Benefitting from its unique setting in the Hochschule für Bildende Künste-Städelschule, the Architecture Class 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 postgraduate master programme is highly international, reflected in both faculty and student profiles, and exclusively conducted in English. Over the last years, the Architecture Class has seen constant development in topics and deographics, but regularly representing students from about 20 different countries at any time.

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 free-sprited culture at Städelschule 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 size of the Hochschule and its 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.

PROGRAMME & FacultY line-up 2020-21

SAC's academic programme for 2020-21 centres on the three Master Thesis Studios. Peter Trummer advises Architecture and Urban Design; Ulrika Karlsson heads Advanced Architectural Design; and Johan Bettum leads Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

The three studios are supported by tutor and researcher Anna Arlyapova (SAC Graduate 2018). The artist Stefan Wieland provides support throughout the programme for model-making, presentations and exhibitions. 

Guest Lecturer Peter Testa continues his seminar programme throughout the academic year 2021.

Annika Etter joins Johan Bettum to give Master Thesis students an introduction to writing and the two lead a small series of seminars that guide students to their successful completion of the theory paper for their final degree.

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

Journals 1 5
Journal 6

SAC Journal 6


All news
Marcelyn gow portrait

Marcelyn Gow

What Gathers?

10 May 2021

​Marcelyn Gow is principal of servo los angeles, a design collaborative invested in the development of architectural environments integrating synthetic ecologies with shifting material states. servo’s work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Venice Architecture Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Archilab, Artists Space, the SCI-Arc Gallery, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SFMoMA. Gow received her Architecture degrees from the Architectural Association and Columbia University, as well as a Dr.Sc. from the ETH Zurich. Her doctoral dissertation Invisible Environment: Art, Architecture and a Systems Aesthetic explores the relationship between aesthetic research and technological innovation. Gow has lectured internationally and contributed to numerous journals including Perspecta, Via and AD. She is the coeditor of Material Beyond Materials and Onramp 4-7. Gow was the recipient of a 2012 Graham Foundation Grant to Individuals and a 2014-15 City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Visual Artist Fellowship. She is currently the Coordinator of the M.S. Design Theory & Pedagogy Program at SCI-Arc and she teaches design studios and history and theory seminars at SCI-Arc.

Shulman portrait  2



03 May 2021

Sylvia Lavin is a critic, curator, historian and theorist whose work explores the limits of architecture across a wide spectrum of historical periods. Some recent books include Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernization Effects (2018), Kissing Architecture, (2011) and  Everything Loose Will Land, 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, (2013.) She is Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and is currently working on a book about trees.

Andrew saunders



26 April 2021

Andrew Saunders is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design and founding principal of Andrew Saunders Architecture + Design, an internationally published, award winning architecture, design and research practice committed to the tailoring of innovative digital methodologies to provoke novel exchange and reassessment of the broader cultural context.
His current practice and research interests lie in computational geometry as it relates to aesthetics, emerging technology, fabrication and performance. He has significant professional experience as project designer for Eisenman Architects, Leeser Architecture and Preston Scott Cohen, Inc.

Webinar series3


19 April 2021

SAC is presenting a webinar series during Summer Semester 2021.

Img 9787


Trans-Species Hospitality in Architecture

19 April 2021

Mark Wigley is professor of architecture and Dean Emeritus at Columbia University. His books include Konrad Wachsmann’s Television: Post-Architectural Transmissions (Sternberg Press, 2020), Passing Through Architecture: The 10 Years of Gordon Matta-Clark (Power Station of Art: 2019); Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation (Lars Müller, 2018); Are We Human? Notes on an Archaeology of Design (written with Beatriz Colomina; Lars Müller, 2016); Buckminster Fuller Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio (Lars Müller, 2015); Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (010 Publishers, 1998); White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (MIT Press, 1995); and Derrida’s Haunt: The Architecture of Deconstruction (MIT Press, 1993). He has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Drawing Center, Columbia University, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Het Nieuwe Instituut, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Most recently he curated “Passing Through Architecture: The 10 Years of Gordon Matta-Clark” at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2019–20).

21 04 07 on break


15 March - 12 April 2021

As of March 15 SAC takes its semester break. The summer semester commences on April 12.

21 04 07 e o s reviews


11-12. March 2021

The End-of-Semester Reviews for Master Thesis Group students will take place on 11-12 March.

  1910 0088 sac banner 2 201112

Katakombe 2020-21 - ALUMNI EVENT

28 November 2020

Katakombe is an event organised by alumni of the Städelschule Architecture Class, inspired by the format of a Salon Talk and an old but lost tradition at the Städelschule to meet professionals, scholars, students and friends to have an interdisciplinary discourse about current work.