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Anuschka Kutz

Ms

20082019

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Personal profile

Research interests

Anuschka Kutz is a qualified architect, urbanist, designer and academic. She is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Brighton and since 2014 Visiting Professor at KU Leuven, Belgium, Faculty of Architecture. She is also co-founder and co-director at Offsea / office for socially engaged architecture and urbanism, working on projects that fuse research and practice, with work located in the field of architecture, urbanism and art, with a focus on social engagement and participatory projects. The collaboration fuses practice and research.

Her research interests lie in the correlation between architecture, urbanism and everyday space and culture. Her current focus is on demographic and societal change. She explores how overriding systemic socio-economic, political and cultural shifts manifest themselves in everyday lives of citizens and how at the same time close-up spatial ethnographic studies of urban and spatial tactics, habits and rituals of citizens can illuminate overriding systemic tendencies, reflecting the macro on the micro scale and vice versa to discern how this may impact on alternative architectural and urban concepts. She employs ethnographic approaches to research and describes herself as both an architect/artist as well as urban ethnographer.  Her work is foremost cross-disciplinary, seeking to bridge interdisciplinary divides. She has collaborated with filmmakers, artists, economists, social scientists and has established networks and collaborative projects with stakeholders, local councils, community groups, organizations as well as individual citizens. Keen to give voice to those who are often unheard or at the margins, her research and practice incorporates social engagements projects and tends to prioritize qualitative research, reflected upon quantitative research.

Scholarly biography

Anuschka studied Architecture in Berlin and Moscow, finalizing her studies with an award-wining Diploma project at the Technical University of Berlin. She earned a Masters degree in History and Theory of Modern Architecture at University College London, and worked for the internationally acclaimed architectural practices of Zaha Hadid and Michael Hopkins, before returning to the academic framework to which she is committed since 1998, first at the Technical University of Berlin, the London Metropolitan University, Kingston University and now at the University of Brighton and KU Leuven. She also acts as invited lecturer, critic and speaker in other international institutions.

Anuschka's research focuses on the correlation between everyday practice and architectural space, investigating how acute and profound societal and economic transformations manifest themselves in everyday life and vice versa to explore alternative architectural strategies. Detailed, almost forensic studies into everyday domestic and urban practices, habits and rituals inform and influence her architectural work. In search of the often invisible and informal, intricate nature of human inhabitation, which is often much more variegated and inconsistent than most theoretical frameworks permit, she traces personal social networks and spatial tactics to unveil how everyday patterns of appropriation co-relate to larger urban systems and how they contribute to form space. Many of her projects employ ethnographic methods or incorporate social engagement and participatory processes to study and decode personal and individual spatial practices, a methodology she seeks to integrate into teaching. Most of her recent research has been undertaken in collaboration with Andrea Benze, and their joint research and practice platform OFFSEA, whose work has been exhibited, funded and published widely.

Offsea have developed key research-led projects, exploring how everyday patterns of occupation influence architectural space and vice versa, working on theoretical research as well as practice based work at the juncture between architecture, urbanism, theory and art. Key projects from their research portfolio include: The permutated detached house, Graz, Austria (2004); Kitchenshrine & Dogcomfort, a large-scale interactive exhibition lab, Brighton, Cologne and Weimar (2006 / 2008); Rituals of Everyday Life, video archives featuring personal accounts of spatial appropriation, produced in collaboration with the documentary filmmaker Gisela Krauss (2006), Flexible Housing Cubes, Graz (2008); Urban Portraits. Seniors, their worlds and the city (since 2012), Conglomerate as Urban Tactic, Urban Living Berlin(2014), by invitation of the Senate for the Build Environment, Berlin.

In 2012-14 Anuschka Kutz and Andrea Benze were awarded a Research Fellowship at the internationally acclaimed Academy Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, where they focused their interest on the pressing issues ageing in the city. During this time they created Urban Portraits. Seniors their World and the City. Stuttgart, a pilot project that fuses ethnographic and architectural methods to decode informal everyday urban and domestic spatial tactics and strategies employed by older people in the city.

Anuschka is a member of the Research Group Urban Project, Collective Spaces and Local Identities a transdisciplinary research group at the Department of Architecture of the University Leuven (KU Leuven) gathering researchers from several disciplines (architecture, urban design, urbanism, heritage practice, history & theory of architecture and urbanism, anthropology, digital spatial media, …). The aim of the research group is to initiate and develop research on the making and use of collective spaces in urban projects in relation to coherent theoretical approaches and discourses. see: http://www.collectivespaces-kuleuven.be

She has curated the international lecture series Pressures on the Urban Field (since 2016) at KU Leuven, School of Architecture, a format that combines a discussion platform with evening lectures. She has chaired discussion events with Suzanne Hall (architect, urban ethnographer, co-director of the Cities Programme and Associate Professor in Sociology at the LSE), Deane Simpson (architect, urbanist, author,  educator and researcher, professor and co-leader with Charles Bessard of the masters program Urbanism and Societal Change at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Copenhagen), Saskia Sassen (international author and academic, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought) and Andreas Ruby (architecture critic, curator, moderator, teacher and publisher, co-founded together with Ilka Ruby of the award-winning architecture publishing house RUBY PRESS and since 2016 director of the SAM Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel). For extracts see, for example: http://internationalmasterofarchitecture.be/video-salon-conversation-saskia-sassen/

Supervisory Interests

I welcome expressions of interest for supervisory PhD support for both theoretical and practice-based PhDs in the field of architecture, urbanism, everyday space and culture, touching on themes such as urban, peri-urban and rural cultures and change, fragilities (in a global and local context), identities and territories, everyday spatial practices and tactics, societal change (such as, diversification and ageing), spatial ethnography and civic space. I am particularly interested in dissertations that explore multi-scalar dependencies, such as, how overriding systemic socio-economic, political, environmental and cultural forces and shifts impact and manifest themselves in the everyday lives of citizens and vice versa. I encourage inter- trans- or cross-disciplinary approaches, as well as social engagement projects. My own research currently involves close-up, in-depth spatial, ethnographic readings and cartographies of everyday spatial tactics and lived space (urban, institutional and domestic) to dissect how overriding changes may manifest themselves in close-up, personal scenarios and how architecture and urban practice could harness knowledge gained in this field to offer creative, alternative approaches to mitigate emergent changes and to give capacity to nurture the human and civic dimension in our environments. I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, and a Visiting Professor at KU Leuven, campus Sint-Luca, Brussels in the International Master in Architecture, on the program Urban Projects / Urban Cultures. I have acted as an external examiner at Chalmers School of Architecture and Umeå School of Architecture, Sweden. 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University College London

1 Oct 19961 Oct 1997

Award Date: 1 Oct 1997

Master, Technical University of Berlin

1 Oct 198630 Apr 2015

Award Date: 15 Apr 1994

External positions

Visiting Professor, KU Leuven

1 Oct 2014 → …

External Examiner, Chalmers University of Technology

1 May 201431 Dec 2016

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