show the diversity of Plečnik's urban interventions and his approaches in Ljubljana, Slovenia, one of his main places of work.

Participants (alphabetical) :

Jörg H. Gleiter
U Berlin, Architectural Theory, Theorist, Architect, Professor Jörg H. Gleiter (Dipl.-Ing. habil.)

Jörg H. Geiter is head of the Department of Architectural Theory at the Institute of Architecture at TU Berlin. From 2005-12 he was Professor of Aesthetics at the Faculty of Art and Design at the Free University of Bolzano (Italy). His recent publications include Architekturtheorie zur Einführung (Junius Verlag 2022), The Anthropocene and the Historical Index of Architecture (in: CPCL European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscape, Vol. 5., 1/2022) and The Promise of an Object. Design Processes as Processes of Theory Construction (in: Innovation in Practice and Theory, Torino 2022). He is currently a visiting professor at the Politecnico di Milano. His research topics include critical theory of architecture in the Anthropocene, Project Earth - sustainability and knowledge transformation, semiotics and aesthetics of architecture.

Jürgen Mayer
H. J.MAYER H. und Partner, Architect

After studying architecture at the University of Stuttgart, The Cooper Union New York and Princeton University, Jürgen Mayer H. founded his Berlin office in 1996.
J.MAYER.H und Partner is a nationally and internationally renowned architectural practice working at the interface of architecture, communication design and new technologies. Cooperative teams develop and realise multidisciplinary spatial research on the relationship between body, nature and technology, from installations to urban designs and competitions. Andre Santer and Hans Schnei- der joined as partners in 2014.
Since its foundation, J.MAYER.H has realised a large number of different projects worldwide. Recent notable projects include the parking garage in the Miami Design District, the FOM university building in Düsseldorf, Germany, a courthouse in Hasselt, Belgium and various public and infrastructural buildings in Georgia, such as the airport in Mestia and the border crossing in Sarpi. The most outstanding project is the internationally renowned Metropol Parasol, the redesign of the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville, Spain, with its extensive sculptural wooden structure. Smaller residential buildings have also gained international recognition, such as Villa n.n. in Moscow, Dupli.Casa and Casa Morgana.
Numerous projects are currently being realised, such as the RKM 740 Tower, a high-rise residential building in Düsseldorf with medical practices on the lower floors, the revitalisation and expansion of an IT campus in Berlin-Potsdam and Voltair, a hybrid building in the centre of Berlin.
Jürgen Mayer H. / J.Mayer.H and Partner were awarded "Designer of the Year 2020" by BOOMSPDESIGN at the annual São Paulo Design Week

Olaf Nicolai

Olaf Nicolai studied German and philology in Leipzig, Vienna and Budapest and wrote his doctoral thesis on "The Vienna Group". Nicolai's works and projects have been shown in numerous international solo exhibitions, including Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany (2020), Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (2019), MUMA, Museum of Monash University, Melbourne (2019), Kunsthalle Wien (2018), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2018), Taxispalais Innsbruck (2017), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2016), German Pavilion, 56. Venice Biennale (2015), Musée du Louvre (2013), museum angewandte kunst, Frankfurt/ M. (2013), Kunsthalle Münster (2012), Pinakothek der Moderne Munich (2011), Kestnergesellschaft Hannover (2010), Kunstmuseum Thurgau (2009), Leonhardi Museum Dresden (2007), Kunstraum Dornbirn (2006), Kunstmuseum Thun (2004), Casino Luxembourg (2003), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (2001), Watari-Um Museum Tokyo (1998).
He directed the music theatre piece "In Vain" by Georg Friedrich Haas at the Theater Basel. His short film "Rodakis" was invited to participate in the 58th Berlin International Film Festival in 2008. In 2015, Olaf Nicolai directed the seven-month performative installation "Giro" on the roof of the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2021, his 24-hour film "MARX" was shown simultaneously in sixteen institutions worldwide.
Olaf Nicolai currently lives and works in Berlin.

