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Dr Günter Gassner

Dr Günter Gassner

Lecturer in Urban Design

School of Geography and Planning

+44(0)29 2087 4640
2.96, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA


I am interested in a critical and creative exploration of cities, space, and architecture. My research cuts across spatial practices, social theory, and political philosophy. I focus on relationships between politics and aesthetics, history and power, and urban visions and visualisations.

In my latest research monograph Ruined Skylines: Aesthetics, Politics and London's Towering Cityscape (Routledge, 2020; paperback 2021) I examine the urban skyline as a space for radical politics. Developing a critique of the construction of more and more speculative towers as well as a critique of the claim that these towers ruin the historic cityscape, I explore ruination as a political appropriation of the commodified and financialised cityscape and make a case for reanimating urban politics as an art of the possible.

I am currently setting up a project that explores relationships between fascism and urbanism. What does 'city making' mean and imply at a time when the extreme right is on the rise and the populist far right is becoming increasingly mainstream? Examining relationships between materiality, racism, and nationalism, I am particularly interested in fascism's conservatism and in interconnections between the liberal city and the fascist city. Theoretical starting points include Benjamin's aestheticisation of politics thesis and Deleuze and Guattari's account of microfascism.

I joined the School of Geography and Planning in 2016 and previously taught at the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, and in the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics. Before obtaining a PhD from the LSE, I practiced as an architect and urban designer in Austria, Spain, and the UK.


Previous academic positions

  • 2016 - present: Lecturer in Urban Design, Cardiff University, School of Geography and Planning.
  • 2015 - 2016: Course Tutor in Sociology and City Design, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology.
  • 2008 - 2016: Associate Lecturer, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, Spatial Practices Programme.
  • 2011 - 2014: Guest Lecturer, London School of Economics and Political Science, Cities Programme.


  • 2013: PhD (Sociology) London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
  • 2005: Master in Architecture, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.

Professional experience

  • 2014 - 2015: Urban Researcher, LSE Cities, London, UK.
  • 2008 - 2009: Urban Researcher, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), London, UK.
  • 2005 - 2007: Project Architect, Foreign Office Architects (FOA), London, UK.
  • 2004 - 2005: Architect, F451 Arquitectura, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2002 - 2004: Architect, Frötscher Lichtenwagner Architekten, Vienna, Austria.












I lead and teach the urban theory module CPT771 Urban Design Thinkers and contribute to CPT925 Urban Theory Provocations. I also teach on urban design modules including CPT910 Autumn Studio, on undergraduate geography and planning modules, and I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations as well as co-supervise doctoral theses.

I am interested in supervising additional PhD students who work on social, cultural and political aspects of design and cities, and who have an interest in social theory and political philosophy.

External profiles