• Building Institution: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York 1976–1985
    Kim Förster
    Transcript, 2024
    Kim Förster

The IAUS Team, Casabella 359/360, 1971, The City as an Artefact. Courtesy of private archive.

The monograph on the New York Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies is conceived as the first comprehensive history of this influential educational and cultural organization, active from 1967 to 1985. As a new non-academic network of knowledge production and distribution, the Institute had a lasting effect on architectural discourse and education in North America. The four chapters focus on its institutional roles and social relations as a research and design office, school of architecture, cultural institution, and publishing house. This categorization allows to reconstruct the complex and powerful social and institutional networks and to evaluate the work of the Institute's fellows. Drawing on perspectives from architectural history, institutional sociology, and cultural studies, the publication, as a reference book for teaching and research, challenges the predominant myth of the Institute as a think tank.

Kim Förster is an architectural historian, researcher, writer and teacher. Since 2016, he is associate director of research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal. He holds a PhD in architecture of ETH Zurich, where he most recently taught a methods seminar in the doctoral program in history and theory of architecture at the Institute gta. His academic background is in English and American Studies, geography, and pedagogy, which he studied at the University of Münster, Humboldt University in Berlin, and University of Toronto. For his research, he received major grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Graham Foundation. His first monograph, an institutional critique and cultural analysis of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (New York, 1967-1985) is forthcoming. He has published in various architectural magazines and journals, as coeditor of An Architektur, member of common room, and currently guest editor of Candide.