Luka Skansi
Politecnico di Milano, Architectural Historian, Associate Professor

Luka Skansi is an architectural historian and associate professor at the Politecnico di Milano (DASTU - Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani). His research interests include, in particular, 20th century Italian architecture and technology, architecture in socialist Yugoslavia, and Russian and Soviet architecture.
He was a visiting scholar at the CCA in Montreal and a visiting professor at the faculties of architecture in Belgrade, Ljubljana and Venice. He participated in the 2014 Venice Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas-AMO with the installation The Remnants of a Miracle. He curated the exhibition Streets and Neighbourhoods at MAO, Ljubljana, for which he was awarded the Plečnik Medal in 2018. He was a member of the curatorial board of the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia. Architecture in Yugoslavia 1948-1980, which took place at MoMA in New York in 2018, and as a member of the curatorial board of the exhibition Fiume Fantastika, which was shown in Rijeka, Croatia, during the European Capital of Culture year (2020-21).
He is the author of several books, essays and articles on Carlo Scarpa, Aldo Rossi, Gino Valle, Pier Luigi Nervi, Myron Goldsmith, Jože Plečnik, Nikolaj Ladovskij, Moisei Ginzburg, Peter Behrens, Manfredo Tafuri and Vladimir Braco Mušič.

Maja Vardjan
MAO, Architect, Curator MAO

Maja Vardjan is a curator at the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, where she researches 20th century architectural and design production and contemporary creative practices. She has contributed to numerous exhibitions and publications, including Under a Common Roof: Modern Public Buildings from the Museum's Collection and Other Archives (2013), Saša J. Mächtig: Systems, Structures, Strategies (2015), Stanko Kristl, architect. Humanity and Space (2017), Made In: Craft and Design Narratives (2020), An Object and a Collection (2019) and The World Inside: Designing Modern Interiors, 1930-Today (2021). Since 2013, she has been actively involved in the development of the Biennale of Design (BIO). As co-curator, she conceived BIO 50: 3, 2, 1 ... TEST (2014) and BIO 25: Faraway, So Close (2017), for which she received the ICOM Slovenia Award.

Boštjan Vuga
SADAR+VUGA, architect, prof. mag. BOŠTJAN VUGA, univ.dipl.inž.arh., Grad. Dip. (AA)

Boštjan Vuga is a practising architect, researcher, educator and editor. He studied at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana and at the AA School of Architecture in London. In 1996 he founded the architectural practice SADAR+VUGA together with Jurij Sadar.
Boštjan Vuga has been appointed Professor of Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana. He has taught at the Berlage Institute Rotterdam, IAAC Barcelona, the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, TU Berlin, MSA Münster, Confluence School of Architecture in Lyon and TU Graz. As a lecturer, he has led several intensive workshops, such as APPS in Kotor and MIAW in Milan. He has been a guest critic at the AA London, Bauhaus Kolleg in Dessau, ETH in Zurich, Leopold-Franzens-Univeristaet Innsbruck, EIA Ecole D'ingenieurs et d'architectes Fribourg, Akademie für angewandte Kunst Wien, PennDesign, Politecnico di Milano and others. He is currently a Diploma Unit Master at the AA School of Architecture London.
He is the author of numerous articles on contemporary architecture and urban planning published in domestic and foreign professional and non-specialist publications. He edited several publications, including the Plečnik 2007 issue of the AB Architectural Bulletin and a series of publications for the TU Berlin featuring the work of the design studios he directs.
Boštjan Vuga was co-curator of the Montenegrin pavilion "Treasures in Disguise" at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale "Fundamentals", Venice 2014. From 2014 to 2018 he was Chairman of the Council of the MAO Museum of Architecture and Design in Slovenia. Since 2022 he has been President of the Board of Trustees of the architect Jože Plečnik.

Maruša Zorec
University of Ljubljana, architect, professor

Maruša Zorec studied at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, where she has been teaching since 1993. She lives and works in Ljubljana. In 1996 she founded the office arrea architects. Her most important works include the chapel in the Franciscan monastery, Ljubljana, 1999; the outdoor altar, Brezje, 2008; the renovation of the Vetrinje mansion, Maribor, 2010; the renovation of the castle outbuilding, Ormož, 2011; the renovation of the Plečnik House, Ljubljana, 2015; the renovation of the Švicarija in Ljubljana, 2017; the Unveiling of the Hidden - an exhibition at the Venice Biennale, 2018, Buildings of Modern Slovenian Architecture 1945-1970, www. , 2000; exhibition and publication Oton Jugovec - architect, 2001; Unveiling the hidden/Odstiranja, publication 2018. She has received several national awards for her work, mainly for small-scale renovation projects in protected environments and historic buildings.


