Cell of
the Future

Build­ing ­Exhib­i­tions
in Ger­many


Build­ing exhib­i­tions like Weis­sen­hofauss­tel­lung and Kochen­hofauss­tel­lung at Stuttgart in 1927 and 1933, “Schaf­fendes Volk” at Dus­sel­dorf in 1937, and Inter­bau at West Ber­lin in 1957 have become mass events provid­ing unique ven­ues for exper­i­ment­ing with vari­ous cur­at­orial prac­tices and design strategies. With up to some 7 mil­lion vis­it­ors for example at Dus­sel­dorf, new con­struc­tion meth­ods, scientific find­ings as well as polit­ical pro­pa­ganda and con­cepts of hab­it­a­tion were afforded a broad forum for pub­lic dis­cus­sion. These build­ing exhib­i­tions have demon­strated ways of indi­vidual life­style and col­lect­ive cohab­it­a­tion under dif­fer­ent policies.

Archi­tec­tural his­tori­ography has often researched them as sep­ar­ated, and not evol­u­tion­ary, units. In focus­ing on their build­ings and in dis­reg­ard­ing hall shows, fairs, pub­lic pro­grams, con­fer­ences, luna parks and gar­dens, the research pro­ject aims to ana­lyse build­ing exhib­i­tions as an example for a mod­ern het­ero­topy. In their accom­pa­ny­ing dis­course about life and social mod­els thus lies a fer­tile area for ana­lysis of the con­tested plur­al­ism of modernity.

The pro­ject is super­vised by Andres Lepik (TUM), Diet­rich Erben (TUM) and Carsten Ruhl (Goethe-Uni­ver­sity, Frank­furt am Main)

Visit the pro­ject page of Archi­tec­ture Museum Munich

Cell of the Future. Building Exhibitions in Germany. Habilitation project located at the School of Engineering and Design of Technical University of Munich and funded by German Research Foundation (DFG)

Weis­sen­hof exhib­i­tion in full flag dec­or­a­tion, Cover pho­to­graphy from Wal­ter Curt Behrendt,
Der Sieg des Neuen Baust­ils, 1927

Map of Killesberg at Stuttgart with Weissenhof and Kochenhof Settlement, Reichsgartenschau and Deutsche Gartenschau, Reserch Project Dr. Regine Hess © Regine Hess, Maximilian Steverding

Killes­berg in Stuttgart with Weis­sen­hof and Kochen­hof exhib­i­tion, Reichs­gartenschau and Deutsche Gartenschau, Map: Max­imilian Steverd­ing © Regine Hess, Max­imilian Steverding


Deutsch­land – Österreich – Schweiz

Cold Trans­fer. Archi­tec­ture, Polit­ics, Culture

Sym­posium, 24.1. – 25.1.2020, Architek­turzen­trum Wien, Podium

Ger­many – Aus­tria – Switzer­land after 1945

Research Group Monika Platzer, Bruno Maurer, Georg Vrach­li­otis, Regine Hess, Andreas Kalpakci, Anna Minta, Den­nis Pohl, Sabine Sträuli


On the occa­sion of the exhib­i­tion Cold War and Archi­tec­ture. Con­tri­bu­tions to the Demo­crat­iz­a­tion of Aus­tria after 1945, this sym­posium makes a con­tri­bu­tion to a European History of Archi­tec­ture – a history of trans­fer, but also of con­ver­gences and diver­gences in Europe’s archi­tec­ture, polit­ics and cul­ture. The efforts made by Ger­many as a ‘per­pet­rator nation’ to make a rad­ical break with its Nazi past as well as Austria’s claim to ‘vic­tim status’ char­ac­ter­ized polit­ics in the post­war period. Both coun­tries’ search for iden­tity after 1945 exped­ited nation build­ing – under the watch of the Allies. Switzer­land, which had remained neut­ral dur­ing the war, served as a bridge facil­it­at­ing the flow of know-how and assist­ance to the two war-dam­aged coun­tries. All three coun­tries par­ti­cip­ated to vary­ing degrees in the ideo­lo­gical con­flict of the Cold War. With its transna­tional approach, the sym­posium will shine a light – in com­par­at­ive per­spect­ive – on build­ing prac­tices and the socio-polit­ical para­met­ers of the three.

On the basis of transna­tional ques­tions, the sym­posium takes a com­par­at­ive look at the archi­tec­tural prac­tice and its socio-polit­ical frame­work of the three coun­tries. It thus con­trib­utes to a European history of architecture.

Planned Pub­lic­a­tion: Refram­ing Nach­kriegsar­chitek­tur D–A–CH.
Logistik – Medien – Aus­s­tel­lungen, Zürich: gta-Ver­lag 2023

Visit the conference page

Reframing Postwar Architecture in Deutschland-Österreich-Schweiz, Transnational Research Project Architekturzentrum Wien, gta Archiv ETH Zürich, Architekturmuseum der TU München, Südwestdeutsches Archiv für Architektur und Ingenieurbau, KIT Karlsruhe, Cover Building+Home, 1958