Benefitting from its unique setting in the art academy, Städelschule, SAC sees its experimental and speculative approach to architecture both as a privilege and disciplinary obligation. In its disciplinary pursuit, the programme situates architecture in a wider social and political context while problematising contemporary cultural problems. SAC’s master programme is highly international, reflected in both faculty and student profiles, and exclusively conducted in English. Over the last three years, more than sixty students from about 20 different countries have at any time pursued their studies in the two-year programme.

Based on the artistic platform supplied by the Städelschule and the rigorous methodology structuring contemporary architectural design, the programme is formulated as a new and innovative approach to the practice of architecture. Work at SAC pursues design problems within a small sub-set of thematic contexts which at any time are defined by the Master Thesis Studios. Each Master Thesis Studio is led by an appointed professor, guest professor or thesis advisor. Reflecting the overall programme of the school, these studios operate autonomously but reflect the culture of the art academy and SAC’s disciplinary concerns. The respective academic and experimental agendas of the Master Thesis Studios complement one another and contribute to a vital and dynamic educational programme. The complementarity of the studio programmes engenders a productive in-house exchange and discourse for the benefit of the students and the development of the experiments and projects undertaken.

While deeply rooted in the discipline of architecture, SAC benefits from the arts’ profound commitment to critical speculation and innovation. Drawing on the small school’s distinct qualities and dynamics, SAC is situated at the cusp between the critical and innovative forces of art and architecture. Through its experimental research and the excellence of its students and graduates, the programme continuously explores disciplinary specific problems and the status of architecture within contemporary society.

SAC PROGRAMME & FacultY line-up 2018-19

SAC proudly announces its faculty line-up for the academic year 2018-19. The three Master Thesis Studios are led by: Peter Trummer - Architecture and Urban Design; Theodore Spyropoulos of Minimaforms - Advanced Architectural Design; and Johan Bettum - Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

Yara Feghali has joined SAC as studio teacher and researcher. Yara leads the studio for the group of first semester students, and her design studio will be accompanied by techncial workshops and theory seminars. She also joins Bettum to teach in Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley return to teach history and theory for first year students, and Daniel Birnbaum offers seminars in theory and philosophy.

Hélène Frichot also returns to Frankfurt. While being Professor at the KTH School of Architecture, Stockholm, Hélène offers a series of seminars to students in the Master Thesis Studios and will guide them towards the completion of their written submission for their final degree.

During the winter semester, SAC also hosts a small number of visitors who will give lectures and/or seminars on select topics. First ones out before the seasonal break in December are the partners, Devyn Weiser and Peter Testa, who will entertain Master Thesis students for four days. Shortly after, Daniel Norell returns to offer a workshop to the First Semester Group after having been at SAC last year to give a guest lecture and participate in reviews. For the complete visitors programme during the winter semester, see here.

SAC Journal

The SAC Journal is a periodical that documents and critically reviews projects and theoretical discussions within contemporary, architectural design culture. The projects and texts published relate to the ongoing interests and ambitions of SAC. The publication series attempts to contribute to the discipline of architecture on a critical and discursive level. Read More

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Forthcoming SAC Journal 5


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SAC Summer Break BBQ

27 June 2019
SAC is ending the summer semester and academic year with our traditional BBQ, carried out by SAC students. We wish everyone a wonderful summer! Photo credits: Aniket Shah
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17-18. June 2019
10:00 - 18:00 at Städelschule room I9
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FYG: Study trip to Stuttgart

06 June 2019
Accompanied by Mark Wigley and Beatriz Colomina, SAC's First Year group visited Stuttgart on a study trip on 25th of May. The group went to see the Weissenhof Estate (Weissenhofsiedlung) and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.
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04 June 2019
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Michael Osman

Modernism's Visible Hand

29 May 2019
MICHAEL OSMAN MODERNISMS VISIBLE HAND 29 MAY 2019 19:00 PM - STÄDELSCHULE AULA Osman will present themes from his book Modernism’s Visible Hand. These include the origin of room temperature, the technical foundations for speculative trading in perishable produce, the history of environmental simulation in ecological laboratories, and the regulation of machine shops and architecture offices through new forms of paperwork. Michael Osman is associate professor of architecture and urban design at University of California, Los Angeles, where he directs the MA and PhD programs in the history and theory of architecture. His book, Modernism’s Visible Hand: Architecture and Regulation in the United States, was published in 2018 by the University of Minnesota Press. He is a founding member and current chair of Aggregate: The Architectural History Collaborative.
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Anna Neimark