Lidia Gasperoni
TU Berlin, Architectural Theory, Research Associate, Philosopher

Lidia Gasperoni (Dr. phil.) is a research associate at the Chair of Architectural Theory of the Institute of Architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin. She studied philosophy in Rome, Freiburg im Breisgau and Berlin. She completed her doctorate at the TU Berlin and habilitated in Italy in the field of aesthetics. She teaches architectural theory and philosophy with a focus on media philosophy, Anthropocene theories and design research at the TU Berlin and previously at the UdK Berlin and the University of Kassel. Her publications include: Versinnlichung (De Gruyter, 2016); Media Agency, with Christophe Barlieb (transcript, 2020); Artefacts of Designing, with Anna Hougaard et al. (TU Verlag, 2020); Site of Coexistence (IQD, 2021); and Construction and Design Manual: Experimental Diagrams, DOM publishers 2022; and Epistemic Artefacts. A Dialogical Reflection on Design Research in Architecture, with Matthias Ballestrem (AADR, forthcoming).

Jörg Stollmann
TU Berlin, CUD, Professor, Dean of Studies

Jörg Stollmann is Professor of Urban Design and Urbanisation at the Technische Universität Berlin. The chair's work focuses on cooperative and collaborative design tools, the mediatisation and digitalisation of planning and everyday urban life, and the urban as a common good. He has taught at ETH Zurich and UdK Berlin. He is currently part of the Collaborative Research Centre "Re-Figuration of Spaces" (DFG).


Round Table Architecture Psychology (2020)

Round Table Architecture Psychology (2020)

Under the theme 'Round Table on Architectural Psychology - Theory & Practice', Prof. Dr Jörg Gleiter (Department of Architectural Theory) and Gudrun Rauwolf (Architectural Psychology) invited participants to the Institute of Architecture at the TU Berlin on 31 January 2020. The main topics of this event ranged from the question 'What actually is architectural psychology?' to research methods and concrete implementation concepts of individual building parts according to architectural psychological considerations.

How can factors of spatial quality be deciphered? The focus of architectural psychological considerations is the human being with his or her needs, experience and behaviour. The first task was to sound out the location of architectural psychology. Prof. Rikelf Rambow gave an overview of the development of modern architectural psychology since the end of the 1960s as a response to undesirable developments in social housing and urban renewal, which culminated in the demolition of an entire new housing estate in St. Louis. In Germany, architectural psychology only plays a subordinate role as a sub-discipline of environmental psychology. He made it clear that architectural psychology must be developed out of the proprium of architecture in order to be perceived more strongly. Alexandra Abel complemented this thematic approach and saw the role of architectural psychology primarily in support through communication methods

The Status of an Object. On the Future Pasts of Architecture (2018)

The Status of an Object. On the Future Pasts of Architecture (2018)

Symposium in honour of Peter Eisenman on Wednesday, 19 December, 2018 in the Architecture Building of the TU Berlin. Participants are: Peter Eisenman, Rafael Moneo, Kristin Feireiss, Kurt W. Forster, Jürgen Mayer H. and Petar Bojanic, moderated by Jörg H. Gleiter.

2nd IfA Conference Think. Design. Build. Writing, Typology and Typogenesis in Architecture (2018)

On the 8th and 9th of November, 2018 the Institute of Architecture at the TU Berlin will hold the conference Think. Design. Build. 2. Type, Typology and Typogenesis in Architecture. This will be the second international conference of the Think. Design. Build series, organized every two years by the Institute of Architecture. The first conference took place in 2016 under the title Think. Design. Build 1 – Architectural Matters (

This year’s conference, Type, Typology, and Typogenesis in Architecture, will address the process of type formation in terms of theory (think), project (design), and practice (build). The conference will pick up on a complex and current topic. As a result of the introduction of Web 2.0, a differentiation between labour and production worlds, free time, as well as individual patterns of dwelling and partnership can be observed, demanding more than ever the emergence of new typologies in architecture and urban planning.

Against the backdrop of new methods of communication, whose permanent innovation sweeps up all areas of culture and society in its wake, the question of typology returns on a new, conceptual level. The debates are long beyond the point at which in the beginning of the twenty- first century mass customization was used to stigmatize typology as an overcome old- fashioned, or even reactionary standpoint (Carpo, Lynn, Migayrou). Yet, despite all of the prophecies, the opposite happened. The all-pervasive mediatization of everyday life, the densification of cities, and the need to build within existing built environments, all lead to a greater differentiation of the living environment and, as a result, to a process of type-formation that is far from complete.

