Professor of History of Art and Architecture:
History of Art & Architecture
Phone: +1 401 863 3254
Phone 2: +1 401 863 1174
My research concentrates mostly on late 19th and early 20th Century European and American Architecture. I am interested in the entire scope of architectural production and debate, from the minutiae of building technologies to the transatlantic discourse on skyscrapers and urbanism throughout the 20th Century. My publications on the history of film set design and architectural illumination have helped to define new approaches and fields of research.
I was born in Goettingen, Germany, studied Architecture at the Technical University in Munich, and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. I received my Ph.D. in the History of Architecture at the Technical University in Munich. I came to Brown University in 1989 as a visiting professor, and became assistant professor in 1991. My research concentrates mostly on late 19th and early 20th Century Architecture. I have published essays on the history of building materials, and books on German skyscrapers of the 1920s, on the history of film set design and architectural illumination. I have curated a number of exhibitions, such as "Film Architecture," (Providence, Los Angeles, Frankfurt) "Richard Neutra's Windshield House," (Harvard University, RISD, Washington, Pittsburgh) "Unbuilt Providence," (Brown University) "Friedrich St. Florian: Retrospective," (Brown University) "Luminous Buildings: Architecture of the Night" (Stuttgart and Rotterdam) and edited their catalogues.
I am currently (August 2009) working on an exhibition (opening August 2010 at Yale University) and publication (Yale U. Press) about the modern architectural lighting designer Richard Kelly (1910-1977) and a major new biography on the German-American Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Phaidon, London).
Ph.D. in the History of Architecture from the TU in Munich
President of the Society of Architectural Historians 2008-2010
Royce Family Professorship for Excellence in Teaching, Brown University, 2008-10
Vincent Scully Visiting Professor for the History of Architecture at Yale University 2007-2009
Member of the Instititute for Advanced Study, Princeton since 2001
Scholar at the Canadian Center for Architecture, 2001-2002
Founder's Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, 1996
Philip Johnson Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, 2003
Teaching Awards at Brown University: 1994, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008
Society of Architectural Historians, Chicago
Architectural Association, London
I teach three general lectures on the history of 19th and 20th Century Architecture: HA0070 (19th Century Architecture), HA0085 (Modern Architecture), which covers the period 1900-1950s and HA0086 (Contemporary Architecture), which covers the period 1960 to the present. In addition, I teach a lecture course about the history of movie set design, called "Film Architecture."
Undergraduate Seminars often deal with different aspects of the Architectural History of Providence, but I have also taught seminars on individual architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, or about architectural movements such as "Dekonstructivism in Architecture."
Graduate seminars have dealt with questions of methods or, most recently with the design and execution of an exhibition about a local architect, Friedrich St. Florian. The exhibition opened on May 25th in the Bell Gallery at Brown University and its catalogue appeared at the same time.
For the last three years I have taught each spring at Yale University's architecture school as the first Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architecture. I am currently the president of the Society of Architectural Historians.
Mellon Foundation Grant 2009 (as one of two 'Principal Investigators' for the Society of Architectural Historians)
Humanities Research Grant, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Presidential Technology for Teaching Fund, 2005 - 2006
Wendy Strothman Award 2004
Values Initiative Grant for lecture series about contemporary architecture 2002
Graham Foundation Grant 1998
Henry Merritt Wriston Grant, Brown University, 1997/1998
Curricular Development Grant, Brown University, 1997/1998