Philip Ursprung

Philip Ursprung is an art historian specializing in late 20th- and 21st-century European and North American art and architecture. His research and teaching focus on the interrelation between architecture and art in a political and economic framework. Active as a historian, critic, and curator, Ursprung has taught at the University of Zurich, Hochschule der Künste Berlin, Columbia University, and Barcelona Institute of Architecture. After studying in Geneva, Vienna, and Berlin, he earned his Ph.D. in art history at Freie Universität Berlin. He is a professor of history of art and architecture at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he was dean of the department from 2017-19.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Architectural history
  • Architectural theory
  • Happening and Earth Art
  • Contemporary European Architecture
  • Critical Theory

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Classes (Selected)

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Prix Meret Oppenheim, Swiss Federal Office of Culture (2017)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship Grant (2001–05)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, various research grants (2006)
  • Future Cities Laboratory, Research Grant (2015–20)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History," Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal (2002)
  • "Gordon Matta-Clark and Anarchitecture: A Detective Story," with Mark Wigley and Wendy Owens, Columbia University, (2006)
  • "17 Volcanoes," with Alexander Lehnerer, ETH Zurich; CCA Montreal; Princeton University School of Architecture; and NUS Museum Singapore (2016–18)

Publications (Selected)

  • Representation of Labor / Performative Historiography, Santiago de Chile: ARQ Ediciones, 2018
  • Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, and the Limits to Art, translated from German by Fiona Elliott. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013
  • Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History, editor. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Baden, Lars Müller Publishers, 2002 (second edition 2005)
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