Participants' Biographies

Hitoshi Abe, IAES General Coordinator, University of California Los Angeles
In 2008 Hitoshi Abe conceptualised and initiated the International Architectural Education Summit out of a concern with the most pertinent issues in architecture and urban design and how best to prepare the upcoming generation of architects and city-makers for current and future challenges. As well as his career as a leader in education as Chair of Architecture and Design at UCLA, he is a recognised practitioner and founder of Atelier Hitoshi Abe based in Sendai and Los Angeles.

Elena Agudio, Artistic Director, AoN_Platform for Art and Neuroscience, Berlin
Elena Agudio’s research is focused on interdisciplinary studies and on the idea of finding new narratives on the arts. The non-profit organisation AoN serves as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange, bridging various approaches to art and human experience. It is run in collaboration with the Institute for Spatial Experiments led by Olafur Eliasson, the Medical University of Charité and the School of Mind and Brain at the Humboldt University. Agudio also works as an independent writer and curator, whose most recent exhibitions include ‘Totem and Taboo: Complexity and relationships between art and design’. 

Eugene Asse, Founder, MARCH, Moscow
In 2012 Eugene Asse established MARCH, a new independent school of architecture in Moscow, as a reaction to the monopolisation of architecture education in Russia and the lack of critical thinking about development in Moscow. An important part of the project is integration in the international architectural context, both through a direct partnership with London Metropolitan University and also by attracting international architects and students. Located on the grounds of the cultural and design hub Artplay, MARCH will provide a two year graduate programme certified by LMU.

Jhono Bennett, Co-Founder, 1:1 - Agency of Engagement, Johannesburg
Jhono Bennett co-founded 1:1 based on the gap between architectural education and practice in South Africa; currently students are ill-equipped with the skills and experience to effectively operate in the country's development sector. 1:1 aims to work with developing communities in order to clearly communicate their needs and aspirations, to allow spatial practitioners to make better-informed and more appropriate development decisions. Bennett also works with CORC (Community Organisation Resource Centre) within the Slum Dwellers International Alliance, supporting grass roots community-based development organisations.

Matthias Böttger, Founder and Director, raumtaktik – office from a better future, Berlin

Matthias Böttger is concerned with the production of space, its conditions and its ecological and political parameters. In this context, the work of raumtaktik focuses on issues of globalisation, migration, commercialisation and the activation of urban space. Böttger is also the curator of the German Architecture Centre (DAZ) and is Professor of Sustainable Architecture + Spatial Tactics at the University of Art and Design, Linz. He previously curated the German pavilion, ’Updating Germany - 100 Projects for a Better Future’, at the 2008 Venice Biennale.

Neelkanth Chhaya, Dean, Faculty of Architecture, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University, Ahmedabad

As an architect and academic, Neelkanth Chhaya has researched and worked extensively on emphasising the adaptation of built form to physical and social contexts, especially landform and landscapes.  He is also deeply interested in the cultural factors that affect architecture, especially in societies of rapid change. In recent years he has been involved in post-disaster participatory rehabilitation housing projects as well as mass housing projects in urban areas.

Beatriz Colomina, Director of Graduate Studies, PhD Programme, School of Architecture, Princeton University, New Jersey

Beatriz Colomina is concerned with the interplay between culture and technology. She is the Founding Director of the Programme in Media and Modernity at Princeton, which promotes the interdisciplinary study of twentieth century forms of culture. As an architectural historian and theorist, Colomina has also written extensively on architecture and media and her publications include ‘Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media’. In 2006-07 she co-curated the exhibition ‘Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X’ at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, which has since toured worldwide.

Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Director, ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin
Hans-Jürgen Commerell is a photographer, curator and publisher, who has been co-director of Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin since 1994. In 2009, together with Kristin Feireiss, he conceptualised and established the Aedes Network Campus Berlin, a cultural platform focusing on the future of our cities. In collaboration with leading international universities and institutions, ANCB provides an interdisciplinary laboratory environment offering workshops, debates and diverse formats in which students and professionals from architecture and planning, civil society, governance and economy share and exchange questions, experience and knowledge.

