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 Architecture as well as Systems Engineering. Heisel is a partner at 2hs architects and engineers in 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 Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen (Urban Mining and Circular Construction, Fraunhofer IRB, 2021, with Hebel), 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; the Future Cities Laboratory Singapore; ETH Zürich; and Harvard GSD.
Academic Research/Specialty Areas
- Adaptive reuse
- Architectural design
- Alternative materials
- Circular economies
- Collaborative practice
- Informal design
- Informality design
- Material practice
- Reuse and recycling
- Urban Mining
- Sustainability Advocates Ask: Why Demolish When You Can Deconstruct?
- Cornell Atkinson Awards $1.8 Million to Fund Vital Collaborations
- Sustainable Design for the Circular Bionutrient Economy
- Enabling Circular Construction With Fungi-based Materials
- Faculty Profiles: From Circular Construction to Academic Law Ambition
- Arch 1102 First-year Design StudioAdvanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
- Arch 4619/6605 Special Topics in Environmental Systems. The Circular Economy: The Business and Science of ConstructionAdvanced programs in architectural design, with options in, but not limited to, urban design, architectural technology, computational design, ecology, culture, and representation.
- 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.
Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)
- German Green Solutions Award (2020/2021)
- Beyond bauhaus – prototyping the future (2019)
- MaterialPREIS (2019)
- Zumtobel Group Award (2014)
- 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)
- Mycotecture and 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 15th International Architecture Exhibition, 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy (2016)
- Waste Vault, at the IdeasCity Festival, New Museum, New York City, USA (2015)
- Heisel, Felix, Caroline O’Donnell, and Dillon Pranger. "New Deconstruction: The Rebirth of a Circular Architecture." In The Architecture of Waste: Design for a Circular Economy, edited by Caroline O’Donnell and Dillon Pranger, 191–204. New York City, USA: Routledge (2021)
- 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)