A Post-Conceptual Position

27 May 2019
ANNA NEIMARK A POST-CONCEPTUAL POSITION 27 MAY 2019 19:00 PM - STÄDELSCHULE AULA To define what we are calling “a post-conceptual position,” we have to admit that even the most radical conceptual acts in architecture did not quite generate a heightened form of self-awareness, or in-depth discussions on medium specificity in this field. With only a few exceptions, we might even say that there hasn’t really been a full-blown conceptual moment for architecture. What then is the possibility for the writerly, as Roland Barthes defined it, or for the builderly, as we would put it later on? In this talk, Neimark will pose the possibility for a post-conceptual position in architecture by presenting the work of First Office as a series of blanks—from Malevich, to Duchamp, to the primitive dolmen huts—filled in with all the specificities of contemporary building stuff. Anna Neimark is Faculty at SCI-Arc and a Principal of First Office, a practice co-founded with Andrew Atwood in Los Angeles, California. Built projects include a collaboration on the Pinterest office headquarters, a temporary screening room at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, and some small houses. Their texts have been published widely, in Log, Perspecta, Project, and Future Anterior, and have been compiled in Nine Essays, published with Treatise Press in 2015. That same year, First Office was awarded the Architect’s Newspaper’s Best of Young Architects prize and became a finalist in MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program. Most recently, Neimark received support from the Graham Foundation toward an exhibition of her research focused on prehistoric stone formations, called dolmens. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Princeton University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Book Presentations:

Beatriz Colomina, Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto

24 May 2019
SAC proudly hosts a double book presentation on May 24 at 18:00 in I9 in Städelschule’s main building. The presentations are made by, respectively, Beatriz Colomina and Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto of RUR Architecture. Beatriz Colomina presents her new book, X-Ray Architecture (Lars Müller Publishers). Colomina is Professor of the History of Architecture at Princeton School of Architecture and the founding director of its Media and Modernity Program. She is currently also Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin Fellow and teaches history and theory at the Städelschule Architecture Class. X-Ray Architecture explores the enormous impact of medical discourse and imaging technologies on the formation, representation and reception of twentieth-century architecture. Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto of RUR Architecture, New York, present their monograph, Projects and Their Consequences (Princeton Architectural Press). Reiser is Professor of Architecture at Princeton School of Architecture and Umemoto is visiting professor at University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. Their book presents fifteen key projects and traces thirty years of innovative, multidisciplinary investigations of form, structure, technique, and planning. Projects and Their Consequences attests to Reiser and Umemoto being among the leading contemporary architectural thinkers, and their book is a necessary volume for everyone interested in the intersection of architecture, art, and culture. The presentations will be followed by a book signing and copies will be available for purchase. Beatriz Colomina is an internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist who has written extensively on questions of architecture, art, technology, sexuality and media. She is Founding Director of the interdisciplinary Media and Modernity Program at Princeton University and Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Architecture. Beatriz is also a visiting professor at the Städelschule Architecture Class for many years. Jesse Reiser is an Amer­i­can ar­chi­tect and Pro­fes­sor of Ar­chi­tec­tural De­sign at Princeton University. Nanako Umemoto is a Japanese architect and visiting professor at Colombia university and Harvard University amongst others. They have co-founded RUR Architecture DPC. Their design firm provides a full scope of involvements with the relationship of architecture, structure, and landscape, and approaches each project at the continuation of an ongoing inquiry, delving into relationships among architecture, territory and systems of distribution.

Florian Busch

The other side of the Moon

21 May 2019
Florian Busch is an architect based in Tokyo. After graduating from the Architectural Association in London, he worked with Toyo Ito for five years before opening Florian Busch Architects (FBA) in 2009. In its first ten years, the office has produced a remarkable body of work: A wide spectrum of structures and buildings — cultural centres, libraries, museums, and some of the world's most unusual houses — have led to awards and made Florian Busch a much sought after architect, both in Japan and around the world. At the core of the work is the understanding of architecture as an open process. Drawing on a global network of the industry’s top experts, FBA begins every project bydevising strategies of collaboration to reach beyond the imagined. Florian Busch has been invited as a speaker, lecturer, and guest critic at institutions world-wide.