Marcos Cruz, Director, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, London
Marcos Cruz’s research interests include the body in architecture and a new, holistic approach to urban design that takes into account a variety of social, cultural and political factors. His educational work as studio master of Diploma Unit 20 at the Bartlett focuses on crossing boundaries of the traditional architectural practice, aiming to create innovative conditions in architecture and the city. He is also the co-founder of marcosandmarjan, an atelier combining the practice and teaching of architecture along with experimental design research.

Joachim Declerck, Founder and Programme Director, Architecture Workroom, Brussels

Joachim Declerck founded Architecture Workroom Brussels as a think-and-do tank for innovation in architecture, and urban planning. It aims to get designers involved in the planning process to help create a context for innovation within the practice of design, while simultaneously promoting the importance of spatial design in the response to a rapidly urbanising world. As part of its role as a cultural player, Architecture Workroom organises masterclasses with international architecture students to generate innovative ideas for urban development.

Winka Dubbeldam, Chair and Professor of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia
Winka Dubbeldam is concerned with blending pragmatics and provocation in her role as educator and design studio leader. She has many years of experience teaching at universities in the US and is driven by the desire to push architecture in new directions.  Alongside her design studios tackling real social and environmental issues, Dubbeldam has conducted her own investigative work that has been featured in international professional journals and in monographs. She is the principal of New York-based Archi-tectonics, known for its use of hybrid sustainable materials and smart building systems.

Anton Falkeis, Head of Department Social Design, University of Applied Arts, Vienna
As leader of the masters programme in social design, Anton Falkeis is concerned with the role of the arts in urban innovation. The programme works with non-academic institutions, aiming to integrate diverse disciplinary expertise when dealing with the complexity of urban systems. Art in synergy with scientific methods and knowledge is seen as a tool for spatial and social innovation in a rapidly urbanising world. Alongside his academic work, Falkeis is the co-founder of falkeis architects based in Vienna and Vaduz.

Kristin Feireiss, Director, ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin
Kristin Feireiss founded the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin in 1980. She has led a distinguished career as a curator and author specialising in the cultural field of architecture. As of 2013, she was appointed as a jury member for the Pritzker Prize. She was the director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute from 1995 until 2001 and was twice commissioner for the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2001, Feireiss was honoured for her engagement in the communication of architecture with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2009 she co-founded ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory with Hans-Jürgen Commerell.

Lukas Feireiss, Visiting Professor at space&designstrategies, University of Art and Design, Linz
Lukas Feireiss’ work focuses on the dialogue between architecture, art and visual culture in the urban realm. He runs the interdisciplinary creative practice Studio Lukas Feireiss, which encompasses a broad range of artistic, curatorial, editorial and consultative work. He teaches at various universities worldwide and is the programme manager of the design and publishing house Gestalten, specialising in visual culture.

Christoph Gengnagel, Professor of Structural Design and Technology, University of the Arts, Berlin
Christoph Gengnagel’s research activities focus on the design development and analysis of innovative materials and construction systems. This is based on the use of digital design and analysis tools, with the objective of developing simple solutions to complex technical issues. Gengnagel was a co-founder and partner of a.k.a.ingenieure in Munich. As of 2013 he is a partner at Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure. From 2008-2012 he served two terms as the First Vice President of the University of the Arts in Berlin.

Nikolaus Hirsch, Director, Städelschule, Frankfurt
As architect, curator and art theorist, Nikolaus Hirsch is concerned with the interface between art and architecture. In his role at the Städelschule he has sought to encourage experimentation and a more productive relationship between the departments of architecture and fine art. His work includes internationally acclaimed architectural projects and exhibitions. Hirsch is also the director of Portikus, a gallery for contemporary art in Frankfurt linked to the Städelschule.

