A Global History of Cement

Concerned with transdisciplinary perspectives, this research project studies the restructuring and impact of a globalizing cement regime at the local and global, if not planetary scale – and the profession’s and discipline’s relation towards this kind of extractivism. Moving beyond a celebratory approach to a modernist architectural culture based on concrete, the focus is on how processes of urbanization and the provision of infrastructure in the name of sustainability on the one hand, and continued belief in progress and growth in the name of development and modernization on the other hand, play out globally. Through case studies in both the Global North and South, integrating approaches from architectural history, economic and urban geography, cultural and material anthropology, (urban) political ecology, to environmental history and humanities, A Global History of Cement. Building Material of the Anthropocene investigates the environmental impact and the geopolitical disrupture of the current way cement is produced, used, advertised and distributed. Starting from historical research concerned with the kiln and the quarry, how the cement industry was nationally syndicalized and internationally expanded, this research project is concerned with the geographies of how cement production became globalized, which in the past was scrutinized for corporate responsibility, and today for environmental, social and climate justice.

In the framework of this research project, I have lectured at:
Bauhaus Dessau, DE;
EPFL Lausanne, CH;
HafenCity University Hamburg, DE;
TU Cottbus, DE;
2022 SAH conference in Pittsburgh, US;
Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, AT;
Vi Per Gallery, Prague, CZ;
FHNW, Basel, CH;
TU Berlin, DE;
HSLU Lucerne, CH an
2018 SAH conference in Minneapolis, US.