Team

Axel Sowa

Prof. Axel Sowa (Dipl.-Ing., studied architecture in Berlin and Paris) has headed the teaching and research area of architectural theory since October 2007. Before teaching at the universities of Saarbrücken and Aachen, he was editor-in-chief of the magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui in Paris from 2000-2007. During this period, 50 thematic issues were produced, each dedicated to fundamental questions of architectural theory. Based on a stay as chercheur invité at the Centre Canadien d’Architecture in Montréal, his current research relates to the change in the concept of mimesis, the question of imitation in modern contexts and the beginning of industrial mass production of building components in the first third of the 19th century.

Office hours: Monday, 15:00-16:00
sowa[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de
+49 (0)241 80-93572

Manfred Speidel

Prof. Manfred Speidel (Dipl.-Ing., studied architecture in Stuttgart) was head of the teaching and research area of architectural theory from 1975-2003. From 1966-1975 he was a research student in Japan. After receiving his doctorate in 1973 from Waseda University in Tokyo, he began his professorship in architectural theory at RWTH Aachen University in 1975: History of modern architecture, vernacular architecture of various countries and architectural anthropology. He edited the writings of Bruno Taut and published on Dominikus, Gottfried Böhm and Heinz Bienefeld. Since 1979, he has led the building seminars on experimental earthen construction such as dome structures made of air-dried clay bricks and pavilions in simple half-timbered construction with clay fields and Japanese plasters.

speidel[at]kunstgeschichte.rwth-aachen.de

Andrea Alberto Dutto

Andrea Alberto Dutto (Dr.–Ing.) is research and teaching associate at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since April 2021.is From 2018 to 2020, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the ‘Dipartimento di Architettura e Design’ at Politecnico di Torino, where he was also a lecturer for ‘Composizione Architettonica e Urbana’ (2019/2020). In 2017, he completed his doctorate as part of a co-tutelle between the Politecnico di Torino and RWTH Aachen University on the topic: “The Handbooks Legacy. The Paradigm of Distribution in Architectural Design” (2014-2017). In 2015, his research was awarded the Research Quality Award at the Politecnico di Torino. In 2010, he received a Dual Degree Master in Architecture as a joint degree between the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Marseille and the Politecnico di Torino.

dutto[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de
+49 (0)241 80-93594

Medine Altiok

Medine Altiok (AA Dipl.) is a doctoral candidate and research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University. She studied in Aachen, London and Zurich and has been running an architectural practice in Zurich since 2010. She taught at the Architecture Department of ETH Zurich 2005-2010 and was a visiting professor at BILGI Istanbul 2016-2017. Between 2011-2015 she led the Visiting Schools “Mediterranean Country” at the AA London on the topic of which she continues to research and is currently doing her doctorate. In her practice, she is interested in intercultural and adaptive projects.

altiok[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de

Leonie Bunte

Leonie Bunte (M.Sc.) has been a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since July 2022, having previously worked as a research assistant for one year. After completing her Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in 2018, she worked for half a year in Basel at Morger Partner Architekten. Before starting her Master’s degree, she received the UROP scholarship and conducted research with Professor Vikram Bhatt on the topic of “low cost housing” at McGill University in Montréal in the summer of 2019.

bunte[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de
+49 (0)241 – 8093593

Ibai Rigby

Ibai Rigby is a PhD candidate at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since January 2022. Ibai received his Architecture Diploma from the Institut d’Architecture de l’Université de Genève (IAUG) and realised studies in Architecture and Urban Culture at the Metropolis Programme at the CCCB in Barcelona. As Coordinator at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture architect and urban planner, he was involved in conservation projects in India, Syria and Mali, and the construction and design of the Center for Earth Architecture in Mopti by Francis Kéré. Together with Swiss architects Kunik & de Morsier, he was part of the Future Architecture Platform / Creative Europe Programme with the project Parallel Sprawl, which studied the suburban phenomena in Kosovo. Ibai has also worked as a content editor for the digital platform urbanNext.net and writes regularly for architectural magazines such as The Architects’ Newspaper in the USA or d’Architectures in France.

