Felix Heisel

Felix Heisel is an architect and academic working towards the systematic redesign of the built environment as a material depot of endless use and reconfiguration. At Cornell University, he holds the position of Assistant Professor, and acts as the Director of the Circular Construction Lab. He is a faculty fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, and a field member of the Department of Architecture as well as the Systems Engineering program.Heisel is also a partner at 2hs architects and engineers, Germany, an office specialized in the development of circular prototypologies. He has received various awards for his work and published numerous books and articles on the topic, including Addis Ababa: A Manifesto on African Progress (Ruby Press, 2019, with Hebel, Wisniewska, Nash), Cultivated Building Materials (Birkhäuser, 2017, with Hebel), Lessons of Informality (Birkhäuser, 2016, with Kifle) and Building from Waste (Birkhäuser, 2014, with Hebel, Wisniewska).

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

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Architectural Design
  • Circular Construction
  • Alternative Materials
  • Reuse, Adaptation and Recycling
  • Urban Mining
  • Sustainability
  • Circular Economy

Related News

Classes (Selected)

  • ARCH 4101/4102/5101/7912 Option StudioAdvanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
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Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Beyond bauhaus – prototyping the future (2019)
  • MaterialPREIS (2019)
  • Zumbotel Group Award (2014)
  • Bauhaus.SOLAR Award (2012)
  • National German Merit Foundation (since 2010)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Quo Addis? Conflicts of Coexistence, at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, 2020 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy (2020/21)
  • Mycotectureand Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR), two permanent exhibition pieces at Futurium Berlin, Germany (2019)

  • Beyond Mining – Urban Growth, at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, South Korea (2017)
  • Daring Growth, at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy (2016)
  • Waste Vault, at the IdeasCity Festival, New Museum, New York City, USA (2015)

Publications (Selected)

  • Felix Heisel. “Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Economy.” In The Materials Book, edited by Ilka Ruby and Andreas Ruby, 156–60. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press (2020).
  • Felix Heisel and Sabine Rau-Oberhuber. Calculation and Evaluation of Circularity Indicators for the Built Environment Using the Case Studies of UMAR and Madaster. Journal of Cleaner Production 243 (SI Urban Mining): 118482 (2019). 
  • Felix Heisel and Dirk E. Hebel. Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological Research. Biomimetics 4 (SI Proto-Architecture and Unconventional Biomaterials): 56 (2019).
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