Mathias Klotz, Dean of the Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile
As professor, Mathias Klotz’s educational strategies revolve around the process of perception. He proposes capturing and editing our individual experiences of the urban realm as a way of promoting the discovery and development of the city. In his architectural work, Klotz is driven by the search for a sense of belonging and place. He has achieved international recognition for the residential, commercial and public works of his architectural practice based in Santiago, which employ local materials and technology and encompass a concern for the environment, local history and culture.

Hubert Klumpner, Co-Director of Brillembourg & Klumpner Chair of Architecture and Urban Design and Dean of the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, Zurich
In his teaching with Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner focuses on the education of a new generation of professionals, who will transform cities in the twenty first century. They have proposed an experimental research and teaching methodology that shifts the emphasis from form-driven to purpose-oriented social architecture, drawing on an increased understanding of the informal city. Klumpner is also co-director with Brillembourg of the interdisciplinary design practice Urban-Think Tank (U-TT).

Dietmar Leyk, Research Director, ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin
Alongside his role at ANCB, Dietmar Leyk teaches, publishes and lectures internationally. He has published ‘ParaForm’, research on morphological phenomena as a base for studying the interdependencies between architectonic fabric and metabolism of urban systems in order to establish models for the evaluation and improvement of their sustainable developments. Since 2005 he has been a visiting professor at the Berlage Institute. In addition to his work as an educator, he is the co-founder and principal of lwa leyk wollenberg architects.

Chris Luebkeman, Director for Global Foresight and Innovation, Arup, London/San Francisco
Educated as a geologist, structural engineer and architect, Chris Luebkeman’s background has given him an insight into the importance of interdisciplinarity. He is concerned with the interrelationship between successful design, breadth of knowledge and steadfast inquiry. Arup Foresight identifies and monitors the trends and issues likely to have a significant impact upon the built environment and society. Luebkeman also lectures widely on the future, sustainability and innovation and has previously taught at universities worldwide, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Winy Maas, Founder and Director, The Why Factory, Delft University of Technology, Delft
Winy Maas established The Why Factory (T?F) as a think tank on future cities. T?F offers experimental ways of dealing with the future design of our cities, concentrating on the production of models and visualisations for future cities. T?F runs independent research projects, PhD programmes and taught design studios, aiming to publish the results through a variety of media. Maas is also a founding partner of MVRDV, widely recognised for its experimental research projects and built works.

Michael Mönninger, Professor of History and Theory of the Art of Building and Space, Braunschweig University of Art, Braunschweig
Michael Mönninger has researched and published extensively on the history of architecture, design and urban planning, focusing particularly on the post-war period. He is also a member of the Arts Advisory Board to the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. In between his academic work, he has been an editor, architecture critic and correspondent for leading German newspapers and current affairs magazines.

Eric Owen Moss, Director, Southern California Institute of Architecture; Eric Owen Moss Architects, Los Angeles
Eric Owen Moss has been a long time faculty member at SCI-Arc and director of the school since 2002. SCI-Arc was founded on the basis of a more free form intersection of teachers and students, a critique of established practices and an aggressive pursuit of the promise of an ever-renewable pedagogy. Its aim is to find radically new responses to the real needs and aspirations of today's world. In addition to his educational role, Moss is also the principal of the internationally recognised practice Eric Moss Architects.

Henk Ovink, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Washington DC
Henk Ovink is concerned with the relationship between design and politics. Before taking up his current role as Senior Advisor for President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, he was Director General for Spatial Planning and Water Affairs and Director for National Spatial Planning of the Netherlands. Ovink was also the curator of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, ‘Making City’, in 2012 and curator of ‘Design and Politics: the Next Phase’ at ANCB.

Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Professor and Head of Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA), Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
Mette Ramsgard Thomsen is an architect working with interactive technologies. Her research centres on the relationship between crafts and technology framed through “Digital Crafting” as way of questioning how computation, code and fabrication challenge architectural thinking and material practices. Her work is practice lead and focuses on the design of spaces that are defined by physical as well as digital dimensions. She has taught at numerous universities worldwide.

