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.

PROGRAMME & FacultY line-up 2019-20

SAC's academic programme for 2019-20 centres on the three Master Thesis Studios. Peter Trummer returns to lead Architecture and Urban Design; Ulrika Karlsson heads Advanced Architectural Design; and Johan Bettum continues to lead Architecture and Aesthetic Practice.

The three studios are supported by tutors and researchers, Yeon Joo Oh (SAC19) and Anna Arlyapova (SAC18). The two also provide the main teaching input for the introductory first semester where a design studio is accompanied by technical workshops and theory seminars. The artist Stefan Wieland provides support throughout the programme for model-making, presentations and exhibitions. 

Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley return to give history and theory seminars for students in their first year at SAC, and a series of other seminars and workshops will be provided for students at various times during the academic year, including seminars that Daniel Birnbaum offers in theory and philosophy to both architecture and art students.

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

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SAC Journal 5


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Semester break website

SAC Semester Break

24 February - 22 March 2020
As of February 24 SAC takes its semester break. The summer semester commences on March 23 and ends with final thesis reviews from July 1-2.
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End-of-Semester Reviews

Master Thesis Group

20-21. February 2020
The End-of-Semester Reviews for Master Thesis Group students will take place on 20-21 February.
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Ulrika Karlsson

Interiors after Images

20 February 2020
In this lecture, Ulrika Karlsson will address her specific interest in architectural representations and their translations, where the representation of the architectural object sometimes coincides with the object itself. The coincidence of the object and its representation sometimes leads to the conflation of material and information. Karlsson pursues this interest through projects in her architectural practice as well as research.
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End-of-Semester Reviews

First Semester Group

19 February 2020
The End-of-Semester Reviews for First Semester Group students will take place on 19 February.
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SAC Journal Issue 5 Launch

Zero Piranesi

16 February 2020
We are pleased to announce the launch of the fifth issue of SAC Journal, Zero Piranesi, guest-edited by Peter Trummer. Peter Trummer will be in conversation with Johan Bettum. The event is a part of Rundgang programme and will take place on February 16 at 14:00 in Städelschule Aula.
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14-16. February 2020
Städelschule’s Open House Exhibition, opens February 14 and runs with a dense programme through February 16 everyday from 10:00 till 20:00. SAC will showcase work produced in its Master Thesis Studios as well as the First Semester Group.
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06 February 2020
Application deadline: April 30, 2020; Early bird deadline: February 20, 2020. We look forward to receive your applications!

Michael Hensel

Embedded Architectures. Thoughts and Works en Route to Architecture and Environment Integration

03 February 2020
Embedded architectures is a design framework for architecture and environment integration. The talk will introduce aims and motivations in setting out this approach including its political, ethical, economic and environmental grounding, the related development of guiding design principles and works that begin to unfold within this framework. This includes projects from various stages of the development of the design framework including works produced in the context of the AA, The Research Center for Architecture and Tectonics at the Oslo School of Architecture, Vienna University of Technology in collaboration with EPFL ENAC in Lausanne, and also in the context of the practice OCEAN Architecture | Environment.