About


Architecture in Effect: Rethinking the Social in Architecture is a Strong Research Environment funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas 2011-2016.

The environment, hosted at KTH School of Architecture (K. Grillner, director 2011-2015; M. Schalk, director 2015-2017), accentuates a critical understanding of the built environment and its societal context. It assembles a core group of 25 researchers in architecture, societal planning, urbanism, landscape and philosophy from nine Swedish universities and institutions, and engages a team of 7 international advisors based across American and European univeristies. The environment is orientated around investigations of the role and agency of architecture in its cultural and socio-political context, including professional roles and education as well as power relations within and of architecture.

Projects are disseminated by international peer-review articles and books, as well as publicly and professionally oriented workshops, seminars and exhibitions. Architecture in Effect is part of the Swedish Schools of Architecture’s (SSA) national research initiative which includes a Research School and two Strong Research Environments in Architectural Theory and Method. The total funding from Formas for these three projects 2011-2016 are 80M SEK (€ 2.8M).

What We Do

Architecture in Effect aims to critically examine through original research the role and agency of architecture in its cultural and socio-political context, e.g concerning professional roles and education as well as power relations within and of architecture. It engages in current global economical, ecological and socio-political crises and conditions of sustainability, integration, gender equality, welfare and care. The research environment responds to these challenges, and makes a significant contribution to the development of new theories and methodologies for critical interpretations and articulations of architecture. It combines critical theory with methodological and topical perspectives that emphasise the material, spatial and symbolic specificity of architecture. Architecture in Effect contributes on an international level to the development of new theories and methodologies for furthering a critically and socially engaged architectural research, education and practice.

Architecture in Effect structures its research in four program areas defined in relation to particular theoretical problems and methodologies within the field of architectural interpretation: Critical Historiography, Material Conditions, Critical Projections, and Architects in Formation. Effects and articulations of power relations are examined as constituted in the built environment and embedded within the architectural discipline and its societal relations. The environment hosts researchers with defined scientific output demands for concentrated periods of time, and builds a renewed research culture for the field through interdisciplinary dialogue.

Who We Are

The environment is hosted by KTH, and involves researchers from KTH, Chalmers, LTH and UMU, as well as University of Gothenburg, Södertörn University, Malmö University and the Swedish Museum of Architecture. It gathers a unique set of leading national experts in architecture theory, urban studies, architecture history, conservation, landscape planning, cultural geography, sociology, philosophy and the visual arts.

Steering Group

Meike Schalk, director (Associate Professor, KTH), Sten Gromark, vice-director (Professor, Chalmers), Mattias Kärrholm (Professor, Malmö Högskola and Lund University), Helena Mattsson (Associate Professor, KTH), Roemer van Toorn (Professor, Umeå University).

Senior Researchers

Anders Bergström, Carina Listerborn, Catharina Dyrssen, Catharina Gabrielsson, Catharina Thörn, Daniel Koch, Gunnar Sandin, Helena Mattsson, Hélène Frichot, Karin Bradley, Katarina Bonnevier, Katja Grillner, Kristina Fridh, Lars-Henrik Ståhl, Lena Hopsch, Maria Hellström Reimer, Maria Johansson, Mattias Kärrholm, Meike Schalk, Roemer van Toorn, Sten Gromark, Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Ulrika Gunnarsson Östling, Victor Edman

PhD-Students (directly funded by the project)

Brady Burroughs, Erik Sigge

Post-Docs (directly funded by the project)

Jennifer Mack

Affiliated PhD Students and Researchers

Alberto Altes, Bojan Boric, Fran Cottell, Jan Hietala, Katja Hogenboom, Tahl Kaminer, Ramia Mazé, Marianne Mueller, Tijana Stevanovic, Maria Ärlemo, Sepideh Karami, Frida Rosenberg, Helen Runting, Apolonija Sustersic

International Advisory Board

Stefano Boeri (Editor of Abitare, Architect and Professor of Urban Design at Milan Polytechnic, Visiting Professor at Harvard GSD), Keller Easterling (Architect and Professor of Architecture at Yale School of Architecture), Dana Cuff (Architect and Professor in Architecture, Director of cityLAB, UCLA), Hilde Heynen (Professor of Architectural Theory at Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven), Doina Petrescu (Architect and Professor in Architecture at the University of Sheffield, Director of AAA, Paris), Jane Rendell (Architect and Professor of Architecture and Art, Director of Architectural Research, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL), Eyal Weizman, Architect and Director of the Research Centre for Architecture, Goldsmiths, founding member of Decolonizing Architecture (DAAR) Israel/Palestine).