Alejandro Restrepo-Montoya, Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Pontificia University Bolivariana, Medellín
Alejandro Restrepo-Montoya is a university professor and researcher in the areas of architecture and sustainability. He has developed urban and architectural projects in the recent context of urban transformation in Medellín and has received international and national awards in recognition of his architectural work. He has lectured internationally and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Technical University of Munich.

Wolfgang Schäffner, Chair of the History of Knowledge and Culture, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin
Wolfgang Schäffner initiated the excellence cluster ‘Image Knowledge Gestaltung’, an interdisciplinary laboratory constructed as a virtual and real architecture of knowledge in which humanities, sciences and technology studies as well as the design disciplines will participate equally – a concept which represents a shift in focus and thinking from most current design teaching. Since 2005 Schäffner also holds the position of Permanent Guest Full Professor and Director of the Walter Gropius Programme at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, University of Buenos Aires.

Tatjana Schneider, Co-Author and Researcher, Spatial Agency; Senior Lecturer, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield
Tatjana Schneider’s work centres on how space is produced and used, with a particular focus on an expanded understanding of the role of the architect. Spatial Agency is a project that suggests other ways of doing architecture that are often neglected in the discourse of architectural education. It presents a new way of looking at how buildings and space can be produced. Moving away from architecture’s traditional focus on the look and making of buildings, the research proposes a much more expansive field of opportunities in which architects and non-architects can operate. Spatial Agency won the RIBA Research Award in 2011.

Michael Speaks, Dean of the School of Architecture, Syracuse University, Syracuse
Michael Speaks has played a key role in recent debates about alternative models of city planning. He was project coordinator for the 2012 East Region session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, an initiative in which mayors engage leading design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. He was also behind the River Project in Kentucky, connecting many different players to empower the redevelopment of Ohio river cities.

Martha Thorne, IAES General Coordinator, IE School of Architecture, Madrid
Martha Thorne led the organisation of the 2nd IAES summit held at IE School of Architecture, where she is the Associate Dean of External Relations. She is also Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a position she has held since 2005. She has worked with a variety of prestigious international cultural institutions, including as Associate Curator of the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago from 1996 to 2005, and is the editor and author of several books, including ‘The Pritzker Architecture Prize: The First Twenty Years’.

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Building Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo
Yoshiharu Tsukamoto's interest lies in diverse fields ranging from architectural design to research and art practice. He is co-founder of the Tokyo-based practice Atelier Bow-Wow, which began by producing a number of urban research projects that continue to inform its architecture. Tsukamoto also employs this research-based design approach grounded in the specifics of place in his educational work. He has been a visiting professor at several universities and was awarded the 2012 RIBA International Fellowship.

Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor, Rice School of Architecture, Rice University, Houston
Sarah Whiting’s work revolves around architecture’s catalytic relationship to politics, economics and society, focusing especially on the individual and the collective relationship to architecture and the city, as well as the nature of public life as it is currently being reformulated in the buildings and urbanisms of the twenty-first century. As well as an educator and writer, she is a partner in the architectural practice WW.

Mark Wigley, Dean, The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Columbia University, New York
In his role as dean at Columbia, Mark Wigley has overseen the development of a number of labs to serve as an interface between the school and the rest of the world, where a new kind of experimentation can take place. In 2005 he co-founded Volume magazine, an experimental think tank focusing on the process of spatial and cultural reflexivity which aims to explore beyond architecture’s definition of making buildings. Wigley has written extensively on the theory and practice of architecture and guest curated exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, amongst others.

Xu Weiguo, Professor, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Xu Weiguo’s research includes work on the subjects of design methodology and large scale planning. He has been involved in funded research projects including ‘Research on Spatiality Optimisation of Tiananmen Square’ and ‘Theory and Methodology of Architectural Planning’. As well as his academic role, he is also principal of XWG Archi-Studio in Beijing, a research-based practice that aims to investigate and reflect the socio-economic and ecological problems in the process of rapid urbanisation in China.

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