The conference is based on an understanding of typology that on the one hand defines typology as the science of the specific orders, classifications, uses, and forms of building types, while on the other hand, it understands typology much more significantly as the process of type formation or typogenesis. While until recently type formation was considered slow and evolutionary, today the creative friction between existing buildings and new usage requirements changed the process of typogenesis. Today, typogenesis no longer seems to be an evolutionary optimization process, but is a disruptive-revolutionary process of reinterpretation of the existing. In contrast to the approaches of Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Aldo Rossi and Christopher Alexander, the term typology has its own blurriness today, one in which the specifics of time is revealed.

Typology is a deeply modern concern, whose beginnings go back far beyond the 18th century, and thus, the Age of Enlightenment and Rationality (Boullée, Ledoux, Lequeu), into the Renaissance. The focus on industrialization and mass society, on Werkbund (Muthesius, van de Velde, Behrens) and Bauhaus (Gropius, Meyer), obscures the fact that with the emergence of an urban morphology (palazzo, central-plan building, grid), typology had its beginning in the Renaissance. This means that typology is as much a project of Renaissance humanism as one of the "type-creating machine" (Gropius).

This is the conceptual framework of the conference Think. Design. Build. 2. Type, Typology and Typogenesis in Architecture. The two poles of a humanistic-anthropological and a technical-functionalistic approach reveal the historical depth and theoretical breadth of the subject. Hence, the permanently changing working environments of Start-Ups challenge the classical concepts of classification and systems of orders (the Black Forest House, the Access Balcony Houses, The Frankfurter Kitchen) and, with them, the very foundations of architecture. To what extent, by contrast, is the blurring of the term becoming an incentive for creativity and innovation? Is it still true that not the types, but at best, the uses change (Aldo Rossi)? Durand's system of typological modularity in the 19th century was suitable for the new construction tasks of industrialization, the emerging metropolises, and the individualization of bourgeois living, but how does today’s concept of type, prototype, archetype, pattern, and model change under the conditions of Building Information Modelling (BIM), 3D-printing, 3D-sculpting, 3D-milling, 3D- designing, and ever more complex building regulations? How does design, its methods, its materiality and its theoretical substructure change – and what remains the same?

On the 8th and 9th of November, the Think.Design.Build 2 - Type, Typology and Typogenesis in Architecture conference will invite 20 internationally renowned architects, theoreticians and historians to participate in the three panels “Think2, “Design” and “Build” and to discuss transformations in theory and practice. The conference will be held in close cooperation with the newly opened international and English language Master's degree program M-Arch-T, which deals with topical issues of typology. To promote research in architecture, a doctoral colloquium will be part of the conference. To this end, doctoral candidates are invited to present and discuss their research papers in front of an international audience via a call for papers.



1st IfA Conference: Think. Design. Building. Architectural Matters (2016)

On 2 and 3 June, the Institute of Architecture hosted the international conference THINK.DESIGN.BUILD. Architecture Matters.

Organisation and concept:

Jörg H. Gleiter, Rainer Hehl, Donatella Fioretti, Ralf Pasel with the Institute of Architecture, TU Berlin.


Keynote speaker: Toyo Ito (Tokyo).

Speakers: Tom Avaermatte (Delft), Tina di Carlo (London), Donatella Fioretti (Berlin), Kurt Foster (New Haven/Como), Finn Geipel (Berlin), Jörg Gleiter (Berlin), Interboro Partners (New York), Elli Mosayebi (Zurich), Spyros Papapetros (Princeton), Freek Persyn (Brussels), Jacob van Rijs (Berlin/Rotterdam), Pier Paolo Tamburelli (Milano), Nader Tehrani (New York).


Under the influence of omnipresent INFORMATISATION (ubiquitous computing), SIMULATION (building information modelling) and NETWORKING (internet of things), architecture seems to be less and less an active agent than a passive medium of cultural transformations. Where architecture is becoming more and more like the digital devices that should serve it, it is giving up its claim to actively shape an environment fit for human beings - with far-reaching consequences for architecture and culture.

The conference Think. Design. Build. Architectural Matters therefore poses the question of the three fundamental knowledge practices of architecture: THINKING (think), DESIGNING (design) and CONSTRUCTING (build). The focus is on a critical analysis of the guiding principles, methods and medial practices of the SAYABLE (word/language), the VISIBLE (drawing and model) and the BUILDABLE (material/structure) of the three knowledge practices, as well as, on the other hand, on the analysis of their complex interconnection in the processes of transmission, transformation and accumulation of knowledge.

Questions arise about the theoretical conception of architecture in the transition between the conceptual-abstract and the pictorial-metaphorical content of language (Panel I: Think), about the design conception of architecture and thus about the design process as agent and catalyst between idea and realisation (Panel II: Design) and about the constructive-material conception of architecture and thus about the translation of idea and design into the concrete materiality (Panel III: Build) of built architecture.

