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Claire Zimmerman

Associate Professor of Architecture
Joint appointment with Art History

Claire Zimmerman is an associate professor of architecture and director of doctoral studies in architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and an associate professor of history of art in U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She teaches pedagogically innovative courses on 19th- and 20th-century architecture with research emphases on interwar modernism, British post-war architecture, architecture under industry, and architectural media. Current research projects include “Building the World Capitalist System: The ‘Invisible Architecture’ of Albert Kahn Associates Detroit, 1900–1961” and “The Costs of Architecture.” In 2015, she co-curated “New Brutalist Image 1949–1955: Hunstanton School and the Photography of Life and Art with Victoria Walsh (Royal College of Art)” at Tate Britain. 

She received her PhD from the City University of New York, her Master of Architecture from Harvard University, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

Books and journal numbers:

  • “The Costs of Architecture,” Grey Room 71 (Spring 2018)
  • Photographic Architecture in the Twentieth Century (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
  • Neo-avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond (with Mark Crinson), Yale Studies in British Art No. 21 (Yale University Press, 2010)
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Taschen, 2006)
  • The Built Surface (with David Brown), Florida A&M University School of Architecture, 2006

Selected articles:

  • “Albert Kahn in the Second Industrial Revolution,” AA Files 75 (December 2017: Architectural Association, London), 28-44.
  • “Reading the (Photographic) Evidence,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 76:4 (December 2017), 446-448.
  • “The Labor of Albert Kahn,” The Aggregate website, accessed January 26, 2015, http://www.we-aggregate.org/piece/the-labor-of-albert-kahn.
  •  “Albert Kahn’s Territories,” Office: US (2014)
  • “Siegfried Kracauer’s Architectures,” in Culture in the Anteroom: The Legacies of Siegfried Kracauer, ed. G. Gemünden and J. von Moltke (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012), 145-161.
  • “Photography into Building in Postwar Architecture: The Smithsons and James Stirling,” Art History 35 (April 2012): 270-287 and in British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939-69 (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 72-89.
  • “From Legible Form to Memorable Image: Architectural Knowledge from Wittkower to Banham,” Candide 5 (2012): 93-116.
  • “James Stirling’s ‘Real Function’,” OASE Tijdschrift voor Architektuur/ Journal for Architecture 79 (2009): 122-142.
  • “James Stirling Reassembled,” AA Files 56 (November 2007): 30-41.
  •  “Photographic Modern Architecture: Inside ‘The New Deep’,” Journal of Architecture 9 (2004): 331-354.

Current research:

  • Building the World Capitalist System: Albert Kahn Associates Detroit, 1900-1961 (book)
  • Fabricating Nation: Aesthetics, Power, and Architecture from 1816 to 2016 (co-edited book)
  • Matter into Form: Architecture in and of Photography (collaborative research project on photographic architecture)
  • Moscow-Detroit (collaborative research and symposium for Fall 2019)


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