Architecture Announces the Hiring of Felix Heisel

Two people seated, one is holding an object shaped like a tined wheel

Felix Heisel, left, and Caroline O'Donnell with students in the option studio Cyclo: Architectures of Waste, fall 2017. William Staffeld / AAP

November 7, 2019

Felix Heisel has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture, effective January 1, 2020.

Heisel's work centers on the systematic rethinking of our built environment as resource storage in a sustainable cycle of use and reconfiguration—a radical paradigm change toward cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing future resources borrowed from their technical and biological cycles for a period of time before being returned into circulation once more.

"Architectural design and the building industry need to move from linear resource consumption to circular material use," Heisel says. "I am very excited to be given the opportunity to work towards this paradigm shift with the students and faculty of Cornell AAP."

Heisel was the Department of Architecture's fall 2017 Hans and Roger Strauch Visiting Critic. Currently, he is head of research of sustainable construction at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Previously, he was head of research and assistant professor of architecture and construction at ETH Zürich in Switzerland and Singapore, where he built up the Advanced Fiber Composite Laboratory.

Heisel's recent publications include Addis Ababa: A Manifesto on African Progress, coedited with Dirk E. Hebel, Marta H. Wisniewska, and Sophie Nash (Ruby Press, 2018); and Cultivated Building Materials: Industrialized Natural Resources for Architecture and Construction, coedited with Hebel (Birkhäuser, 2017). He is the recipient of honors that include two Beyond Bauhaus awards (2019); materialPREIS (2019); and the shortlist for Beazley Design of the Year Award (2018). His recent presentations include Symposium on Sustainable Construction, AUC, Cairo (2019); Round Table Resource-Efficient Building, BBSR, German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Berlin (2019); and Symposium für ressourcengerechtes Bauen, KIT Karlsruhe (2018).

Heisel graduated from the Berlin University of the Arts and has taught and conducted research at universities around the world, including the Berlage Institute; the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction, and City Developments; and ETH Zürich, both in Switzerland and Singapore.

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