More information on the conference can be found at:

ThinkingArchitecture: Theory and Philosophy of Architecture (2015)

On 29 and 30 May, the Department of Architectural Theory organised the International Symposium.

For two days, speakers from the USA, Switzerland, Serbia, Luxembourg, Israel and Germany discussed the question of the relationship between the theory and philosophy of architecture.

The symposium took place on the occasion of the publication of the book Architektur und Philosophie. Fundamentals. Standpoints. Perspektiven (edited by Jörg H. Gleiter and Ludger Schwarte, Volume 8 of the series ArchitekturDenken, Bielefeld 2015).

Department of Architectural Theory with Prof. Dr. Jörg H. Gleiter, Dr. Tom Steinert, Dipl.-Ing. Sandra Meireis M.A., Dipl.-Ing. Katrin Ritter, Stefana Dilova

Günter Abel (TU Berlin), Felicity Scott (Columbia University, New York), Iris Aravot (Technion, Haifa), Daniel Purdy (Penn State University), Petar Bojanić (Belgrade University), Ludger Schwarte (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf), Hannes Böhringer (Berlin), Kirsten Wagner (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences), Christoph Baumberger (ETH Zurich), Petra Lohmann (University of Siegen), Jan Bovelet (Berlin), Christian Kremer (Luxembourg), Christian Bauer (Würzburg University of Applied Sciences), Martin Düchs (Bamberg/Munich)


As a metaphor of logical-constructive activity, architecture has played a central role in philosophy since its beginnings. Since the crisis of modern architecture, there have been increasing signs of approaches that critically expand the architectural-theoretical question of the cultural function of architecture from a philosophical point of view. So far, however, there is no integral form of reflection in the philosophy of architecture that can do justice to the role of architecture as that cultural practice with which man creates an environment for his changing as well as constant needs that is uniquely appropriate to him and different from pure naturalness. The two-day symposium will be devoted to the various theoretical and philosophical approaches to architecture as well as to the question of the relationship between theory and philosophy of architecture.

More information on the conference can be found at:

Architecture and Social Media in Network Societies (2013)

On 28 and 29 October 2013, the international scientific conference 'Architecture and Social Media in Network Societies' took place at the Institute of Architecture.

The conference was dedicated to the question of the mutual relationships between architecture and social media. Speakers from Russia, Italy, Belgium and Germany spoke. They represented the fields of architecture and perception theory, communication studies, semiotics, anthropology and visual communication. The conference was organised by the Department of Architectural Theory.

All information on the conference is available at  

Effect and Affect. Architecture and the Digital Sublime (2013)

It's strange, but computational design projects are all the more affectively overwhelming the more mysterious the processes behind them remain. They exist in a strange tension: they are as much characterised by a strict algorithmic logic as by its concealment (dissimulation). Zaha Hadid's museum at Michigan State University, Jürgen Mayer H.s. Metropol Parasol in Seville or the experimental architecture of Gramazio & Kohler seem to be shaped by invisible, magical forces. The question arises whether an almost forgotten aesthetic category is not returning with digital intelligence. The sublime, now as the digital sublime. Like Étienne-Louis Boullée, Le Corbusier spoke of "sublimity through objectivity". What does this mean for parametric design and computational design? What should we understand by the digital sublime? What perspectives does this open up for architecture? 


1st Berlin-Jerusalem Workshop on "Politics, Public Space and the Arts: Strategies of Knowledge Production", 2014

Joint event of the FG Architectural Theory and the Technion, I.I.T. Haifa/Israel. The 9-day workshop is the first Berlin event of JeBe - The Jerusalem Berlin Platform for Urbanism and Theory.

In collaboration with ANCB - The Metropolitan Laboratory, as part of the programme 'No Space Without Traits: Borders and Strategies of Knowledge'.

Information can be found in the PDF ThinkingArchitecture: Theory and Philosophy of Architecture
ThinkingArchitecture: Theory and Philosophy of Architecture, 2015

Dubrovnik Summerschool "Architecture and Philosophy"

An interdisciplinary five year joint project in Philosophy & Architecture held at Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, Croatia 

This summer school is open to graduate students in all stages of their studies. Students will be asked to read texts in advance, present presentations about a topic which will be agreed upon with the course directors, and actively participate in the meetings. The students will also take part in a supervised two hours research project in Dubrovnik. Findings of this research will be later analyzed in the classroom.