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Dr Günter Gassner

Dr Günter Gassner

Lecturer in Urban Design

School of Geography and Planning

Email:
gassnerg@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 4640
Location:
2.96, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

I am a Lecturer in Urban Design interested in a critical understanding of cities, space and architecture. My research is at the intersection of urban design and critical theory. Using a range of different methods (socio-spatial mapping, participant observation, interviews, discourse analysis, etc.) I explore relationships between aesthetics and politics, history and power, and urban visions and visualisations. I also investigate the political agency of architects, urban designers, and other design-related professionals in contemporary urbanisation processes. My work contributes to the fields of Radical and Urban Geography and combines empirical analyses with detailed discussions of theoretical concepts. I engage with the work of theorists who are commonly associated with the Frankfurt School including Benjamin, Adorno and Horkheimer and, more recently, with the work of Nietzsche, Foucault, Arendt, Rancière and Deleuze and Guattari. I currently work on a research monograph with the preliminary title ‘Ruined Skylines’. In this book I take issue with the widespread idea that commercial skyscrapers ruin historic skylines and show that this idea assumes an element of integrity that is ideological and which itself must be ruined. My aim is to 'politicise' the visual in order to open up a critical debate about the commodification and financialisation of the contemporary city.

I joined the School of Geography and Planning in September 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 (LSE). I obtained a PhD from the LSE on the topic of Formalised Vision in the City and hold a Master in Architecture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. I practiced as an architect in Vienna, Barcelona and in London for Foreign Office Architects (FOA) where I was project architect and leader of the office-internal high-rise unit. I worked on a comparative analysis of public spaces in London, Paris and Barcelona (sponsored by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates) and on a research project with Richard Sennett.

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.

Education

  • 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.

2018

2017

2016

2012

2010

2009

I lead and teach the urban theory module CPT771 Urban Design Thinkers and teach on urban design modules including CPT910 Autumn Studio. I supervise undergraduate dissertations in Human Geography and Planning, postgraduate dissertations in Urban Design and co-supervise a doctoral thesis on the topic of urban conflicts and the transformative potential of dissensus.

I am interested in supervising additional PhD students who work on social, cultural and political aspects of architecture and urban design and who have an interest in Critical Theory and Political Philosophy.

External profiles