Kai Kumano

Kai Kumano (M.Sc.) is a doctoral student and research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University. Previously, he worked as a research assistant since 2016 as part of the seminar “Experiments with Clay” and also supervised the research module “Bamboo Construction”. Inspired by his experience of working with Japanese craftsmen in various trades, he published the book “Der japanische Sakralbau – Theorie der Praxis” in 2022 with J.S. Klotz Verlagshaus, in which he sheds light on the philosophies and processes of the craftsmen.

kumano[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de

Kata Götz

Secretariat
goetz[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de
info[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de
Tel. +49 (0)241 – 8093571

Office opening hours:
monday – friday
9am – 12am

Florian Eschner

Has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since July 2020. He previously received his Bachelor (B.Sc.) there in 2015 and his Master in Architecture (M.Sc.) in 2019. He completed a six-month Erasmus study at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares during the Master’s programme in 2018/19. After his Master’s degree, he received a scholarship for the research project “A new passage to India” and spent half a year researching earthen construction in India for the teaching and research area of architectural theory. Since April 2020, he has been permanently employed as a project manager at fischerarchitekten Partnerschaft mbB in Aachen.

florian.eschner@rwth-aachen.de

Ramona Schaefer

Has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since July 2020. After completing her Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in 2018, she continued her studies for one year at l’Università degli Studi Roma Tre. In October 2019, she received a scholarship for the research project “A new passage to India”, with which she travelled to India for six months to conduct research on earthen construction methods. Between 2019 and 2020, she worked at the office of fischerarchitekten Partnerschaft mbB in Aachen.

ramona.schaefer[at]rwth-aachen.de

Hugo Friedrich

Has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since December 2022. After completing his Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in 2020, he worked for six months in Kyoto (Japan) at Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio. Before starting his master’s degree, he also worked for a year at the construction company Sukiya Watanabe Construction Corp. in Kyoto, which plans and builds temples and tea ceremony buildings in traditional wooden construction.

hugo.friedrich[at]rwth-aachen.de

Noëmi Preisler

Noëmi Preisler (B.Sc.) has been a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since January 2023. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in 2020, she worked for a year in Stockholm at AML Arkitekter. During her Master’s degree in 2022, she completed a six-month Erasmus study programme at the Università IUAV di Venezia.

noemi.preisler[at]rwth-aachen.de

Anina Janich

Anina Janich (M.Sc.) has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since April 2023. She supports the DFG project on the Palace of Mysore and travelled through India for six weeks in September 2023 as part of a DAAD trip on the subject of building documentation. Between 2019 and 2023, she worked at the Chair of Architectural History at RWTH and published the results of her master’s thesis on the “Barokgang von Scherpenheuvel” in InSitu – Zeitschrift für Architekturgeschichte (2/2023). During her bachelor’s degree, she received the Promos scholarship for a semester abroad at Tongji University in Shanghai in spring 2018.

janich[at]theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de

Oliver Schönthal

Has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since April 2024. Previously, he finished his Bachelor´s degree (B.Sc.) at TU Darmstadt. He has completed a six-month Erasmus study programme at EPF Lausanne and worked for rethmeierschlaich architekten in Cologne. Since 2023 he is in his master programme at RWTH Aachen.

oliver.schoenthal[at]rwth-aachen.de

Former Colleagues

Andrea dutto, Elena wittbusch, Florian Eschner, henning Storch

Andrea Dutto, Elena Wittbusch, Florian Eschner, Henning Storch

Elena Wittbusch

Has been employed as a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since November 2020. After completing her Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in 2018, she worked for six months in Stuttgart at AuerWeberArchitekten BDA. Before starting her Masters, she studied for six months in Paris at the École nationale d’Architecture Paris Val de Seine in 2019 on an Erasmus scholarship.

elena.wittbusch@rwth-aachen.de

Henning Storch

Has been a research assistant at the Department of Architectural Theory at RWTH Aachen University since October 2021. After completing his Bachelor’s degree (B. Sc.) in 2019, he studied for a year in Paris at the École nationale d’Architecture Paris Val de Seine as part of an Erasmus stay. In addition to his Master’s degree, which he started in 2020, he works for SMAA Architects and is a freelance architect.

henning.storch@rwth-aachen.de